FMCSA Changes the Rules for CDL Medical Certificates

Kevin Anderson Regulations

Medical CertificateLast week, the FMCSA announced a one-year extension (until January 30, 2015) to a requirement that interstate CDL holders retain paper copies of their medical examiner’s certificate and continue to make the document available for review upon request at the roadside by federal and state commercial motor vehicle inspectors. The extension announced by FMCSA simply means that drivers must continue to keep their medical certificates on the road with them. Carriers will also have to retain a copy of the medical certificate in the driver qualification files until Jan. 30, 2015. No other deadlines were extended.

To clarify, drivers still only have until Jan. 30, 2014 to provide proof of medical certification to the state drivers licensing agency or face having their license downgraded.

In Dec. 2008, FMCSA issued a Final Rule to potentially modernize and streamline the recordkeeping that drivers, carriers and state governments are required to do. The intent being that once drivers provide proof to their state licensing agency, that information would be entered into the Commercial Drivers License Information System database (CDLIS). This would tie together in a database the driver’s medical certification and CDL. Law enforcement would then be able to check for medical certification electronically, instead of depending on paper certificates.

An initial deadline for states to have systems up and running was initially Jan. 30, 2012, but it was delayed until Jan. 30, 2014. This second extension to Jan. 30, 2015 comes as some states are still not submitting information into the CLDIS database, leading FMCSA to extend the requirement that drivers have their paper medical certificates with them.

For a copy of the Federal Register announcement, see: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/rulemakings/rule-programs/rule_making_details.aspx?ruleid=468