Skip to content

DOT Physicals –
What You Need to Know

Our NowCare Urgent Care Centers offer a variety of services including, but not limited to occupational medicine, drug screening, and DOT physicals in Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Virginia Beach.

A DOT physical exam is necessary for any individual planning to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). This examination ensures all commercial drivers meet daily health requirements and can safely operate a commercial vehicle. Exam guidelines are overseen by The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). DOT exams are provided only by individuals who have been trained and certified by the FMCSA and are usually valid for 24 months.

You need a DOT physical exam if you operate any of the following:

● A motor vehicle for interstate commerce with a gross combination weight of over 10,000 pounds
● A motor vehicle designed to carry more than 15 people
● You are paid to operate a motor vehicle designed to carry more than eight people
● You transport hazardous materials that required your vehicle to be placarded

DOT exams are required for safety. In a DOT Physical, the driver’s vision, blood pressure, and a complete review of their medical history is evaluated. During a DOT physical, the driver’s vision, hearing, blood pressure, and a complete review of their medical history is evaluated. This helps ensure that the driver can safely operate a commercial vehicle and does not have certain health conditions which could potentially impact their ability drive safely. The DOT physical exam is made up of different parts:

Vision Test

In a DOT physical, you will be tested for at least 20/40 vision for both eyes. If you wear prescription glasses, bring them with you. You will also be tested on distinguishing various colors with and without your prescription lenses.

Hearing Test

With or without hearing aids, you must be able to hear a forced whisper from less than five feet away.


A urinalysis will be completed to help determine if you have any medical conditions or irregularities that require immediate attention.

Blood Pressure/Pulse Rate

Your blood pressure and pulse rate will be taken to help check for abnormalities and gauge whether you are healthy enough to sit for long periods of time.

Physical Examination

Your physical exam will require testing for:

● General Appearance
● Mouth & Throat
● Lungs & Chest
● Abdomen & Organs
● Vascular System
● Limbs
● Skeletal
● Neurological

The DOT exam is a general overview of your health, so you’ll want to bring anything that you use daily, like glasses, contact lenses, or hearing aids. Be prepared to supply documents listing medications administered by doctors in the past month. If you experience a medical disability, you’ll need to supply a medical release form showing physician approval to work with this condition.

CMV drivers with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (type 1 or type 2) and/or monocular vision must meet specific standards in order to be certified. Diabetic drivers should bring their most recent HgA1C results, as well as blood sugar recording logs.

Visit one of our six convenient NowCare Urgent Care Centers for Occupational Health Services
located in Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, and Suffolk.

For more information, please contact our Occupational Health Program Manager, Gary Matthews.
Office (757) 424-4300
Cell (757) 944-1653