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The Basics of a DOT Physical

dot physical

What is a DOT Physical?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)- an agency under the Department of Transportation (DOT), sets standards for the physical and mental condition of the nation’s commercial motor vehicle drivers. Commercial drivers are required to have regular physical examinations to demonstrate they are fit for duty and will not pose a danger to themselves or the traveling public.

Who Needs a DOT Physical?

  • Any interstate driver who operates a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) that weighs or is rated at or greater than 10,001 lbs.;
  • Any intrastate-only used to haul hazardous materials in a quantity that requires a placard;
  • Any interstate vehicle that is designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers including the driver;
  • Any interstate vehicle that is designed or used to transport 9 or more passengers including the driver for directed compensation.

When is a DOT Physical Required?

  • Before first operating a CMV;
  • At least every two years, or more often as directed by the licensed medical examiner;
  • Whenever the driver’s ability to perform his or her normal duties has been impaired by a physical or mental injury or disease.

Who Can Perform a DOT Physical?

Anyone currently listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners may perform an exam for an interstate driver. This may include medical doctors, osteopaths, physician assistants, advanced practice nurses, and chiropractors. State requirements may vary for intrastate-only drivers.

At ARCpoint Labs of Southboro-Framingham, we now offer DOT Physicals along with all of your DOT drug and alcohol testing needs. Call us today at (508)834-3760 to schedule an appointment!

This is the first series about DOT Physicals. Check back next week to read more!


J.J. Keller & Associates, Inc., ed. DOT Medical Exams: The Complete Guide. Neenah: J.J. Keller & Associates, 2015. Print.

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