What Does DOT Physical Urine Test For? The Department of Transportation “DOT” requires all motorists operating commercial vehicles 10,000 pounds and over to pass a physical and drug screen.
The main purpose of a DOT physical is to ensure all drivers of commercial vehicles, weighing 10,000 pounds and more are physically and mentally competent.
To obtain a Medical Examiner’s Certificate “ME Certificate”, drivers must prove their ability to properly operate a commercial vehicle.
Your State Driver Licensing Agency “SDLA” will validate your commercial vehicle driving skills.
You are required to make an appointment with your SDLA to complete the self-certification process, which is divided into four categories.
You must select one of the four self-certification categories – interstate excepted, intrastate excepted, interstate non-excepted, and intrastate non-excepted – in advance.
How Long Is A DOT ME Certification Valid For?
It depends on the motorist’s physical and mental condition. If the DOT physician is concerned about a medical condition like hypertension (high blood sugar), a 24-month ME Certificate may not be suitable.
The physician may decide to shorten the expiration date could be shortened by several months.
If you do not have any physical or mental issues, you can expect to be given a 24-month ME Certificate. Before the 24-month deadline, you must get recertified, which will require another DOT physical exam and drug screen.
Recommended: DOT Medical Drug Test Policy.
The Physical Examination
When preparing for the DOT physical, it is wise to know what to expect. The process isn’t difficult although it can be scary. Remember that you’re going to be physically examined by the medical professional.
Again, this is done to ensure that you’re a good candidate for this type of work. If you’re not healthy, a physical examination can pinpoint some of your problems.
Once this happens, DOT may decide that it would be too risky to give you medical clearance.
The physical examination will check for many things, including your general appearance, eyes, ears, and mouth.
They’ll also check your abdomen, spine, extremities, and other things. The medical professional will check for signs of cataracts, limited motion, hernias, and impaired limbs.
If you have any of these issues, you may be deemed too risky. Then, you won’t get to become a truck driver.
Purpose Of The Dot Physical
Have you ever wondered why DOT is going to conduct a physical on you and other drivers? Ultimately, it is incredibly important.
The Department of Transportation is in charge of ensuring America’s roadways are safe. Therefore, it helps determine who can and cannot become a professional driver.
Before you can obtain a commercial driver’s license, you’ll have to pass a DOT physical.
The physical is very helpful because the information obtained can help determine whether you’re healthy. Once they’ve analyzed the information, they’ll know whether you can become a driver.
If you have any serious medical conditions, it might be too risky for you to drive professionally. The Department of Transportation uses the physical to ensure you’re going to be a safe driver.
It does this to protect the public and reduce the risks.
Read Also: Can A Felon Become A Truck Driver?
What Are The Disqualifications Of A CDL?
Any physical or mental impairment can disqualify you from a ME Certification. A major traffic violation like leaving the scene of an accident, using a vehicle to commit a felony, or driving a commercial vehicle without a valid CDL are disqualifications for CDL.
Other disqualifications include the failure to slow down at a railroad track, refusal to undergo a drug or alcohol screen, and texting while driving.
Medical conditions, such as epilepsy (seizure), vision impairment, uncontrolled diabetes, hearing loss, and heart attack can also disqualify you from getting a CDL.
Two Urine Samples
It is pertinent to understand that the DOT physical does not include a drug test. Still, you might have to take a drug test when completing your DOT physical.
It tends to happen when the employer asks for it. If your employer wants you to take a drug test, another sample can be taken during the DOT physical.
As a result, you should give two urine samples instead of one. When this happens, your urine is going to be tested for commonly abused drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and amphetamines. Furthermore, DOT will check your health using your urine sample.
A handful of conditions can be detected using urinalysis, including diabetes, urinary tract infections, and kidney diseases.
If you have any serious health conditions, DOT may believe you’re not healthy enough to be a long-haul trucker.
What Are Disqualifying Conditions?
Unfortunately, you must remember that some people are never going to be long-haul truckers. Some people have medical conditions that prevent them from working in this field.
As a trucker, you have to drive many hours every day. Plus, you’re going to be driving a big truck at high speeds. Suffice to say, a serious medical issue could make you a deadly bullet.
If you have minor medical issues, you might be able to drive anyway. However, some serious medical conditions will immediately disqualify you from becoming a professional driver.
For instance, certain heart conditions are disqualifying. They’re disqualifying unless they’ve been resolved, or you’ve received clearance from a cardiologist.
Problems such as heart attacks, chest pain, heart diseases, and reduced blood flow could be disqualifying.
Other issues that could disqualify you include epilepsy, seizures, and inner ear conditions that cause balance issues or vertigo.
It would be unwise for someone with epilepsy to drive a truck as a career. It would be dangerous.
Therefore, DOT is going to make sure that these individuals do not receive medical clearance. Although it seems like a hassle, the physical ensures that only healthy individuals are allowed to become professional drivers.
Can You Appeal A CDL Disqualification?
Yes, every applicant has the right to appeal a disqualification if they believe it, is a mistake. However, proving the disqualification is a mistake will not be easy.
You have up to 30 days from the date you received your Notice of Disqualification to submit an appeal. When the Bureau of Motor Vehicles “BMV” receives your appeal, a hearing will be scheduled before an attorney hearing examiner.
Waivers Or Exemptions
If you’ve been disqualified due to a medical condition, you should try getting a waiver. Remember that the FMCSA is the only one that can approve you for a waiver or exemption.
To get a waiver, go to the agency’s website to find more information and the application. Submit the paperwork with the necessary information and wait for the agency to decide.
Remember that all truck drivers will need to pass a DOT physical. Once you’ve passed it, you’ll have to pass it again in the future. It is pertinent to remain healthy and avoid abusing drugs and alcohol.
If you do this, you can keep your job and maintain your CDL. Remember that the physical does not include a urine drug test, but you may have to take one to satisfy your employer.
Most workers will be drug tested. Prepare yourself by reading the information provided above.
FAQs; DOT Physical Urine Test
What’s In A DOT Physical?
You must remember that your DOT physical is going to include many steps. A drug test is only conducted if your employer asks for it. It can sometimes be conducted separately.
Regardless, you will have to submit a urine sample because DOT is going to perform a urinalysis to check your health. DOT is also going to check your vision, hearing, blood pressure, pulse rate, and physical health.
What Does DOT Physical Urine Test For?
Although the DOT physical doesn’t include a drug test, you will have to give a urine sample. DOT wants a urine sample to check your health.
The urinalysis is done to determine whether you have any medical conditions. It can help determine whether you’re a diabetic.
Does A DOT Physical Include A Drug Test?
On its own, the DOT physical is not going to include a drug test. Nevertheless, you may be drug tested at this point.
In general, DOT doesn’t make applicants take drug tests. Instead, your potential employer will ask for it.
The drug test from your employer may be conducted simultaneously with the DOT physical. Alternatively, it could be conducted later.