CDL Physicals and Drug Testing
Need more information about the Physical?
Dr. Eric Carson is a 2014 FMCSA National Registry Certified Medical Examiner, and is qualified to perform CDL/DOT physicals, as well as BAT (Breath Alcohol Testing) and Drug Testing through a split urine collection (in compliance with the DOT employment drug test requirements). Appointments are preferred, and are available 6 days a week.
TeamCME offers DOT Physicals throughout the nation. Dr. Eric Carson is a member of TeamCME where he is regularly updated with industry training.
HELPFUL HINTS TO PREPARE FOR YOUR DOT PHYSICAL
DOT Physical Exam: Things to Plan in Advance:
If you have a medical condition you’re going to need some paperwork:
- Diabetic Condition – Bring a list of medications and name of prescribing doctor. Diabetic truckers NEED to bring in a copy of your blood sugar results or hemoglobin A1C (a test that shows what the average blood sugar level over the past 3 months.)
- High Blood Pressure - Bring a list of medications and name of prescribing doctor.
- Heart Condition – If you’ve had a heart attack or cardiovascular disease, you’ll need to bring a copy of your last stress test or release from your cardiologist.
- Sleep Apnea – Bring a copy of your latest CPAP usage results which must show at least 30 days of recent usage.
- Medications – List all the prescription medicines you take, including strength and dosage. If you regularly take over-the counter medications, such as antacids or allergy pills, list them, too.
- Contact information – Have names and phone numbers of your doctors in case you need to call and have them fax missing information.
DOT Physical Exam: Things To Do to Manage Your Blood Pressure:
- Make sure you don’t run out of your prescribed blood-pressure medication.
- Remember to take your medication on schedule. If you forget, most doctors recommend taking your medication as soon as possible.
- If you’re significantly late taking your medication, tell the doctor conducting the DOT physical you forgot to take your regular medication. If your blood pressure is too high, ask to have it rechecked later that day – or even the following day.
- Cutting back on caffeine and nicotine can help improve your blood pressure.
- Reducing the amount of salty foods you eat and avoiding adding salt to your food can also help to lower your blood pressure. (30 percent of idiopathic hypertension [high blood pressure] is related to reduced potassium levels – Ask your physician.)
- Invest in a blood pressure cuff- you would not drive with out gauges working in your truck. A blood pressure cuff is your gauges for your body.
- Cut back on coffee, sodas, energy drinks, potato chips, etc, and don’t add salt to your food. Also reduce your use of nicotine as much as possible. Doing this can help lower your blood pressure reading.
The Day of the DOT Physical Exam:
- Remember to bring the medical records you’ve prepared in advance, including your list of medications.
- Remember to bring eye glasses (it’s surprising how many people forget this).
- Drink water. You'll need to provide a sample.
Getting Past ‘White Coat’ Syndrome:
- We understand this is a very real concern for some drivers.
- We work with drivers all day long. We understand that passing your DOT physical exam is important to your continued career and your livelihood, and we’re here to do everything we can to help you.
- Dr. Carson does not have a white coat.
Want to take the CDL Physical & Drug Test? Call our Oswego, IL office at 630-551-1003 for an appointment today!
Here is a list of questions we often hear from drivers:
- Does a DOT physical include a drug test?
- What drugs are tested for, if a DOT drug test is requested?
- What’s involved in a DOT physical?
- Why do I have to have a urine test?
- Can I obtain a copy of my DOT physical form?
- Can the DOT medical card be laminated?
- How long is a DOT medical card good for?
- How many 3-month DOT medical cards can you have?
- Is there a difference between a DOT medical card and a DOT physical card?
- If I don’t have medical insurance can I still get a DOT physical?
- How much does a DOT physical cost without insurance?
- How do overweight truck drivers pass the DOT physical?
- What are the DOT Physical blood pressure requirements?
- Can a driver with mild sleep apnea get a CDL?
- What are the truck driving vision requirements?
- What would cause me to fail a DOT physical?
- What if the DOT drug screen tests positive?
What are the DOT physical requirements?
- The best way to understand the DOT physical requirements is to go through the checklist that the medical examiner goes through to conduct the physical exam. Here is a link to the FMCSA Medical Examination Report form.
- FMCSA Rules and Regulations: Part 391.41.
Does a DOT physical include a drug test?
Drug testing is not part of a DOT Physical exam but your Company may request to have drug or alcohol testing done at the same time. DOT drug testing and breath alcohol testing are additional charges.
What drugs are tested for, if a DOT drug test is requested?
- The 5 Panel drug test analyzes urine for the following drugs:
- Marijuana (THC metabolite)
- Opiates (including heroin)
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
What’s involved in a DOT physical?
The process is pretty straight forward. We can complete your physical in 30 minutes.
Why do I have to have a urine test?
The urine test is just a kidney screen to test for sugar, specific gravity, blood, and protein. It’s done to determine that there is no early onset of conditions such as diabetes or kidney infection.
Can I obtain a copy of my DOT physical form?
Can the DOT medical card be laminated?
Yes. We laminate your DOT medical card for you. Because you need to keep it with you at all times while you’re driving, lamination helps to reduce the wear and tear on the card.
How long is a DOT medical card good for?
A DOT medical card is good for two years if you have no restrictions. A history of high blood pressure, taking high blood pressure medications, and/or taking oral medications for diabetes can restrict the medical card to one year.
How many 3-month DOT medical cards can you have?
One only. You should have the condition, which caused the restriction, under control by the end of the 3-month window.
Is there a difference between a DOT medical and a DOT physical?
No. These terms are used interchangeably. They are most often referred to as a DOT medical when referring to the DOT medical card, and DOT physical when referring to the DOT physical exam, and sometimes drivers refer to them as a CDL physical or CDL medical.
If I don’t have medical insurance can I still get a DOT physical?
Yes. You do not need medical insurance to get a DOT Physical. Insurance is not a part of our DOT Physical exam service. Payment for the exam is your responsibility at time of service. Some insurance companies treat this exam as preventative health care and will not reimburse for it.
How much does a DOT physical cost without insurance?
- We Charge $120.00.
- We charge the same price whether you have insurance or not.
How do overweight truck drivers pass the DOT physical?
Being overweight is not a restriction to passing the DOT Physical exam. It is the medical conditions that being overweight eventually leads to, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and kidney disease, that may affect your ability to safely drive a commercial vehicle. That is what the DOT Physical exam will determine – whether you have any of these restrictive medical conditions. Getting healthy and staying healthy is your best guarantee for your life and your livelihood.
What are the DOT physical blood pressure requirements?
Here are the medical guidelines according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). Note that employers are allowed to impose more stringent medical requirements. (FMCSA Rules and Regulations: Part 391.41)
- A driver with a BP of less than 140 systolic and less than 90 diastolic may be medically certified to drive for a two-year period.
- A driver with a BP of 140 – 159 systolic and /or a BP of 90-99 diastolic, has stage 1 hypertension, and may be medically certified to drive for a one-year period. Certification examinations should be done annually thereafter and should be at or less than 140/90.
- A driver with a a BP of 160-179 systolic and/or a BP of 100-109 diastolic, has stage 2 hypertension, and is a candidate for antihypertensive drug therapy. The driver is given a one-time certification of three months to reduce his or her blood pressure to less than or equal to 140/90. Provided treatment is well tolerated and the driver demonstrates a BP value of 140/90 or less, he or she may be re-certified for one year from the date of the initial exam. The driver is certified annually thereafter.
- A driver with a BP at or greater than 180 systolic and / or 110 diastolic has stage 3 hypertension and is disqualified. The driver may not be qualified, even temporarily, until blood pressure is reduced to equal to or less than 140/90 and treatment is well tolerated. The driver may be certified for 6 months and biannually (every 6 months) thereafter if at recheck BP is equal to or less than 140/90.
Drivers with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, or kidney disease require treatment if their blood pressure rises above 140/90, since they already have a high risk of heart disease.
Can a driver with mild sleep apnea get a CDL?
Obstructive sleep apnea does not necessarily disqualify you for a DOT medical card. Treatment with a CPAP machine and some basic lifestyle changes can help you get a restful sleep and maintain your commercial drivers license.
What are the truck driving vision requirements?
A commercial driver must have distant visual acuity of at least 20/40 in each eye. That means without corrective lenses, or with corrective lenses, you must be able to see 20/40 or better, with each eye individually as well as together. Your field of vision should be at least 70 degrees horizontally, and you must be able to recognize the standard traffic signal colors of red, green and amber.
What would cause me to fail a DOT physical?
- The biggest cause for concern would be high blood pressure. Another concern is uncontrolled sugar in the urine. There are ways you can manage your blood pressure and blood sugar.
- Any condition that would cause a loss of ability to control, operate, or drive a commercial vehicle safely – loss or impairment of limbs, poor visual acuity, insulin-controlled diabetes, high blood pressure (more than 180/110), heart disease, respiratory dysfunction, epilepsy, mental disorder, use of certain drugs, alcoholism. See a complete list of FMCSA rules and regulations.
What if the DOT drug screen tests positive?
If the urinalysis is positive for one or more of the drugs on the 5 panel drug test, then the driver will be contacted in person by the Medical Review Officer. The MRO will interview the driver to determine if there is an alternative medical explanation for the drugs found in the urine specimen. If the driver provides appropriate documentation, a confirmation test is performed for each identified drug using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) analysis. GC/MS confirmation ensures that over-the-counter medications or preparations are not reported as positive results. If the MRO determines that it is a legitimate medical use of the prohibited drug, the drug test result is reported as negative to the employer. Otherwise the drug test will be reported as positive.
TeamCME provides resources to find and schedule your next CDL Physical online. We are the only CDL Physical network with online scheduling capabilities and the largest network of CDL Physical providers.
TeamCME.com Find a DOT Medical Exam near you. Our map of National Registry Certified Medical Examiners makes it easy to find a provider. If you need a CDL physical, flight physical, merchant mariner medical exam or school bus physical, TeamCME is the right place. For more information visit our website at www.TeamCME.com.