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3 Things you Never Knew about DOT Physical Exams

3 Things you Never Knew about DOT Physical Exams

If you drive a vehicle commercially in Florida, then you will already know that need to undergo a DOT Physical Exam in order to be certified. This is mandated by the Department of Transportation and it is something you need to do in order to legally drive a commercial vehicle. This article aims to outline three facts that you may not know about the DOT medical exam.

1. The exam must be conducted by a “licensed medical examiner”.

This makes sense, but not many people know what constitutes a a “licensed medical examiner”. The DOT classify this as follows:

“The term includes, but is not limited to, doctors of medicine (MD), doctors of osteopathy (DO), physician assistants (PA), advanced practice nurses (APN), and doctors of chiropractic (DC).”

2. A DOT physical exam is valid for up to 24 months, but not always.

Most drivers assume that all exams automatically clear them for the next 24 months. However, according to the DOT:

“The medical examiner may also issue a medical examiner’s certificate for less than 24 months when it is desirable to monitor a condition, such as high blood pressure.”

In other words, the medical examiner has the power to clear you for less than 24 months. This is not a well-known fact, because most drivers are in good health and therefore do not need their clearance to be limited in this way.

3. You cannot smoke marijuana, even if it is medically prescribed.

Yes, that’s right. Even if you are medically prescribed marijuana, you will still fail the drug test during your exam. The DOT states that:

“Marijuana, including a mixture or preparation containing marijuana, continues to be classified as a Schedule I controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in 21 CFR § 1308.11. Under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), a person is not physically qualified to drive a CMV if he or she uses any Schedule I controlled substance such as marijuana.” (Source: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/faq/can-driver-meet-qualification-standards-under-49-cfr-§-39141b12-if-using-medical-marijuan).

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