Understanding Your DOT Physical

Anyone who holds a commercial driver’s license is required to have a DOT Physical at a minimum of once every 2 years. Depending on the results of your DOT Physical, you may only get certified for 1 year, and in some cases, 3 months. This examination must be done by a provider who appears on the NRCME website (National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners). These providers all have an NRCME number, which must appear on your medical certificate. If there is no NRCME number on your certificate, it is not valid! All of the providers on driverphysicals.com are certified providers!


The reason that drivers must undergo a DOT Physical on a regular basis is for the provider to determine whether there are any physical or mental conditions that could affect the ability of a driver to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle. In other words, your examiner h to decide whether there is a likelihood that you will become either slowly or suddenly incapacitated, thereby causing a danger to yourself and the general public. In other words, the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) considers your DOT Physical to be a “medical fitness for duty” examination.


The provider that does your DOT Physical will ask you questions which will help them to determine whether you have any ongoing episodes of illness, or whether you have any side effects of that illness or from any medications you may be taking that would interfere with you being able to operate your CMV in a safe manner.


Drivers who do not meet the vision requirements, and those who are take insulin for Type 1 diabetes, may apply for an exemption. The Federal Diabetes Exemption Program has very specific requirements including medical exams, your employment history and your motor vehicle records. Please note that if you apply for an exemption for either diabetes or vision, it may take up to 180 days for a decision to be made. Read more and get the application forms here: Driver Exemption Programs.