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At Nao medical we understand how important it is to get your DOT certification, so we created this step by step guide that will help you to understand how to best prepare for your DOT medical exam, what you’ll need to bring and more.

Know more about DOT medical exam

What is a DOT medical exam?

A Department of Transportation (DOT) physical is a physical exam required for someone driving a commercial vehicle.

A DOT physical follows strict guidelines mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the New York State Department of Transport (DOT), ensuring that commercial drivers and other safety-sensitive employees are in good health to work safely.

Who needs a DOT physical exam?

If you operate a vehicle on public roadways with intent for interstate commerce or own a business that employs drivers who drive medium and heavy-duty trucks and vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) over 10,000 pounds, then DOT requirements apply, and a valid DOT physical exam is required of all such commercial drivers.

When can I book my DOT physical exam?

Nao Medical urgent care is open seven days a week, both early in the morning and late at night, including on public holidays. As a New York walk-in clinic, you can either walk-in or make an appointment whenever it’s convenient.

What will be done during my DOT medical exam?

During your physical exam, a DOT-certified medical provider will take a wide range of tests to help prove your health status and readiness as a commercial driver. The following tests will be done during your session:

  • Checking your weight and general appearance
  • Urine test for drug/alcohol issues
  • Breathing and swallowing tests
  • Checking organs and abdomen for unusual masses, hernias, weakness
  • Checking your circulatory system for a weak pulse, blood flow, and varicose veins
  • Make a note of loss, damage, or weakness in limbs
  • Physiological test for balance, reflexes, and speech

During their test, they may be asked or required to obtain the necessary vaccinations. This may involve the following:

  • Hepatitis A is a virus that causes liver disease (Hep A)
  • Hepatitis B is a virus that causes liver disease as well (Hep B)
  • Influenza
  • Polio
  • Tetanus
  • Typhoid
  • Covid-19

How difficult is it to pass a DOT physical examination?

A DOT physical aims to see if drivers are fit to drive a commercial vehicle. Many circumstances and health issues might disqualify you, but some can be handled and managed. Drivers can be disqualified if they have the following:

  • Vision problems that can’t be fixed
  • Muteness
  • Narcolepsy
  • Epilepsy caused by poorly controlled diabetes mellitus
  • heart or lung disease that isn’t well-managed

Does insurance cover the DOT physical exam?

Insurance doesn’t cover DOT physicals because insurance doesn’t cover administrative or employment-related health visits. Your employer may pay for a DOT Physical.

Please note that if your doctor bills your DOT physical as a routine physical, they also violate the law as health care fraud is a federal offense.

Call your insurance before you let anyone bill an insurance company for a DOT Physical.

Who do I see to get a DOT physical exam?

A DOT physical is done by a certified medical examiner listed on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) National Registry for Certified Medical Examiners.

The medical examiner does not only have to be a doctor. Apart from Doctors of Medicine (MD), and Doctor of Osteopathy (DO) they can also be Physician Assistants (PA), Advanced Practice Nurses (APN), and Doctors of Chiropractic (DC), also known as medical providers.

Nao Medial has DOT-certified medical providers on staff who are listed on the FMCSA as well.

How long is the DOT medical exam good for?

A certified DOT medical certificate has a maximum validity of two years for healthy drivers. However, drivers with minor medical issues will be given a DOT medical certificate of 1 year, six months, three months, or less, depending on the medical condition, its severity, and the federal guidelines for the medical condition.

Once your DOT medical certificate expires, you’ll need to renew it once again if you want to continue being a driver.

What are the results of a DOT Physical, and how are they reported?

The DOT Physical is usually a pass or a fail test. Your certified DOT medical provider must report all results to the DOT Registry.

How can I get prepared to pass the DOT Physical?

Most healthy drivers pass their DOT physicals, especially if they have no medical conditions and aren’t taking any medication or using recreational drugs. However, if a medical condition is discovered during your DOT Physical, it needs to be addressed if it is in the federal guidelines.

So, if you have a medical condition, preparing yourself with the necessary documentation for the Medical Examiner to review at the time of your DOT Physical visit will assist your DOT Physical completion.

What additional tests or documents are needed for a DOT Physical for drivers with medical problems?

If you have medical issues, additional tests and paperwork will be needed for the medical examiner to understand that your condition is stable and well controlled so that they can certify you at that visit.

The document varies based on your medical condition. Please bring one or more of the following documents to help with your DOT exam:

  • If you use a hearing aid, wear it to the DOT Physical. Also, bring a recent audiologist report for the hearing aid.
  • Bring the prescription bottles or the list of medicines with you if you take medicines.
  • Bring the doctors’ names and addresses if you see doctors or specialists. Also, bring a summary of your medical care and the results of any tests at their offices.
  • If you have diabetes, bring your recent Hemoglobin A1C (HgbAIC) result and your blood sugar records.
  • If you have heart-related issues, bring a recent stress test and echo result along with a summary letter from your cardiologist
  • If you have sleep apnea, bring your CPAP machine logs and a summary letter from your sleep specialist.

How to Prepare for your DOT medical exam?

Driver's License

Your Driver’s License

contact lenses

Your glasses or contact lenses for your vision test

Audiometry report

Your hearing aid if you wear one, along with your Audiometry report.

medical conditions and medications

A list of your medical conditions and medications.

phone numbers

A list of the names and phone numbers of the specialists you see.


A letter from the doctor treating you if you’re taking medication for pain, psychiatric conditions, attention deficit disorders, or smoking cessation


Your sleep study results and sleep log report, if you have OSA.


Your most recent Hemoglobin A1c results, if you have Diabetes.

What should I do on the day of my DOT physical exam?

energy drinks

Avoid drinking coffee or energy drinks.


Take all your medications as prescribed.

Drink plenty

Drink plenty of water.

collecting samples

Please let our staff know before you use the bathroom so they can provide you with a cup for collecting urine samples.

Make sure you have cash or a credit card on hand. Checks are not accepted.

What to expect for your DOT medical exam?

Once you arrive at your appointment, your medical provider will collect your health history and driver information and review them for your DOT application. The provider will then conduct your physical, which will include:

  • Urine test: You must pass a drug test to ensure you’re sober and responsible when driving.
  • Hearing test: To pass your DOT physical exam, you should be able to hear a forced whisper at 5 feet or more with a hearing aid. If not, you must pass a formal hearing test with an audiometer.
  • Vision test: The NYS Department of Transportation requires you to have at least 20/40 acuity in each eye with or without correction. Please be sure to bring your eyeglasses or contacts if you need them.
  • Blood pressure test: Your blood pressure needs to be less than or equal to 140/90 to be eligible for the 24-month certification. Those with blood pressure readings greater than 140/90 but less than 180/110 may be eligible for a certificate with a shorter expiration date.

How often do you need to have a New York Dot physical exam?

Once you finish your DOT medical exam and are eligible for a DOT certificate, you’ll need to maintain a relatively healthy lifestyle as you’ll have to repeat the test in the next 24 months.

Please Note:

The DOT CDL physical exam is a pass or fail test with no refunds.

Nao Medical will not charge you for a subsequent visit if you need to bring documents or correct your blood pressure. Nao Medical does not perform drug tests unless requested.

Get your DOT medical exam faster with

Getting your medical certificate for CDL doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process. With Nao Medical’s DOT/CDL medical exam, you can get your Department of Transportation medical certificate for Commercial Driver’s License fast, easy, and in a relaxed atmosphere.

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