What to Expect at your DOT Physical at WorkSafe Physical Therapy

How to prepare for your DOT Physical Exam

If you are planning to operate a commercial vehicle you will probably be required to have a CDL license in order to do so. In order to hold a CDL license, you must also have a valid DOT physical exam and medical “card”.

DOT physicals have strict guidelines that must be followed per federal regulations. Because of this, it can often seem overwhelming when you are preparing and planning for your DOT medical exam. We are here to help make sense of what you need to expect at your DOT physical!

1. What to bring with you to your DOT Physical

Being prepared for your CDL physical is the key to success and having a smooth appointment. But knowing exactly what to bring can be confusing. The necessary items for you to bring to your physical will vary from one location to the next based on their requirements for any pre-filled out paperwork.

In general and depending on what state you live in, you usually will need to bring:

  • Your Driver’s License
  • Your Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC), also called a DOT card
  • A list of your current medications
  • Your medical records, including any and all documentation of crashes, alcohol/drug abuse programs, rehabilitation, and/or sleep apnea treatments
  • Medical records from any specialists you are seeing
  • Lab results if you are managing a condition such as diabetes
  • If you have a hearing disorder or use corrective lenses, you will need to bring documentation from your doctor as well as wear your glasses, contacts, or hearing aids if you have them.
  • It is also a good idea to fill out your DOT Physical medical examination report form prior to coming and bring it with you to help the check-in process go smoothly

When it comes to bringing items and preparing for your DOT physical it is better to call and ask or bring it when in doubt! It will be better to have more than you need than to be missing items that will delay your physical being completed!

2. How much does the DOT physical Cost

This can vary anywhere from $75-$150 depending on where you get the test done. Keep in mind that some employers will cover the fee for your test. Make sure to check with your employer, or potential employer, to see if they are covering any or all of the cost of your physical.

A DOT Physical at WorkSafe Physical Therapy in Wichita, KS will cost $75. If your employer also requires a DOT urine drug screen (UDS) this will be an additional $50.

It will depend on the employer that you are working for or going to work for as to whether you will need a urine drug test in addition to the DOT physical. A drug screen is not part of a typical DOT medical examination.

3. What the DOT Physical Involves

At WorkSafe Physical Therapy a DOT physical will typically last about 45 minutes. This includes any necessary documentation that is required and the exam itself. If you are also required to do a urine drug screen expect an additional 10-15 minutes of time.

We have previously discussed in the article 7 things to know about your DOT physical some of the things that a DOT medical exam involves. Here is a brief review of what your DOT physical will include:

  • Vision Test
  • Hearing Test
  • Physical Exam
  • Hernia Test
  • Urinaylisis (for blood sugar etc) **this is not a drug screen**
  • Blood pressure and pulse check

4. How to prepare for your DOT Physical

First and foremost, relax. Worrying about your physical could cause issues with your blood pressure! Second, by doing a little planning and bringing the required documents as we discussed early you will be ready to go for your physical.

Arrive to your appointment at least 15 minutes before your scheduled time in order to complete the required paperwork and get checked in. This can also help make sure your blood pressure and pulse aren’t elevated due to anxiety of arriving too close to the start of your appointment.

Also, make sure you are ready to urinate when you arrive at your appointment! Even if you are not required to have a urine drug screen there is still a urinalysis portion of the test that will require you to provide a urine sample.

5. What to do if you fail your DOT Physical

You aren’t the first! Don’t fret and stress out just yet if you fail your initial DOT physical exam. There are options and things that you can do to pass when you try again!

For a more extensive education and guide on what to do if you fail, head over to our blog post What If I Fail My DOT Physical to learn more!

6. PAT may follow your DOT physical if requested by your company

At WorkSafe Physical Therapy we are a one-stop-shop for many employers. This means that DOT physicals aren’t the only things that we do!

Some companies in the area have physical ability tests that are performed on their candidates as well. You will be informed either by your office or our office if you are being scheduled for a post-offer employment test after your DOT physical as well. If you are doing a PAT (physical ability test) expect this to add another 30-45 minutes to your total test time in our office!

This test is different than your medical exam. It is not a medical exam but making sure you are able to meet the physical demands of the job you are being hired to do.

What to Expect at a DOT Physical Exam at WorkSafe Physical Therapy

Getting your medical card for your CDL can seem like a daunting task, but at WorkSafe Physical Therapy we try to make it as easy as possible. If you follow these steps to come prepared for your medical exam you will be ready to hit the road soon!

If you are ready to get scheduled for a DOT physical Contact WorkSafe Physical Therapy today!

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How to prepare for your DOT Physical Exam