Get Treatment for depression, anxiety, PTSD & other Psychiatric Disorders. Learn More About Behavioral Health →

What to Bring to a DOT Physical Exam 

Share This Post:
Depart of transportation Exam

The Department of Transportation (DOT) requires health exams for individuals who drive commercial motor vehicles. These exams consist of physical and mental health evaluations to ensure they are fit to drive and operate their vehicles. Learn what to bring to a DOT exam, how to prepare, and what to expect during your visit. 

Who Needs a DOT Physical Exam? 

Before beginning a job that entails public or personal safety concerns, you may be asked to complete a DOT physical exam. You’ll need to pass this exam in order to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL), which is required for many types of vehicles based on size or occupancy. Other jobs that don’t require CDL may also be dependent upon passing a DOT physical exam. 

DOT medical certifications are good for two years, unless otherwise stated based on the findings of your initial exam or underlying health conditions. They may also be required at the time of CDL renewals, and as requested or required by an employer. 

What Does a DOT Physical Exam Entail? 

A DOT physical exam is very similar to a yearly physical, and includes a thorough check-up by your provider. Your doctor will listen to your heart, lungs, and abdomen, and will look in your eyes, ears, mouth, and throat as part of the physical exam. A urinalysis will be obtained, along with your blood pressure and other vitals. Your vision and hearing will be tested, and your provider will conduct a neurological exam to check your reflexes and cognitive health. You’ll also be asked to fill out a mental and emotional health questionnaire in order to evaluate your mental wellbeing. 

The following is the criteria for passing a DOT physical exam: 

  • Blood pressure below 140/90 
  • 20/40 vision with or without corrective lenses 
  • 70 degrees of peripheral vision in each eye 
  • Hearing a “forced” whisper from a distance of 5 feet without the use of hearing aids — or a formal hearing test with hearing aids 
  • A urinalysis within normal limits of: glucose, blood, and protein

What Do I Need to Bring to a DOT Physical Exam? 

A DOT physical exam is a comprehensive evaluation that entails paperwork and accurate medical history. Here’s a list of things to have prepared before your visit: 

  • Current driver’s license 
  • Full medical history 
  • List of current medications 
  • FMCSA medical examination report form (optional) 


Because a DOT physical exam is required for legal purposes, thorough medical history and notes are needed along with your driver’s license. You’ll need to provide any medical history that the provider performing your exam may not have, including dates of any and all surgeries and procedures you’ve had. Bring an up-to-date list of any medications you’re currently taking — including any over-the-counter medications, supplements, or herbal remedies. You’ll also be required to fill out some paperwork, but printing out and completing a FMCSA medical examination report form ahead of time will save time at your doctor’s office. 

Corrective Lenses or Hearing Aids

If you are dependent upon glasses or contacts, make sure to bring them with you to your appointment. Likewise, if you use hearing aids, be sure to have them with you during the exam. Both corrective lenses and auditory aids are permitted during your vision and hearing evaluations. 

Medical Device or Provider Documents 

If you have certain medical conditions, you’ll need to bring supplemental documentation. If you have the following conditions, be prepared to bring the proper documentation: 

  • Sleep apnea – the last 90 days of data from your CPAP machine 
  • Diabetes – blood sugar readings and most recent A1C results 
  • Heart disease – a letter from your cardiologist stating you are fit to drive a commercial vehicle 
  • Neurological disorders – a letter from your neurologist stating your condition does not interfere with driving performance 

Let the physician performing your DOT physical exam know if you have any medical implants such as a pacemaker or surgical mesh. 

DOT Physical Exams with Xpress Wellness Urgent Care 

Our licensed providers at Xpress Wellness Urgent Care can perform DOT physical exams quickly and accurately to help you obtain your CDL or to renew your existing license. We’ll help you file the correct forms, and can answer any questions you may have about the process and results of your physical. With several offices across Oklahoma and Kansas, you can find a location near you and check-in online to reduce your wait time. Complete your DOT physical exam with us to achieve overall wellness — both on and off the job.  

Share This Post:
Recent News: