Tips for Preparing and Taking Your DOT Physical Exam
This handout has been prepared to assist you in getting ready for your DOT Physical. After reviewing these recommendations you can better decide if you are indeed ready for your test. In accordance with new Federal regulations, in the unfortunate event you do not pass your exam today, you will need to repeat the process again, at a later date, including providing payment for that new exam. At Patients First we want to help you be successful and hope you see this as a tool toward that goal.
Preparing for Your Exam:
- Be sure you are well rested prior to arriving for your exam.
- Remember to take your routine medications as scheduled leading up to your exam. • Avoid caffeine (including energy drinks, nicotine containing products, alcohol use, and extra salt for several days prior to arrival (preferably cut back 1 week prior to your exam).
- Arrive early so you will not be rushed or stressed.
- Plan your exam well before your current card expires to decrease stress about passing, and to allow for any unforeseen complications.
What You Need to Bring:
- Proper identification (current Driver’s License).
- A full bladder.
- Glasses (if applicable).
- Hearing aides (if applicable).
- Proper documentation from current Medical Providers (see more below).
- Medications including dosing information, prescribing Provider and when you started that medication.
- Names and contact information of your Medical Provider if we need to contact them on your behalf (example: We may need to have them fax additional information).
Depending on any medical condition, you may need to provide additional documentation. It is NO LONGER ACCEPTABLE to provide a letter from your Doctor stating you “have no work limitations”. DOT regulations have changed at the Federal level and are mandated by Federal Law. Below are some of the most common:
Diabetes: Must be well controlled. Requires documentation of screening for diabetic retinopathy (including results) which MUST be evaluated by an ophthalmologist.
A Diabetic on insulin is disqualifying, unless provided a Federal Diabetes Waiver.
High Blood Pressure: List of medications and Prescribing Provider.
Heart Conditions: Requirements may vary based on your condition, but may include documentation of a recent EKG, Echocardiogram, Stress Test, Pacemaker/Defibrillator function evaluation, and notes from a recent visit with your Cardiologist. (e.g., History of Heart Attack, Stent placement, A-Fib, A Flutter, Surgery such as valve replacement, bypass, placement of stent, pacemaker and/or defibrillator).
**Certain conditions or surgeries are not disqualifying but require a waiting period.
Sleep Apnea: Documentation verifying your CPAP machine is operating effectively and that you are compliant with using your CPAP machine (print out).
COPD/Asthma: You may have to show results of a recent Spirometry Test, or have this performed.
Anti-coagulation Therapy: Bring a copy of your most recent INR results which should not be greater than 1 week old.
Medications: Sometimes a medication is used for other conditions (example: anti-seizure medications). Bring a letter from the prescribing Provider explaining the reason you are on that medication and indicating any side effects you may be experiencing.
Length of Certification
Be aware that under the new guidelines there are certain conditions, medications or circumstances that may limit your certification to 3 months, 6 months or 1 year. The examining Provider can inform you at the time if there are any limitations to providing you with a 2 year certification.
**Please be aware, this list is not exhaustive. If you have questions about your specific circumstance feel free to call ahead of time for more information.