DOT Physicals: Everything You Need to Know

truck driver dot physical

If you are a professional truck or bus driver, and your employer requires that you have a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical, you may be left wondering: What is the DOT Physical? 

The DOT physical exam is a necessary test for any individual hoping to get behind the wheel of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). This examination makes sure that all commercial drivers are up to par in their daily health examinations and are at peak performance. It ensures that you or other CMV drivers are physically able to handle the long hours and stress of operating a commercial vehicle.

Continue reading our guide on DOT Physicals to understand if you require one and what happens during an exam.

 What Does this Exam Consist of? 

A DOT Physical evaluates a driver’s vision, blood pressure, and a complete review of their medical history. This can help ensure that a driver does not have certain health conditions and can safely operate a commercial vehicle. Here are the different parts of a DOT Physical Exam. 

A Vision Test

During a DOT Physical, your doctor will test you for at least 20/40 vision for both eyes. If you wear prescription glasses, please be sure to bring them along. You will also be tested to distinguish various colors with and without your prescribed lenses.

A Hearing Test

Another portion of the test includes a hearing test. With or without hearing aids, a driver must be able to hear a forced whisper” from less than five feet away.


You will be asked to take a urinalysis test. This test will help determine if you might have a medical condition or any irregularities that require immediate attention.

Blood Pressure/ Pulse Rate

You will also have a blood pressure and pulse test taken. This will help check for any abnormalities and make sure that you are healthy enough to sit for long periods of time.

Physical Examination

There will also be a physical exam that occurs during your DOT Exam. You will be tested for:

  • General appearance (weight, tremors, drug/alcohol problems)
  • Mouth & Throat (breathing and swallowing)
  • Lungs & Chest (breathing)
  • Abdomen & Organs (unusual masses, hernias, weakness)
  • Vascular System (weak pulse, blood flow, varicose veins)
  • Limbs (Loss or damage, weakness)
  • Skeletal (limitation, tenderness)
  • Neurological (balance, reflexes, speech)

You may also require or ask about any needed vaccinations at your exam. These can include:

  • Hepatitis A (Hep A)
  • Hepatitis B (Hep B)
  • Polio/ Tetanus/ Typhoid
  • Influenza (Flu)

The passing of a DOT physical gives drivers the certification to be behind the wheel of their commercial vehicle and this certification lasts between 3 months to 2 years dependent upon the health of the driver along with the possibility of not passing DOT Physical as a result of health conditions holding back the drivers from being at peak performance.

What Do I Need For My DOT Examination

When attending your DOT physical be prepared to supply any documents listing medication which have been administered by doctors in the past month. If in the scenario of a medical disability please supply a medical release form to illustrate doctors approval to work with this condition.

Where Can I Receive A DOT Physical Exam

At DOCS Urgent Care serving Connecticut, we have 15 urgent care locations where you can receive a DOT Physical for only $75. Call your nearest location to set up an appointment. We also accept walk-ins.

Don’t let this small check up hold you back, DOCS Urgent Care is here to make sure you are on the road performing at peak performance.


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