Becoming a commercial driver is not easy because you must through several steps. One of them is to obtain the CDL DOT Physical successfully. Do you know any information about this test, what are the requirements and the contents of the test? We already answered those questions in the next section!


dot physical exam
What is CDL dot physical exam?


1. What is a CDL DOT physical?

CDL DOT (Department of Transportation) physical is a health and safety test that is held to ensure all commercial drivers meet the public’s safety requirements as well as be able to take responsibility for their jobs including their healthcare condition when sitting for a long time. This is one of the CDL Requirements that all drivers must meet if they want to achieve the CDL. 


2. Who needs to take the CDL DOT physical?

In general, you are required to take the DOT CDL physical exam if you are:

  • Drivers who transport hazardous materials 
  • Paid drivers who carry more than 8 people
  • Drivers who operate more than 15 passengers vehicle
  • Drivers who drive a motor vehicle that have a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of over 10,000 pounds 


3. What are the CDL DOT physical requirements?

CDL drivers should bring a detailed inventory of their prescriptions, including the dose regimen, dosages, and the names and addresses of their doctors. It is also advised that drivers complete the health history questionnaire before arriving at the clinic to save time.

Moreover, to make sure the exam will run smoothly if you get any medical health problems, bring the proper documents or items to save time. For example:

  • If you are short-sighted, bring your glasses or contact lens 
  • If you have hearing problems, bring your hearing aids
  • If you are related to diabetes, bring the recent Hemoglobin A1C results from the hospital or lab as well as your blood sugar dairies
  • If you have heart-related issues, bring a letter from your cardiologist to outline your medical history and guarantee that you are able to do your job. 


4. What is included in CDL DOT physical?  


4.1. Vision test

This is the very first and necessary test that all CDL drivers should take when coming to the CDL DOT physical exam. Specifically, you must have at least a score of 20/40 for both eyes, and at least 70’’ peripheral in the horizontal meridian. You can wear corrections such as eyeglasses or contact lenses. 


4.2. Hearing test

CDL drivers must capable of hearing a “forced whisper” at a distance of 5 feet or less, with or without a hearing aid. This level corresponds to a hearing loss in the better ear of less than 40 dB.


4.3. Blood pressure

Your doctor will examine your blood pressure and heart rate for indicators of high blood pressure and other disorders, as well as for abnormalities.


4.4. Urinalysis

Urine testing is not only used for drug testing but also checks your sugar and protein levels to see whether you are positive with diabatic or not, as well as your kidney conditions. 


cdl dot physical exam for drivers
The vision test is a must in CDL DOT Physical


4.5. Physical examination

During your DOT physical exam, the doctor will evaluate your ears, eyes, mouth, heart, lungs, chest, spine, vascular function, neurological ability, and other essential evaluation categories. Regardless of where you have your DOT physical exam, the criteria remain the same. This is because drivers routinely cross state boundaries when traveling, and driving safety standards are the same globally.


A DOT physical can only be performed by a medical examiner who has been certified by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). It is the responsibility of the Medical Examiner to assess if a CDL driver fits all of the standards and to mark the report to the best of their ability.


5. What is the CDL DOT physical form?

In brief, there are several CDL DOT physical forms. They are all available on the Internet, you can take a look at them before visiting the DOT place. We suggest you some type of CDL DOT physical forms:


5.1. Medical Examination Report (MER) Form, MCSA-5875

The MER includes the driver’s information and health history, as well as the medical examiner’s conclusions from the DOT test. The MER is performed online at Concentra and does not need to be printed and completed ahead of time.


5.2. Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC), Form MCSA-5876

After completing a DOT exam, certified drivers will obtain this certificate.


5.3. Insulin-treated Diabetes Mellitus Assessment, MCSA-5870

Commercial drivers with insulin-treated diabetes must have this form completed by their treating doctors at least 45 days before being examined by a qualified medical examiner (CME). Without this paperwork, the motorist cannot be awarded a Medical Examiner’s Certificate.


cdl dot physical exam
You may search on the Internet for a DOT-certified provider near you


6. What are the frequently asked questions about CDL DOT Physical?    


6.1. How much does a CDL DOT Physical cost?    

Prices of CDL DOT Physical licenses vary by state and population density, but the average price ranges from $65.00 to $80.00. For instance, the price of CDL DOT in Idaho is free. Moreover, It is important to note that interstate CDL drivers can obtain CDL DOT Physical in any state other than the one in which they are licensed.      


6.2. How long does a CDL DOT physical expire?

The CDL DOT Physical is valid for 2 years. In addition, if you got any serious medical problem, it will be expired earlier.


6.3. Is CDL DOT Physical covered by insurance?

Unfortunately, No.       


6.4. What will happen if I fail the DOT Physical?

If you have a condition such as diabetes, epilepsy, missing limbs, or hearing, eyesight, or respiratory issues, you may not be able to obtain a two-year medical card, but an exemption may be granted and you may be eligible to drive. In this circumstance, your CDL medical certificate may expire in three, six, or twelve months, and you will require another DOT Physical Exam to continue driving.


6.5. Where to get a DOT Physical exam?

You may search on the Internet for a DOT-certified provider near you. It is really easy to find.


In brief, that’s all the information we want you to know before getting the CDL license as well as doing the CDL DOT Physical. We hope that this is useful for you to prepare for the test. Wish you pass the test successfully. If you are still concerned about your CDL knowledge, you can take our CDL Practice Test to score high on your exam.