Department of Transportation Physical Examination
Before you can start truck driver training, you are required to pass a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical examination. The DOT physical exam confirms you are healthy enough to safely perform your job as a truck driver and keep the roads safe while doing it.
Previously, any state-licensed medical practitioner was able to perform a DOT exam and certify that a CDL holder was medically qualified to operate a truck. However, not all medical professionals had a good understanding of the physical rigors required of drivers, nor were they fully aware of the USDOT medical qualification regulations.
Commercial truck drivers are now required to have their USDOT medical exam performed by a medical professional listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME). The NRCME lists medical examiners who have been trained, tested and certified to perform medical examinations for commercial motor vehicle drivers in interstate commerce. Medical examiners understand the medical standards in the FMCSA Regulations, related guidance and how they relate to the medical demands of operating a commercial motor vehicle.
While the requirements of DOT physicals are not particularly rigorous, there are some basic requirements one must meet in order to pass the DOT physical exam and be accepted into a CDL training program. These requirements include:
- The ability to pass drug screening tests before and throughout employment.
- Applicant must have 20/40 correctable vision in each eye (glasses or contact lenses are permitted).
- Diabetic treatment using needle-injected insulin is not permitted. However, diabetics treated with diet and oral medication are permitted.
- High blood pressure and high blood sugar levels are not permitted.
- The use of any Schedule 1 drugs including amphetamines and narcotics are prohibited.
- A current diagnosis of cardiac insufficiency or cardiovascular disease will require a release from your physician stating that you are able to drive a commercial motor vehicle without any restrictions.
- Applicants cannot have a current diagnosis of sleep apnea.
- Recent back injuries, hernias, major surgeries or recent workmen’s compensation claims are not permitted.
The NRCME changes only one thing for drivers. Drivers must make sure their medical examiner is listed on the NRCME website. Otherwise, to pass the DOT physical exam before beginning CDL training, you must be in good health and able to pass drug screening tests. If you are unsure about your ability to pass a DOT physical exam, consult with your family physician or contact CDL Training Today to schedule a DOT physical with a local CDL training facility.