DOT Physicals: COVID-19 Waiver Expires on August 31

August 10, 2021

Commercial vehicle drivers have a demanding job. Managing intense schedules, physical demands, and emotional stress, coupled with long periods behind the wheel, make it important that drivers undergo a special exam required by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to ensure they stay healthy.

DOT physicals are required to ensure drivers are medically qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle. Commercial drivers are held to higher physical, mental, and emotional standards to ensure they and the drivers they share the roads with stay safe.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) waived the requirement of a DOT physical for Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) holders to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. This waiver has been extended several times since March of 2020, but CDL holders should be aware that the rules are soon changing.

The current waiver went into effect on June 1, 2021 and will expire on August 31. The waiver can be revoked if the COVID 19 Declaration of National Emergency ends or if the FMCSA terminates the waiver early.

If you are required to obtain a DOT physical or medical card, pay close attention to your medical card expiration date and the waiver date. “It is important to remember to get your DOT physical at least every two years,” says Texas MedClinic Chief Operating Officer and practicing physician Dr. David Gude. “If you don’t complete your CDL medical card renewal on time, you will lose your CDL privileges.”

About the Exam

DOT physicals must be performed by a licensed medical examiner who is listed on the FMCSA National Registry.

During a DOT physical, the doctor will:

  • Review the patient’s physical and mental health
  • Record the patient’s blood pressure and pulse
  • Perform a vision test
  • Perform a hearing test
  • Collect a urine sample for urinalysis
  • Perform a detailed exam of eyes, ears, nose, throat, heart, lungs, and abdomen
  • Fill out required federal forms

What to Bring with You to Your DOT Exam

  • Copy of Medical RecordsBring a copy of your medical records with you or ask your primary care physician to send a copy of your records to the office of the DOT physician prior to your appointment.
  • List of Any Health Conditions – Make the doctor aware of any pre-existing health conditions you have. Such conditions may include diabetes, high blood pressure, hearing or vision problems, or sleep apnea.
  • List of Current Medications – Give the doctor a complete list of any medications you are taking. Include the medication name, dosage, and the name of the prescribing doctor on the list.
  • Any Forms Required by the Trucking Company

Schedule Your DOT Physical with Texas MedClinic

Texas MedClinic physicians and providers are listed on the FMCSA National Registry and have been performing DOT physicals for over 30 years. Our physicians perform DOT physicals Monday – Friday from 8am to 5pm at all locations. If you need an appointment after 5pm or on the weekend, call the clinic near you to ensure a certified medical examiner is on duty.

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