What Types of Trucks Require DOT Physical Exams in Order to Drive Them?


Quick Answer

There are no specific trucks that require potential operators to obtain a physical during the commercial motor vehicle licensing process. Instead, an individual who wants to drive any truck defined as a commercial motor vehicle by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration must undergo a Department of Transportation physical examination.

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Full Answer

The FMCSA defines a commercial motor vehicle by several criteria independently or collectively. A commercial motor vehicle has a gross vehicle weight rating, gross combination weight rating, gross vehicle weight or a gross combination weight of 10,001 pounds or more. Any vehicle used to transport eight or more passengers, including the driver, for compensation falls into the commercial vehicle list. Any vehicle used to transport 15 or more passengers, including the driver, but not for compensation also classifies as a commercial vehicle. Lastly, a commercial motor vehicle is any vehicle used for transporting material that the Secretary of Transportation defines as hazardous and in a quantity requiring placarding.

Potential candidates for a commercial motor vehicle driver's license who get a mandatory DOT physical must use a licensed medical examiner listed on the FMCSA national registry. The term medical examiner includes chiropractors, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, doctors of osteopathy and doctors of medicine. Commercial motor vehicle operators must take a physical exam every 24 months or at whatever time a medical examiner's certificate expires, which may be less than 24 months in the event of medical conditions that require periodic monitoring.

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