FMCSA Announces Three-Year Delay of Rule to Eliminate Need for Truck Drivers to Carry Their Medical Cards

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued a final rule to postpone the implementation of a system meant to streamline communication between state licensing agencies and FMCSA regarding drivers’ medical certification status, which would eliminate the need for truck drivers to carry their medical certification cards.

The plan, first previewed in April, calls for a compliance delay of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s medical examiners certification integration final rule until June 22, 2021, in part due to a hack of the medical examiner’s website that has left it offline while the agency rebuilds the infrastructure, according to a June 18 agency pre-publication announcement. The agency has not yet predicted when the registry might return to complete functionality.

“This action is being taken to provide FMCSA additional time to complete certain information technology system development tasks for its National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners, and provide state driver’s licensing agencies sufficient time to make the necessary IT programming changes after upgrades to the National Registry,” the agency said.

The final integration rule specifically requires FMCSA to electronically transmit from the national registry to state driver licensing agencies the driver identification information, examination results and restriction information from examinations performed for holders of learner permits and commercial driver licenses.

Despite the delay, the agency said that certified medical examiners will still be required to report results of all completed commercial motor vehicle drivers’ medical examinations to FMCSA. Beginning on June 22, 2018, certified MEs will still be required to report results of all completed CMV drivers’ medical examinations (including the results of examinations where the driver was found not to be qualified) to FMCSA by midnight (local time) of the next calendar day following the examination but must continue issuing the original paper MEC to qualified drivers. All CMV drivers will continue to provide the SDLA with their MEC as proof of medical certification.

In summary, Examiners will still be required to upload driver exam results by midnight the next day starting June 22, 2018. Examiners will continue issuing paper medical certifications to drivers, and drivers will still be required to provide their license-issuing state with their medical certificate as proof of certification until the new anticipated deadline for the integration rule implementation in 2021. Carriers will still need to keep them on file for up to 15 days as proof of medical certification pending an update to the MVR.



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