4 Ways a DOT Exam Is Different From a Routine Physical

4 Ways a DOT Exam Is Different From a Routine Physical

When you drive a commercial vehicle for a living, you must be in good health for your own safety and the safety of others on the road. While you should have a regular physical exam every year, you still need a DOT exam every 24 months to ensure you're safe on the road.

If you drive a commercial and need a DOT exam, our team at  Integrated Body and Medicine can help. We have three providers who are Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration-certified medical examiners, so we can provide you with your official DOT exam if you need it for work.

What is a DOT exam?

A Department of Transportation (DOT) exam is a specialized physical exam that you may need when driving a commercial vehicle for work. The DOT exam is mandatory if your job requires a  commercial driver’s license (CDL).

You need a CDL (and, therefore, a DOT exam) if you:

If you meet any of these requirements, you need a DOT exam every two years to ensure you're healthy enough to keep you and everyone else safe on the road. In some cases (due to medical issues), you may need a DOT exam annually.

The exam includes a physical aspect, a look into your family history, and a mental health check. It also allows our team to evaluate your overall health and the medications you're on to ensure you're safe while driving.

The difference between a DOT exam and a physical

In some ways, a DOT exam is similar to a regular physical exam, but there are key differences. Here are four of them:

Only certain doctors perform them

You can't go to any doctor and get a DOT exam. Only doctors certified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration can perform the exam and provide the proper paperwork you need to stay on the job.

They're intended for work purposes

You only require a DOT physical exam when you drive a commercial vehicle, including one that  carries passengers or hazardous materials. The DOT exam's purpose is to ensure you're physically and mentally fit to go on the road.

They include different testing

A regular physical exam involves checking your body for health and evaluating your vital signs. A DOT exam goes more in-depth with vision and hearing tests and a drug screening to ensure you're not taking illegal substances and driving. 

We also collect a urine sample to check for abnormalities in your genitourinary system.

You need one every two years

Typically, you have a regular physical exam yearly to keep ahead of your health and wellness. When you drive a commercial vehicle, you need a DOT exam once every two years, but there are exceptions that require a DOT exam each year.

What to expect at your DOT exam

At your DOT exam, you must come prepared to ensure it goes smoothly. Bring a list of your current and past medications and your detailed medical history. You can expect a thorough exam that includes:

Once we have all of the information we need, we fill out the necessary paperwork to show you passed your DOT exam and are safe to drive on the road.

Call our greater Highland and Hammond, Indiana, area office to schedule an appointment, or send our team a message through our online booking portal.

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