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7 Things To Expect During Your DOT Physical Exam


Your first DOT physical exam can be unnerving — especially if you’re not sure what to expect.

No one likes going to the doctor, and it can be even more stressful when you know that your CDL is at stake. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of seven things that you can expect when you go in for your DOT exam.

  1. You’ll be asked a TON of questions about your medical history. Be as honest as possible, because fudging the truth about your medical history could have serious legal consequences if you’re in a crash later on.
  2. They’ll check your general appearance for signs of obesity, alcoholism, and other medical conditions. 
  3. You probably won’t be asked to get naked. Though each exam is different, most drivers report that they are not asked to fully disrobe for the exam. You should wear loose, comfortable clothing to your DOT physical to make things easier for both your and your examiner.
  4. You’ll be asked for a urine sample. This step is intended to check your urine for signs of medical conditions like diabetes, not drugs or alcohol. However, you should know that your company could request that the urine sample submitted at this time be tested for drugs and alcohol.
  5. You’ll need to pass “the Whisper Test”. This is a hearing test. Here’s what to expect: “For the whispered voice test, the driver should be 5 feet from the examiner with the ear being tested turned toward the examiner. The other ear is covered. Using the breath which remains after a forced expiration, the examiner whispers words or random numbers such as 66,18.23. The examiner should not use only sibilants (s-sounding test materials). If the individual fails the whisper test, the audiometric test should be administered.
  6. You’ll take a vision test. If you wear glasses or contacts, don’t forget to bring them to the exam.
  7. You’ll take a hernia test. Usually this involves the examiner placing their hand on your pelvis while you turn your head and cough. It can be a little awkward but it is usually over quickly.

If you want to see exactly which boxes your examiner is ticking during your physical, you can take a look at the Medical Examination Report form in the document below.

[su_document url=”https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/Medical_Examination_Report_for_Commercial_Driver_Fitness_Determination_649-F%286045%29.pdf” width=”700″]Trucker’s Letter To Paul Ryan In Washington[/su_document]


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