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How to Get a DOT Physical in New York?


How do I get a DOT physical in New York?

In the United States, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires commercial drivers to have a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical examination.Because the job of a commercial driver often involves potential danger to both self and the public, special attention must be paid to paying attention to their health.

One of the basic requirements for obtaining a commercial CDL license is to have a medical certificate. We talked more about getting a CDL in this article https://startcdl.com/blog/how-to-get-a-cdl-in-nj. Although it talks about getting a license in New Jersey, the basic rules and requirements are similar to those in New York.

It begs the question who needs a dot medical card in NY? All commercial drivers are required to get a physical exam from the Department of Transportation (DOT). If they don't pass it on time, they risk facing serious consequences. Specifically, their license may be suspended and they may not be able to work. However, the process of passing a DOT physical can be very confusing. Let's take a look at the steps you need to go through to pass the physical exam and get your driver's license

Type Of Commerce for Your DOT Physical

First of all, you need to decide on the type of license you want to get. There are two main types that give you the right to work:

First of all, you can engage in interstate transportation. This means that you will need to transport your shipment across other state lines. In some situations, you may also need to cross state lines to ship to another country, such as Canada or Mexico.

Another type of license is a permit to transport freight within state lines. Although your cargo may travel internationally, your vehicle must always remain within the state's borders. It is important to note that if you travel interstate from time to time, you will need to provide the appropriate document. It is important to note that if you occasionally travel interstate, you will need to provide the appropriate document.

There are a number of circumstances in which you need to designate yourself as an unrestricted driver. For example, if you are a state, federal, or local employee. Also, if you drive fire apparatus or other emergency vehicles, or drive a school bus, you should also designate yourself as an unrestricted driver. It's important to emphasize that this classification applies to individuals who use a vehicle outside of the scope of their official duties.

If you drive a vehicle and fall into both the restricted and unrestricted categories, you need to present yourself as an unrestricted driver

Who needs a NYC DOT physical exam / medical examiner's certificate?

A DOT medical exam is required for drivers (truck drivers, commercial drivers, etc.) who have a commercial driver's license (CDL). The medical exam is required if you drive a vehicle that:
  • has a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds;
  • used for the transportation of more than 8 passengers, including the driver;
  • used for the transportation of more than 15 passengers, including the driver;
  • or transports hazardous materials that require a label

How to obtain a NY DOT Medical Examiners Certificate

Find a doctor who is a certified medical examiner to examine drivers as required by the NY DOT. Make sure the doctor is listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners https://nationalregistry.fmcsa.dot.gov/home.

Contact the CME of your choice and schedule a visit for a DOT medical exam.Prepare necessary documents such as identification, medical records, and any additional documents that may be required.

Prepare the necessary documents.

After you have been examined, your doctor will give you the results with a medical clearance form. You will receive a copy of the CMV clearance form.

If you do not pass the exam, you may seek a second opinion from another examiner. However, you must report your results from the first exam to the second examiner. If you fail the second time, you will not be able to reapply

Who is exempt from getting a dot medical card

Certain drivers may be exempt from obtaining a dot medical card NY depending on the nature of their activity or medical condition. Here are examples of categories of drivers who may be exempt:
  • Non-commercial drivers: If you don't drive a commercial vehicle, you probably won't need a DOT medical card
  • Drivers with a low Commercial Driver's License (CDL) class, such as Class C, may be exempt from the medical card requirement
  • Short-distance drivers who do not cross state lines may qualify for certain exemptions
  • Drivers operating restricted vehicles, such as farmers or workers in logging operations, may also be exempt
  • Drivers using a commercial vehicle for personal use
  • Drivers engaged in agricultural operations

Beyond the question of who is exempt from a dot medical card, It is important to remember, however, that requirements and exemptions are subject to change, and each case may be different. Drivers should consult with local authorities and check for the latest legislative updates to be sure of their DOT medical card exemption status

How To Prepare for the NY DOT Physical?

Below we will give you some suggestions on how you can prepare for the NY DOT test. While the test can be quite routine, there are some things you can do to prepare for it. This will give you the best chance of passing the CDL physical exam. The most important thing to remember is to bring all of your medical records with you. These may contain information about your medical condition and how you are treating it. This will allow the doctor to get more information about your medical condition.

As we said, you don't need to be in great physical shape to take the test. However, there are a few things you can do before the test. First, you should try to eat healthy foods. You should also try to stay physically fit.

Research shows that exercising just 30 minutes a day is enough to keep you relatively fit. If you can meet these requirements, you have a good chance of passing the test.

It is always wise to refrain from eating processed foods, alcohol, smoking, etc. You should not smoke, drink coffee or any beverages 30 minutes before the examination. You should wear loose clothing and bring visual or hearing aids if you have them. Avoid going to the restroom immediately before your appointment

  • Take care to get a good night's sleep before your physical exam - this will help you feel alert and focused during the process
  • Drink enough water to stay hydrated, as you may need to take a urine sample during the exam
  • Avoid consuming stimulants such as caffeine or nicotine before the exam as they can affect your blood pressure and heart rate
  • Familiarize yourself with your medical history and be prepared to discuss any pre-existing medical conditions and medications you are taking
  • Wear comfortable clothing and shoes to the physical exam, as you may be required to perform certain movements or exercises
  • If you wear corrective lenses, make sure they are in good condition. If you have hearing aids, make sure they are in good working order
  • Monitor your blood pressure levels. If you have hypertension, work with your doctor to control it within acceptable limits
  • Some physical exams may include tasks such as bending, lifting, or twisting. Stay physically active to maintain flexibility and strength
  • If you are taking medication, continue to follow the prescribed regimen. Inform an expert about any medications you are currently taking
  • Schedule a physical examination with a certified medical examiner listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners

At the examination, be honest about your medical history and answer all of the medical examiner's questions accurately. Do not embellish or hide your real situation. This can serve you poorly and create potential problems

What to bring with you to a DOT physical exam?

When you make an appointment for a DOT medical exam, you need to bring it with you:
  • A complete list of your doctors and their contact information
  • A complete list of all medications you take, including dosage and the name of the prescribing physician
  • A doctor's note if you are taking any medications that may cause drowsiness
  • A letter from your doctor if you are taking a blood-thinning drug called Coumadin
  • Eyeglasses, contact lenses and/or hearing aids if you use them
  • If you have diabetes, recent hemoglobin A1C (HgAIC) test results and blood sugar logs
  • If you have a sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea, your machine readings for at least 90 days
  • If you have a history of heart disease or other heart health problems, a letter from a cardiologist and/or results of any recent exercise testing

You will also need to fill out three forms:

New York CDL Medical Certification Requirements

Let's take a look at the dot medical card requirements. A DOT (Department of Transportation) medical card is an official document that is issued to drivers of commercial vehicles after successfully passing a DOT medical examination. This document certifies that the driver meets the medical standards set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The doctors performing the physical exam will ask you to complete the following steps:
  • Vision test
  • To pass this test, you must have visual acuity of 20/40 with or without glasses. In addition, your peripheral vision must be 70 degrees

  • Hearing test
  • With or without a hearing aid, you should be able to hear muffled whispers at a distance of less than five feet

  • Check blood pressure and pulse rate
  • Doctors will check your blood pressure and pulse rate to look for heart palpitations or hypertension. Any values below 140 systolic and 90 diastolic are acceptable. Exceeding these two values will be considered high blood pressure.

    In the first stage, you will be required to have a checkup every year. In the second stage, you will be allowed to drive, but you will have to bring your blood pressure down to normal within three months. In the final stage, you must stop driving until your blood pressure is under control. If your blood pressure reaches 180/110, you will not pass the test. But you can retake the test if your blood pressure is within 140/90

  • Urinalysis
  • A urine test is necessary, to check sugar levels and detect diseases such as diabetes. Also, if illegal substances, such as drugs, are found in your urine, you will not be screened

  • Sleep apnea test
  • It is done to determine your ability to drive for long periods of time. If you want to sleep during the day, experience headaches, gasp for air in your sleep, experience dry mouth on waking, or just snore loudly, you should get a sleep apnea evaluation

  • Physical examinations
  • Sometimes conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration of the eyes, and problems with the eardrums (their perforation and scarring) in the ears occur. Therefore, it will be necessary to have your eyes and ears checked

    An eye and ear examination will be necessary

    The organs of the throat, mouth and respiratory system will also be scrutinized for problems. Internal organs will be scrutinized for an enlarged liver, irregular heart rhythm, digestive problems, muscle weakness, and other aspects of health. If there are neurological problems related to reflexes and movements, they may also affect the overall health analysis

Disqualifying conditions for a DOT physical examination

If a person has any of the following problems, DOT medical examiners will disqualify them:
  • Loss of arms or legs or any type of amputation
  • Finger or hand tremor or a disease that interferes with proper grip
  • Limb defects or lack thereof
  • Cardiovascular disease that can cause cardiac arrest while driving
  • Respiratory disease, epilepsy, or any other condition that may cause loss of consciousness
  • High blood pressure
  • Musculoskeletal disorders
  • Red-green or any other color blindness that makes it difficult to read signals and traffic signs
  • Records of suicidal or homicidal acts and attempts, psychosis, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, depressive disorder, etc., mental health problems
  • Use of cocaine, marijuana, amphetamine, opiates, etc.

If you do not have the above problems, the medical certificate will be valid for two years. In some cases, the validity of the certificate can be reduced to one year for people with severe medical conditions. It is important to renew your certificate every two years, as otherwise you may lose your license to drive

The cost of a DOT physical exam in New York

Regardless of whether or not you have insurance, doctors who perform a DOT physical in New York charge $95. The $85 is the fee for the exam and the rest is a federal fee. The cost will increase if additional tests are required

*when contacting private centers, the price may also vary


In this article, we've broken down what the DOT test in New York is all about. For some drivers, this test can be very anxiety-inducing. If you fail it, you may no longer be able to do your job. However, this test is often not as difficult as you think. In most cases, the doctor will check a few common things. First, your eyesight and hearing will need to be checked. A urine sample will also be taken to check for alcohol or drugs. Next, the doctor will check your heartbeat and blood pressure.

These tests are fairly routine. The main purpose of the DOT test is to make sure you are physically capable of driving safely. So there's no need to panic if you're not in the best physical shape. If you have any additional questions, you can always contact our managers, who are always available to advise you on any issues

Written by Max Smith

An experienced driver with a wealth of knowledge in the field of truck driving. With years of expertise behind the wheel and a deep understanding of the intricacies of trucking, Max is uniquely qualified to provide valuable insights and guidance on the topic of truck driver training. As an avid advocate for safe and efficient trucking practices, Max is dedicated to sharing valuable information and helping aspiring truck drivers excel in their careers.


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