Does DOT Require a Sleep Apnea Test?

Does DOT Require a Sleep Apnea Test

When preparing for your DOT physical the last thing that you want is unneeded anxiety. This can be anti-productive towards passing the DOT Physical Examination. However, we understand this is easier said than done, and regardless of how well you prepare, the occasional question will form in your mind as the physical approaches.

Among the questions that may form, there are few surrounding sleep apnea.

Currently, the DOT does not require any testing specifically for sleep apnea in order to receive and maintain a CDL license in Florida. But, that can change under certain conditions– that is, typically, if the physician performing the DOT physical decides that testing may be necessary.

Why the physician may recommend testing for sleep apnea:

While sleep apnea is not directly addressed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), it does state that people with conditions that could interfere with their ability to drive safely can’t be medically qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle– and in this case, sleep apnea falls under that umbrella.

So, if the physician during the examination identifies symptoms of sleep apnea or has other reasons to suspect it, they may submit you for further testing to ensure safety for yourself and others on the road. A few of those symptoms could be consistent daytime sleepiness or fatigue, past involvement in a sleep-related accident and loud snoring.

Other factors that may indicate you are at an increased risk of sleep apnea include a BMI of 33 or higher, a neck size of 17” for males or 16” for females, as well as any of the following: High blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, hypothyroidism, a history of stroke.

Note: if you have any one of the symptoms that we’ve listed here, that is enough reason for the physician to recommend you for further evaluation.

What happens if you are diagnosed with sleep apnea?

If you are recommended for further testing and are diagnosed with sleep apnea, your CDL license will be suspended– until you receive adequate treatment. From there, you’ll be able to reapply as long as your sleep apnea is officially under control.

Please keep in mind that most cases of sleep apnea are fully treatable. However, treatments can range. So, be sure to speak with your physician about appropriate treatments for you.

If you are ready to book your DOT Physical Appointment click here.

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