DOT CDL Physical Examination

Federal law requires drivers of commercial motor vehicles (DMVs) to receive regular physical examinations. These exams are defined as the “Department of Transportation Medical Examinations.” DOT physicals are highly regulated for the drivers’ safety. They detect physical, mental, and emotional issues that can affect a driver’s ability to safely drive a commercial vehicle. DOT medical examiners are specially trained to understand the regulations and prevent drivers from being inappropriately disqualified.

What to Expect

Step 1. Fill out a brief medical history

Step 2: Medical examination.  
-A review of your medical history including current medications.
-Any medical conditions or concerns  will be discussed.
-Your medical examination will include:

  • Past or recent illnesses and injuries (including head and brain injuries)
  • Vision acuity
  • Hearing disorders
  • Heart disorders
  • High blood pressure
  • Muscular weakness or disease
  • Diabetes
  • Digestion
  • Respiratory problems
  • Lung, kidney, liver, and nervous system health
  • Urinalysis for blood sugar  and protein

Step 3: Paperwork preparation

-You will need to keep your Medical Card and exemptions/waivers with you at all times while you are driving.
-You get 2 copies of the DOT physical form, one for your CDL, one for the company.


To help us complete your physical in a timely manner, please bring with you any of the following items that are applicable to your health history, in addition to all medications you are currently taking. If you do not have the required information, we will not be able to certify you right away and you will need to come back with this to avoid making another payment for certification, or being reported as disqualified.

Be sure to bring to your appointment:

  • Driver’s license
  • A copy of your current physical exam report
  • Your current medical card the physical exam long form with the driver and health history portion completed by you.
  • If you see a health care provider for any chronic health issues, please bring a copy of the last visit with you to your appointment. It should include diagnosis, date of onset of the condition, medications (dose, frequency), current limitations and contact information for that provider.

____1. If you require correction to your vision, whether or not you routinely wear contacts, you must bring a pair of glasses with you to the exam.

____2. If you wear hearing aids please bring them and extra batteries.

____3. If you have had a Heart Attack, MI, Stents, angioplasty (ballooning), or Angina, you will require a cardiology consult BEFORE your physical. You will need to bring a copy of your most recent EKG and your last exercise stress test results.

____4. If you have had a Stroke, Seizure, Traumatic brain injury, or TIA you will require a Neurology consult BEFORE your physical.

____5. If you have Diabetes you are required to bring a letter from your treating doctor, BEFORE your physical; with specific areas addressed:  1-month log of fasting blood sugars and most recent HgA1c and all medications.

____6. If you have adult ADHD or ADD and are being treated for this we need a consult from your treating PCP or mental health provider with specific information, BEFORE your physical.

____7. If you are currently being treated for Depression or other mental illness, we need a consult from your treating PCP or mental health provider with specific information, BEFORE your physical.

____8. If you have Sleep Apnea or Sleep Disorder we need a consult from your sleep specialist or PCP with specific information, BEFORE physical. If you use a CPAP machine, we will need to see usage statistics for the last month. Your company that manages the CPAP machine can do this for you.

____9. If you are on medications that require level monitoring, like coumadin or warfarin, bring a copy of your most recent lab test results with documentation of monthly INR results. You must have a therapeutic INR within a month of your certification. Please bring your actual medication bottles with you.

___ 10. If you have a pacemaker, you must bring documentation of your most recent annual pacemaker check (this must be within the past 12 months).

____11. If you are a smoker >35 years old, have asthma, COPD or other respiratory illness you will need to have a pulmonary function test. Please bring the documentation with you to your appointment.

____12. If you are taking blood pressure medication make sure your blood pressure is less than 140/90 or your certification may be delayed.

PLEASE NOTE: Most chronic health conditions including high blood pressure will only allow us to certify you for one year or less. We follow the Department of Transportation guidelines in the Medical Examiner’s handbook to determine if you met guidelines for DOT medical clearance and the length of time you may be certified.

During the examination the clinician may find medical conditions that will require further evaluation by a specialist prior to certification. Once the evaluations are complete you will be able to return to our office with the necessary documentation to determine if you are fit for certification. Your signature below confirms understanding of the above information.