What does DOT physical urine test for?

Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers often want to know if a drug test is included in the Department of Transportation (DOT) physical exam. In most cases, CMV drivers are required to pass a DOT physical every 2 years. This physical allows drivers to maintain their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) and DOT medical certificate. Completing the DOT physical can be quite stressful as it is required to continue driving. It is important to be prepared and know what to expect when it comes to the raleigh DOT physical. The following article will review some of the most common questions related to the DOT physical.

What is included in a DOT physical examination?

The objective of a DOT physical examination is to evaluate the health and well-being of a commercial motor vehicle driver. A driver who has health issues which may include sleep apnea, diabetes, poor vision, failed hearing or high blood pressure, could be cause serious harm in the event they were effected while driving. The DOT physical aims to keep unsafe CMV drivers off the road, and ensure the roads stay safe.

A DOT physical is used to evaluate the driver’s vision, blood pressure, general health, heart, and any relevant medical history. The goal of the physical is to ensure the driver does not have any health conditions or issues which could negatively impact their ability to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle.

The following are typically included in a DOT physical examination:

  1. Blood pressure and pulse check
  2. Check for hernia or any abdomen abnormalities
  3. Evaluation for any spine deformities
  4. Hearing test, drivers must be able to hear a “forced whisper” from at least 5 feet away with one ear; a hearing aid can be used in the other ear
  5. Heart and lung evaluation for murmurs or impaired respiratory functions
  6. Mouth and throat evaluation to detect any issues with breathing or swallowing
  7. Neurological exam, ensure the driver has good coordination and reflexes
  8. Urinalysis to detect any underlying medical conditions or the use of drugs
  9. Vision test, at least 20/40 is required and corrective lenses are allowed; patients with monovision may be disqualified

Does the DOT physical require a drug test?

CMV drivers are required to complete and pass a drug test. In some cases, however, the drug test is administered separately from the DOT physical. All medications, include those prescribed by a doctor, should be shared during the physical.

What drugs will I be tested for?

The medical examiner will obtain a urine sample. The DOT drug test will screen for cocaine, amphetamines, opioids, THC, marijuana, and PCP. If the driver tests positive for any of these drugs, additional follow up may be required to determine if there is an alternative medical explanation for the substances which were identified.

What the drug test is failed?

The failure or any portion of the DOT physical exam could result in the denial of the DOT medical certificate. In addition, when a driver tests positive for drugs, they could lose the CDL. They may also be required to meet with a substance abuse professional.

What if a driver refuses to take the drug test?

According to information on the FMCSA website, the refusal to take a drug test is typically treated the same as failing a drug test. A refusal could cause the same consequences and result in a denied DOT medical certificate.

DOT Physical Frequently Asked Questions