Truck Drivers – Here’s A Few Tips To Get You Ready For Your DOT Physical

Top Tips To Prepare For Your DOT Medical Exam
Complete DOT Physical by a Certified and experienced USDOT FMCSA Medical Examiner in Queens, N.Y.
Prelude:  This particular post has been very popular over the last few years.  It was originally posted on 2010-05-11 13:08:54.  So I decided to update and re-blog it four years later.  Thank you drivers for visiting us over and over and happy trucking!
Randolph Rosarion M.D.
Certified DOT Medical Examiner, National Registry # 7248940537
That old blog started with:
Like it or not, passing your DOT physical exam is as much a part of the job as maintaining a license to operate a bus, truck, limo, taxi or any other kind of vehicle.
Who Needs a Physical
  • Even certain Non-CDL drivers do.  If the vehicle is over 10,001 pounds, you need a physical.  That applies to service vehicles, and delivery trucks, for example.
  • Under 10,001 pounds, if your vehicle carries 16 or more passengers (including driver) or is placarded for hazardous materials, you need a physical.
  • If you have a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP), in New York State you can also certify your driving type during a learner permit transaction at a DMV office.  If you certify to Non-Excepted types of driving you will need a physical.   We see CLP drivers for a Medical Examiner’s Certificate usually at some point  either between the time they take their written test, or undergo behind the wheel on the road training, or at some other point in time before they take their road test.
  • CDL drivers are familiar with the requirements and know that if they certify to Non-Excepted types of driving, they need to maintain a current Medical Examiner’s Certificate on file, whether or not they are currently driving commercial vehicles.  If they don’t, they risk having their CDL downgraded to a regular license.  CDL drivers certifying to Excepted types of driving in New York State will not require a Medical Examiner’s Certificate, but will need either an A3 restriction (soon to become Med Cert Exempt) and in addition to that a K  restriction (if driving Intrastate only).  Having a K restriction will no longer mean that you do not need a Medical Examiner’s Certificate.  (See previous post for a more detailed discussion).  Whatever type of driving that you certify to, bottom line you have worked hard for your CDL so don’t risk losing it.  You have already spent countless hours and dollars in an approved DOT/FMCSA training program to get your CDL license.  Why not visit us and stay in compliance.  (We have kept our prices affordable over the years so drivers will not be overburdened.  Some of you are between jobs, and we know that this current economy is hard on everyone).
  • You must possess a Medical Examiner’s Certificate at all times when operating a commercial vehicle.  For CDL drivers, in the future that may change as the State Driver License Agency (SDLA) successfully links the Medical Examiner’s Certificate to the driver’s CDL in the Commercial Driver License Information System (CDLIS).  Once this happens then the CDL driver would only have to physically carry the Medical Examiner’s Certificate for 15 days.  See  previous dotmedicalexaminerblog post.
  • Finally, let’s not forget our farmer friends.  We don’t see too many farmers here in Queens, NY, but do know farmers that if you are hauling stuff more than a 150 nautical miles radius from your farm, work for hire, or if your load is crossing state lines, you may need to possess a Medical Examiner’s Certificate as well.  So check with your state!
So Do yourself a favor and be prepared for your next DOT physical exam.   Here are some obvious, but very important tips that will help you get through your next physical so you can get back to work! (I hope my friend here agrees)
Top Tips For Your Next DOT Physical
• If you use eyeglasses or contact lenses or wear a hearing aid bring them with you.  It’s a good idea to keep a spare pair of contact lenses or eyeglasses with you while driving.  For drivers with hearing aids you should always carry a spare source of power for the hearing aid.
• Bring a list of the current medications you take and also bring the name and contact number of the doctor who prescribed them.

• When you fill out the health history portion of the long form, do your best to explain any previous or current medical condition you may have.   Be as thorough as possible as to dates, and locations.  This is not the time to skip over important details.  If you are not sure if something is relevant, please do not hesitate to ask us.  A newer versions of the DOT physical form planned for the future is expected to ask more specific and more detailed questions such as prior hospitalizations (even overnight), previous history or testing for sleep studies, a broken bone in the past or history of a failed drug test.  Please see previous post dotmedicalexaminerblog New Forms.. Once you answer all the medical questions in the history form, you will sign and date the form.  FMCSA regulations state that:

A driver is expected to provide the medical examiner with an accurate and complete medical history, as indicated in this Form that is part of 49 CFR 391.43. A driver who provides fraudulent or intentionally false information is in violation of 49 CFR 390.35, and would be subject to the penalties under 49 CFR 390.37.

• You should also supply the medical examiner with medical records for any conditions you have, such as diabetes, cardiac disease, sleep disorders , neurological conditions etc. Before we can complete your DOT exam, we may need to review any diagnostic studies you had in the past such as for sleep apnea, exercise stress test or echocardiogram after you had a heart attack, and also obtain a clearance or “release” letter from your treating doctor.  If you take certain medications for pain, psychiatric conditions, attention deficit disorder, or smoking cessation for example, we would need a letter from your treating doctor as well.

    • Try not to stress yourself out and avoid excess tobacco and alcohol use before your physical.  Don’t forget to bring your driver’s license.  As far as the paper work, don’t worry we supply all the necessary forms.  Your US DOT Medical card  or Medical Examiner’s Certificate is issued the same day to all drivers that meet the qualification standards.
    • Special instructions to CDL holders:  If you missed the Self Certification period (ended January 30, 2014), and received a downgrade letter from DMV, please note the deadline date on the letter to submit your Medical Examiner’s Certificate.  If your deadline is past and you are to submit immediately or get downgraded, there should be a fax number to fax your Certificate to Albany.  Otherwise mail your Medical Examiner’s Certificate ASAP before the deadline to avoid losing your CDL.
    • Lastly, but most importantly, please review your Medical Examiner’s Certificate before leaving the office.  If your Certificate is incomplete, inaccurate or illegible it will be returned to you by DMV.  It should be submitted to DMV on an  8 1/2″ by 11″ sheet of paper.  Don’t send DMV your small wallet card and they don’t want your long form either. ( long form refers to the 3 page medical history and DOT physical form).  Please visit a previous post Reasons Your Medical Examiner’s Certificate Will Be Returned To You By DMV.
Should you require a DOT physical examination, we are located in the metropolitan New York area in College Point, Queens.  Same day appointments are usually available.  We provide expert medical care and a comprehensive interpretation of DOT FMCSA regulations at an affordable price.  We handle all driver qualification cases, whether straightforward or complex.

For appointments or more information, please call 718-701-5949.

About Randolph Rosarion M.D.

Board Certified physician in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) Certified National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME) Certified Medical Review Officer (MRO) USCIS designated Civil Surgeon Certified Examiner of Divers (Undersea & Hyperbaric Medicine Society) FAA designated Aviation Medical Examiner (AME)

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