DOT Physicals for New Drivers: Tips and Advice for Passing Your First Exam

According to the latest statistics from the FMCSA from 2019 to 2020, the number of fatal crashes involving large trucks or buses decreased by 3 percent, and the number of large trucks involved in injury crashes decreased by 10 percent. The industry’s focus on safety has been paying off, and Department of Transportation (DOT) physicals play an important role in commercial motor vehicle safety.

In order to be a professional truck driver for a company, you are required to pass a DOT physical to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires a DOT physical exam, which evaluates your general health as well as your mental and emotional fitness for the demands of professional driving. Additionally, drivers must undergo this exam at least once every two years in order to maintain their CDL.

 Is it your first time doing this exam, or are you considering becoming a commercial driver?

We have some awesome articles for you to reference from our blog. 

Everything You Need to Know About DOT Physical 

2023 DOT Physical Updates

Career in Commercial Driving +DOT

Tips to Pass a DOT Physical 

  • Get a good night’s sleep and arrive well-rested.
  • Gather paperwork, such as your medical records, any medicine, doctors’notes, or anything else you have on you!
  • Be honest when answering questions about your health history.
  • Be prepared for the exam.
  • Follow any necessary instructions.
  • Understand that there will be written, physical, and blood testing. 
  • Cut out caffeine for 48 hours.

Once you pass the DOT physical exam, you should receive a medical examiner’s certificate (MEC) showing that you’ve passed the DOT exam. The passing of a DOT physical gives drivers the certification to be behind the wheel of their commercial vehicle, and this certification lasts between 3 months and 2 years, depending on the health of you, the driver. Once you have that certificate, you should be able to turn it into your employer and continue with your annual review, or the hiring process. In any case you fail the exam, you may be able to pass it again soon, depending on what disqualified you. Talk to your doctor about what you need to change to pass the exam. 

You can always give us a call or schedule an appointment at our Fairbanks, Wasilla, and Anchorage locations to make it easy and convenient for drivers to obtain the necessary certifications for their CDL. Contact us today to schedule your DOT physical, and best of luck on your first certification! We are here for you.