Anyone who desires to pursue and maintain a safety-sensitive position—a job that can impact their own safety and that of the public—is required by law to undergo a DOT physical exam. This ensures that the person has the full physical and mental ability to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) and endure the demands of their job.
If you’re scheduled for a DOT physical exam and wondering if there’s anything that could possibly cause you to fail it, read on to learn about some of the disqualifying medical conditions outlined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
The DOT disqualifies people with ongoing seizures or who are taking anti-seizure medications. You will only be eligible for a commercial driver’s license CDL if you have been off medications for ten years or more.
Certain Heart Conditions
If you have a heart condition, such as coronary insufficiency, myocardial infarction, or heart failure, you may be disqualified for a period of time until you receive a go-ahead from your cardiologist.
If you have neurocardiogenic syncope (fainting spells) and are wearing a pacemaker as a treatment for your condition, you may have to wait three months following the implantation of the device to be able to eligible for a CDL.
Failing a vision test with a distant acuity of at least 20/40 for both eyes, with or without corrective lenses, can render you ineligible for a DOT certification.
Having tuberculosis, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma, or chronic bronchitis can render you unqualified to operate a CMV. Your medical examiner will refer you to a specialist for further evaluation and treatment.
Other Disqualifying Conditions
Here are the other reasons you might fail a DOT physical exam:
- Hearing deficits (those with hearing deficits must use a hearing assist device)
- Narcolepsy (a sleep disorder characterized by overwhelming daytime sleepiness)
- Uncontrolled hypertension (routinely above 140/90)
- Advanced liver or kidney disease
- Blood clots in the legs or lungs
- Abdominal hernias
- Mental disorders
- Drug and alcohol use- These tests are not a standard component of a DOT physical, but your employer can request them in addition to the other requirements. If you fail these tests, you can be suspended or completely removed from your position.
What to Do if You Fail Your DOT Physical Exam
If you fail your DOT physical due to any of these conditions, you can consider applying for an exemption. Expect to get a decision within 180 days after you submit your application.
It’s worth noting that exemptions are only applicable to interstate drivers, as the FMCSA does not have any jurisdiction over intrastate drivers.
DOT Physicals in North Richland Hills, TX
At EMC Express Care, we offer the full range of physical exams—DOT, school, sports, and travel physicals— as part of our commitment to providing comprehensive healthcare services to the residents of North Richland Hills, Texas and the surrounding areas.