What are DOT physicals?

Federal law requires drivers of commercial motor vehicles (DMVs) to receive regular physical examinations. These exams are defined as the “Department of Transportation Medical Examinations.” DOT physicals are highly regulated for the drivers’ safety. They detect physical, mental, and emotional issues that can affect a driver’s ability to safely drive a commercial vehicle. DOT medical examiners are specially trained to understand the regulations and prevent drivers from being inappropriately disqualified.

When are we required to use the new forms?

The FMCSA grace period for using the old MER forms ended on April 20, 2016. The FMCSA now requires that drivers and medical examiners use only the new forms. All previous versions are not permitted.

These forms include:

Is Concentra using the new forms?

Yes. As of April 20, 2016, Concentra medical examiners will only use the new forms. Doing this keeps us in compliance with the FMCSA. Using the new forms is required of all medical examiners in the United States. No other forms are permitted.

Can I use an old version of the forms?

No. Only the new forms are accepted by the FMCSA and state license agencies. Concentra will have the new forms available for you at the time of your visit.

Can I add my company logo to the new forms, or make other changes?

No. Changing the new forms in any way is not permitted. These changes can include:

  • Adding company logos to the forms
  • Changing any content on the forms
  • Adding content to the forms
  • Removing content from the forms
  • Moving content on the forms

Can I use a previous or modified version of the DOT card?

No. The FMCSA and state license agencies should not accept them. If a driver submits a non-compliant card to the state or local authorities, the driver would be considered medically unqualified.

What’s changed about the forms?

There are a few changes on the revised forms. If you’re a driver, you’ll need to:

  • Sign the new privacy statement
  • Specify if you’re a CDL applicant, CDL holder, CLP applicant, or CLP holder
  • Complete additional health history questions
  • Specify your driving territory (national or state)
  • Provide government-issued photo ID that verifies your identity, such as your commercial driver’s license

Your medical examiner will have to note if you were referred by or if they received documentation from an ophthalmologist or optometrist for vision. They’ll also have to document the type of photo ID you used to verify your identity.

Am I still able to get certification extensions?

No. The new regulations do not allow certification extensions. Because this is an FMCSA regulation, no exceptions can be made. The driver will require an entirely new exam in order to be medically certified.

For this and other reasons, we highly recommend that drivers come to their exam completely prepared. This means at minimum a list of ALL medications, any glasses or hearing aids, photo ID, and any other documentation routinely required by the examiner, such as a stress test or CPAP download.

What if I don’t pass part of the exam, like the vision or hearing tests?

If you don’t pass the vision or hearing tests, you will be disqualified. According to the new FMCSA regulations, a driver who doesn’t pass part of the exam will require an entirely new exam in order to be medically certified. Medical examiners aren’t able to give the driver the “Determination Pending” or “Incomplete” status. No exceptions can be made, by federal law.

One common example: if a driver doesn’t pass the vision or hearing tests, they will be disqualified. Clinicians can NOT use a “pending” or “incomplete” status to allow the driver to come back at a later date with corrective lenses or hearing aids. If a driver already has corrective lenses or a hearing aid and simply forgot to bring them to the exam, he or she will still have to complete an entirely new exam.


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