In the trucking industry, all DOT medical examinations must be performed by a medical professional listed in the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (CME).  Any commercial driver with an expired medical certificate must use a medical examiner that has completed training. The examiner must have also successfully passed a test that meets FMCSA’s physical qualification standards. The FMCSA has created the database where you can search a medical examiner, and it is available right on the FMCSA’s page. It’s a great resource to help you find an examiner who is qualified in your area.

So, how should you be preparing for your DOT medical exam? There are a few key areas to focus on in preparation of the exam:


Schedule plenty of time before your certificate expires. There are unfortunate cases where drivers have been told they must have unplanned testing completed and follow-up treatment before a doctor will issue or renew the medical card. This process can easily take 30 days or longer, so having enough time is key.


If a driver is on medication, has received treatment for a medical condition, or is using a CPAP or other medical device, documentation must be brought to the exam.

Medical Concerns 

If a driver suspects they might encounter a problem passing the physical, the time to deal with that is well before the exam. Taking a chance on passing or not means taking a chance on possibly losing your medical certification. And, that means losing income. It could take upwards of 60 days to get a problem fixed, and that means no driving time. Problems such as this can be avoided by visiting a personal physician, one listed on the National Registry (so they will be familiar with the requirements you must meet). Visits with a personal physician are not reported to the FMCSA (even if the physician is on the National Registry). Any problems you may have can be corrected before you get the DOT physical.


Contact the doctor’s office to find out how much the medical exam will cost. Reports note that it may be under $100 or more than $300.

Regulation Knowledge 

There are 13 basic regulatory requirements that a driver must meet to be medically qualified. If a CME notifies that you can’t pass the exam, ask which of these regulations you are not meeting. All are listed on the FMCSA’s Driver Qualifications page.

2nd Opinion 

While it will not be free, a second opinion may save a driver’s CDL. If a driver feels a CME is being fraudulent, incompetent, or incorrect in any way, they may obtain a 2nd opinion.


When a driver visits more than one medical examiner, it shows up in the certified medical examiner database. And, it will be reviewed. If the driver gave the same information to both examiners, there is no issue and the most recent exam will be the driver’s current status. If the information the driver provided is not consistent, it will be followed up on. If a driver is found to be dishonest, this can result in disqualification.

Make sure you are prepared for your next DOT medical exam. Use the tips and linked above to ensure a smooth exam that will allow you to stay healthy and on the road for years ahead!

How Drivers Can Prepare for their DOT Medical Exam was last modified: by