DOT Physical Requirements

What you need to know before your exam


Concentra® and our certified medical examiners (CMEs) take the responsibility of certifying drivers seriously, and we understand that Department of Transportation (DOT) physicals can be stressful. We are committed to maintaining the rights and safety of our staff and the patients we serve. We follow a zero-tolerance policy against aggressive behavior, which includes but is not limited to verbal threats, physical assaults, or damage to property. Violators of our code of conduct will be asked to leave the facility and may be prohibited from returning in the future. In the case of aggressive behavior, we will notify your employer and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Security Officer providing your name, state, license number, date you were disqualified, and details regarding threatening statements or actions made. 


    A DOT physical is a health examination mandated by the FMCSA for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. A DOT physical helps determine if a driver is physically, mentally, and emotionally fit to operate a CMV.

    If you are a commercial driver, you are a “safety-sensitive” employee. And for your safety and the public’s safety, FMCSA requires you to complete and pass a DOT physical to maintain a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL).


      The Department of Transportation sets the DOT physical requirements that a CMV driver must meet to pass their DOT exam – Concentra is legally required to follow these criteria when performing the physical.

      The FMCSA only allows certified medical examiners to perform DOT physicals. Every Concentra medical center has at least one CME on staff – our CMEs undergo extensive training and are certified by the FMCSA to perform DOT physicals.


        During a DOT physical, a CME will check your vital signs, review your medical history, and perform a required hands-on physical examination that includes (but is not limited to):

        • General appearance
        • Eyes
        • Ears
        • Mouth and throat
        • Heart
        • Lungs and chest
        • Extremities
        • Nervous system
        • Hernias
        • Back and spine 

        The CME will issue you a medical examiner’s certificate (MEC) – also called a DOT medical card – when you meet the DOT physical requirements. Without a valid DOT medical card, you can lose your CDL.

        As of 2023, CMV drivers with insulin treated diabetes mellitus (type 1 or type 2) and/or monocular vision must meet updated standards to be certified. Forms for these exemptions must be completed at least 45 days before the DOT exam is performed.

        Sleep Apnea Testing

        Drivers with undiagnosed or untreated sleep apnea endanger their own lives and the lives of others on the road. The FMCSA does not explicitly require sleep apnea testing for driver certification. However, CMEs are required to test for respiratory dysfunction that may interfere with safe vehicle operation, including sleep apnea. Physicians who are not certified CMEs may not be aware of these criteria and may not be qualified to make recommendations that supersede those given by a CME. If a sleep apnea study is ordered, remember that your safety is the driving factor behind that order.


        You are required to complete and pass a DOT physical if you:

        • Operate a motor vehicle for interstate commerce with a gross combination weight rating, gross vehicle weight rating, or gross combination weight of over 10,000 pounds
        • Operate a motor vehicle designed to carry more than 15 people
        • Are paid to operate a motor vehicle designed to carry more than eight people 
        • Transport hazardous materials that required your vehicle to be placarded

          Getting your DOT Physical Has Never Been Easier

          You must pass all DOT physical requirements to be cleared for your DOT health card. Here’s how the process works:


          Concentra has made it easy to find a CME who can perform DOT physicals near you. Every Concentra medical center has at least one CME on staff, and with more than 540 medical centers nationwide, we’re confident you will find a Concentra medical center nearby.