Receive a DOT Physical Exam at Southcoast Health
Federal regulations mandate that anyone applying for or currently holding a CDL must pass the Department of Transportation (DOT) physical examination. The examination is required to determine that a person is medically fit enough to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). Once you pass the exam, you have 24 months before having to take it again, unless you have certain health problems, such as high blood pressure or obstructive sleep apnea, in which case you will have to take the exam sooner.
Or you may call the Occupational Health Clinic to schedule an appointment. The number is 508-973-5469. Appointments can be made in Fall River or New Bedford.
DOT physical Exam Requirements
The basic requirements for passing a DOT physical exam are:
- No use of Schedule I drugs (e.g. marijuana, heroin, etc.), amphetamine, narcotic or other habit-forming drug.
- No current diagnosis of alcoholism.
- No history or current diagnosis of epilepsy (seizures).
- No loss or significant functional deficit of a foot, leg, hand, or arm, unless having skill performance evaluation certificate.
- If you are currently diagnosed with a heart attack, angina pectoris, congestive heart failure, coronary (heart) vessels insufficiency, or any other cardiovascular disease known to be accompanied by collapse, difficulty breathing, or fainting, you will be required to provide the medical examiner with a note from your cardiologist stating that you are capable of operating a CMV with no restrictions. You will likely need to provide your cardiac stress test result, too.
- Far vision in both eyes, as well as each eye individually, 20/40 or better, with visual improvement devices such as glasses or contacts allowed.
- Ability to distinguish colors of traffic signals.
- Ability to perceive a forced whisper in the better ear at a distance of not less than five feet, with or without use of a hearing aid. If you fail this test, you will need a hearing test.
- Blood pressure has to be lower than 180/110 mmHg. Prescription medication may be used to control blood pressure. For re certification, BP goal is 140/90 mmHg or less.
- No diagnosis of a respiratory or other disorder likely to interfere with ability of a person to safely operate a CMV. Examples include severe, uncontrolled COPD, suspected or known untreated moderate or severe obstructive sleep apnea, narcolepsy, significant mental or nervous disorders, etc.
- NOTE: If you do not currently meet the diabetes, hearing, seizure and/or vision standard, you may apply for an exemption from one of those standards, by utilizing the Federal Exemptions programs. All exemption programs are for drivers who intend to operate a CMV in an interstate commerce.
A DOT physical exam must be performed by a Medical Examiner who is certified and listed on the National Registry of the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration).
Southcoast Health is proud to offer DOT physical exams in MA and RI from DOT certified medical examiners. If you are interested in scheduling an exam, learn more from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles or the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles then contact Southcoast examiner to set up an appointment.
Southcoast Health offers many occupational health services, including DOT physical exams, in Massachusetts and parts of Rhode Island.