The Federal Motor Carrier Administration announced that commercial drivers will need to 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 until Jan. 30, 2015. The requirement was originally set to expire on Jan. 30, 2014, which was the deadline for state driver licensing agencies (SDLA) to maintain an electronic version of all driver medical certificates in a searchable electronic database. FMCSA made the announcement in the Federal Register.
FMCSA has said an electronic database would modernize, streamline and simplify recordkeeping obligations for drivers, carriers and state governments by requiring that a driver’s medical certification record be merged with state-issued CDLs. States received support from FMCSA to implement the necessary IT system upgrades and merge the records into one, online database – the Commercial Drivers License Information System. However, some states are not yet in compliance, DOT said.
Drivers are still required to certify their status (e.g., interstate or intrastate, exempt or non-exempt) with their state driver license agency before Jan. 30, 2014, and to provide their state driver licensing authority (SDLA) a copy of any new medical certificate received after Jan. 30, 2012. Both intrastate and interstate CDL drivers need to “self certify” to SDLA the type of commercial vehicle operation they drive in or expect to drive. Based on the type of commerce selected, drivers may also be required to submit proof of medical qualification certification to the SDLA. Self certification and submission of medical certificate by qualified drivers must occur by Jan. 30, 2014.
Some CDL drivers may have already self certified and supplied a medical qualification certificate to their SDLA during the CDL initial application, transfer or renewal process. The FMCSA required SDLAs to phase in the new requirement beginning January 2012. However, some states have been very slow to implement the FMCSA rule or fully notify drivers of the new requirement. CDL drivers should check with their SDLA to inquire whether they are already compliant with the FMCSA requirement.
The process to self certify and submit medical certificates may vary from state to state. Drivers should contact their state driving license authority to determine whether they are already compliant through initial application, transfer or renewal of their CDL licenses. For specific state requirements and information related to how a state is handling the medical certification requirements, and to determine who to contact for additional information, visit http://www.aamva.org/CDL-Program.
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