Who can I go to, to get my DOT medical card in Bozeman Montana?

Interstate drivers: CMV drivers who drive interstate, must get Federal medical certificates from a medical examiner who is FMCSA National Registry Certified for a valid DOT or CDL medical card.  (Find a registered CME)

Intrastate drivers: Each individual State makes the determination as to whether or not intrastate drivers must be examined by a certified ME listed on the National Registry. To avoid hassles it’s our recommendation that you find a registered CME for a valid DOT or CDL medical card.

Can I go to my own doctor to get my DOT physical or do I have to use my company doctor?

This will depend on the company policy. Your company may require you to use their company doctor for your DOT physical exam. If this is not a requirement, you may go to any medical examiner who is certified on the FMCSA National Registry to receive a valid DOT or CDL medical card.

What’s the difference between a DOT Doctor and a Medical Examiner?

There is no difference, these terms are used interchangeably. The terms Medical Examiner, Certified Medical Examiner, and CME are now being used since the federal regulation came into force on May 21, 2014. Drivers will not be able to go to just any healthcare provider for your DOT physical. You must go to a Certified Medical Examiner on the FMCSA National Registry.

How long does it take to get my DOT/CDL medical card in your Bozeman office?

It should take 30-45 minutes to go through the physical examination. Provided there are no medical concerns the medical examiner will be able to certify you and issue your medical certificate.

If the medical examiner has concerns about a potential, current or past medical condition you may be required to see a specialist for additional medical tests or get documentation from your treating physician. In this case the medical examiner will not be able to complete the DOT physical exam until these requirements have been fully met.

Be Prepared! Find out what you should know before you get to your DOT physical appointment. You'll most likely walk away with your DOT / CDL Medical Card.

What’s involved in a DOT physical?

The DOT physical exam is considered a “Medical Fitness for Duty” exam for the demands of the job required of any commercial driver, not just the driver’s current job duties. The medical examiner’s role is to determine if a CMV driver’s health meets FMCSA standards.

The examining doctor has these two questions foremost in mind when conducting the physical exam and determining the validity of your DOT / CDL Medical Card in Bozeman Montana:

Can the driver safely meet the physical and mental demands of the job today, and for the period for which the medical card will be issued?

Does the driver have any past or current medical conditions, which may impact the ability to meet the demands of the job now or in the future?

The DOT physical is an extensive medical examination to determine if you are qualified to safely operate a commercial vehicle. The best way to understand the DOT Physical Examination is to relate the medical requirements to the demands of your job as a commercial driver. The full extent of these are explained in Trucker Docs™ special guidebook to getting your medical certificate.

What would cause me to fail a DOT physical?

Any condition that would cause a loss of ability to control, operate, or drive a commercial vehicle safely – loss or impairment of limbs, poor visual or auditory acuity, insulin-controlled diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, respiratory disfunction, epilepsy, mental disorder, use of certain drugs, alcoholism.

The DOT physical is an extensive examination. The full extent is explained in Trucker Docs’ special guidebook. Any disease, disorder, injury, or medication could cause you to fail if they present a risk to public safety.

When I do my DOT physical do I have to get completely naked?

No. There is no reason to get naked. Loose clothing will suffice for the examining physician to be able to complete all aspects of the DOT physical exam.

Who pays for the DOT Physical Examination? Me, my employer, my insurance?

There is no set answer here. Sometimes the driver pays. Some companies will pay for it, some will not. So check with your company because some require that you use their company doctor. Some insurance companies treat this exam as preventative health care and will not reimburse for it. Sometimes the driver will pay, and may submit the receipt to their insurance for reimbursement, if the insurance will pay.

If I don’t have medical insurance can I still get a DOT physical?

Yes. You do not need medical insurance to get a DOT Physical.

How much does a DOT physical exam cost without insurance?

Currently we’ve seen DOT physicals charged anywhere between $50 and $300. The new FMCSA Medical Examination Forms (2016) and reporting system have increased administrative work and time for medical examiners, and costs for the DOT physical exam are rising accordingly.

Why do I have to have a urine test for a DOT physical?

The urine test is just a kidney screen to test for sugar and protein. It’s done to determine that there is no early onset of conditions like high blood pressure breaking down the kidneys, or early signs of diabetes, or kidney infection.

Can I get a copy of my DOT physical form?

Yes. As well as receiving your medical certificate you should also get a copy of the long form (Medical Examination Report). The medical examiner is required to keep a copy of these documents for three years. If you need a copy you should contact the medical examiner. Contact information is on your medical card.

How long is the DOT medical card good for?

A DOT medical card is valid for two years if you have no restrictions. A history of high blood pressure, taking high blood pressure medications, a sleep disorder, and taking oral medications for diabetes can restrict the medical card to one year or less, depending on how frequently the condition needs monitoring.

How many 3-month DOT medical cards can you have?

One only. You should have the condition, which caused the restriction, under control by the end of the 3-month window.

With the typical 3-month medical card, you needed to do something to bring some physical condition under control. If you did that, and you go back to see your last DOT examiner, he can issue you a new medical card for typically one year. If you didn’t fix the issue, he can choose not to extend the card. So get the condition taken care of and don’t have to worry about short term medical cards.

Is there a difference between a DOT physical card and a DOT medical certificate?

No. These terms are used interchangeably. They are most often referred to as a DOT medical certificate when referring to the medical card, and DOT physical when referring to the DOT physical exam.

I lost my medical card. How do I go about getting another one? Do I have to do the DOT physical again?

No you do not have to do the physical exam again.  The medical examiner is required to keep a copy of the exam documents for three years. If you need a replacement medical card you should contact the medical examiner.

How do overweight truck drivers pass the DOT physical?

Being overweight is not a restriction to passing the DOT physical exam. It is the medical conditions that being overweight eventually leads to, such as high blood pressure, heart disease and kidney disease, that may affect your ability to safely drive a commercial vehicle. That is what the DOT Physical exam will determine – whether you have any of these restrictive medical conditions. Getting healthy and staying healthy is your best guarantee for your life and your livelihood.

Does the DOT physical require a driver to be completely healthy… does that include sexually transmitted diseases?

No. An STD will not affect a DOT examination.

What if I’m disqualified – may I request another DOT physical?

This really depends on why you were disqualified.

Doc shopping used to be what folks did, but that is changing with DOT and FMCSA.  If all medical examiners are following the guidelines and regulations, then it would not matter where you go, you would still be disqualified if the same situation exists.

If the disqualification seems unreasonable, and you feel you are truly fit enough to safely drive a CMV, then discuss the concerning condition with the medical examiner, and ask for options that may help you to be reconsidered for certification.

Second opinion: A driver always has the option of getting a second opinion. If the qualification restrictions or disqualification seems unreasonable, and you feel you are truly fit enough to safely drive a CMV, you should find a different clinic to get a second opinion. The new examination decision supersedes the previous examination.

What if I don’t disclose a medical condition when I go through the DOT physical exam?

When you complete the health history section on the long form you must certify that your responses are complete and true. Making a false statement for concealing a disqualifying condition may invalidate the examination and any medical certificate issued, based on it.

What about “shopping” for a DOT doctor who will be “lenient” on the qualifiers for DOT medical certification?

Some drivers used to do “shopping around”. Starting 2016, the FMCSA reporting system with the National Registry will have the capability to flag multiple exams, identify missing or false information reported by the driver in the Driver Health History section of the MER Form, MCSA-5875, and make a determination to void the driver’s MEC, Form MCSA-5876, if appropriate.

It isn’t an issue of lenience. It’s an issue of whether you, as a driver, are safe and medically fit to operate a commercial motor vehicle.  It’s about safety for you and the public at large. Do what you need to do to be medically fit to pass the DOT examination and don’t worry about finding a lenient DOT doctor.

Second opinion: A driver always has the option of getting a second opinion. If the qualification restrictions or disqualification seems unreasonable, and you feel you are truly fit enough to safely drive a CMV, you should find a different clinic to get a second opinion. The new examination decision supersedes the previous examination.

Certified medical examiners are now required to understand the role of a commercial driver. The doctor who understands the lifestyle and job challenges of a driver, should really want to help you alleviate conditions that could potentially threaten not only your livelihood, but also your life, and possibly the lives of others if a catastrophic event could occur. So if you need a second opinion, look for a medical examiner who considers the big picture of fit for duty rather than one who does a checklist exam.