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Becoming DOT certified means that a driver is allowed to drive commercial vehicles on the road and that the vehicle he is driving is safe. The Department of Transportation requires that all drivers of commercial vehicles be tested for safe driving practices and that the drivers also undergo physical exams.


A Department of Transportation (DOT) physical examination is conducted by a licensed "medical examiner." 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).


The DOT Drug and Alcohol Test screening process is relatively simple, covering most common illegal drugs. Since accredited testing laboratories are abundant throughout the country, it makes following the DOT drug testing standard convenient even if a company isn’t in the transportation business.


When a driver leaves a company and then returns, whether after one week or one year, there may be some items in his/her original Driver Qualification (DQ) or Driver Investigation History (DIH) file that can be reused, even though the DOT considers him/her to be a new hire. The following items can be recycled from old files:


DOT regulations govern just about every aspect of the industry. Driver Training and Qualification. To comply with DOT regulations, CMV drivers must satisfy a number of conditions. Driver training includes both instruction and hands-on practice sufficient to earn a commercial driver license, or CDL.


Drivers have been required to have a commercial driver's license (CDL) in order to drive certain commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) since April 1, 1992. The types of vehicles and operations requiring a CDL are outlined below. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has developed and issued standards for State testing and licensing of CDL holders.


Updating Driver Qualification Files. Every DOT audit will include review of driver qualification files, so it is crucial that these files are always kept up-to-date. The required information for each driver’s file will include: __ An annual documented review of the driver’s certificate of violations.


In order to drive a commercial vehicle in the U.S. with a maximum gross vehicle weight rating of over 10,000 lbs in interstate commerce , drivers are required to pass a physical examination given by a DOT-approved medical examiner to obtain and maintain a medical examiner's certificate.. Drivers receive a medical certification which is normally valid for 2 years.


Non-CDL drivers who are subject to the medical exam requirement must have a valid medical certificate (DOT medical card) in their possession while driving, and their employing motor carrier must have a copy of the certificate in the driver’s qualification file.


The Department of Transportation issues extensive regulations through administration agencies to ensure the U.S. transportation system is safe, secure and efficient, according to the DOT. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issues specific regulations for commercial driver's licenses, hours of service and motor carrier and bus ...