What is a DOT medical exam?
The DOT physical is a medical examination that commercial drivers are required to get. The requirement is set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or FMCSA. The FMCSA requires a DOT physical for all drivers of Hazmat materials, vehicles with GVWR of 10,000 LBS or more (while driving interstate), and drivers of vehicles that can carry 15 or more passengers. This exam is to ensure that you are not a safety risk, and will be able to operate your vehicle properly without causing harm to yourself or others.
Is it free of cost?
Unfortunately, you will have to come out of pocket to cover the cost of the exam. DOT exam prices vary from state to state, however, the national average cost for a medical DOT physical is around $200.
What tests will be performed?
You can expect to receive a standard physical examination along with a vision test, hearing test, Urine analysis, and an extensive look into your health history. Like we said before, the main purpose of this physical is to avoid the certification of drivers that may put others at risk while on the road.
How often do you need to get one?
Because of the FMCSA's dedication to safety, drivers have to get a medical DOT exam regularly. Doctors can approve your medical DOT for a maximum of 2 years, however, at their discretion, they may only approve you for a shorter amount of time.