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Overdrive Extra

James Jaillet

FMCSA close to finalizing medical registry rule

| April 10, 2012

Industry sources say that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is close to publishing a rule to establish a national registry of FMCSA-certified medical examiners, and, if passed, drivers would only be able to obtain their medical certification from an examiner in the registry.

The rule has cleared the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, sources say. Under the policy, FMCSA would institute a training and certification program for examiners, and the list of certified examiners would be available to drivers online.

Overdrive reported on the rule‘s expected announcement in January, saying its requirements would be phased in over a period of several years.

In January, FMCSA passed a rule combining Commercial Drivers Licenses and medical clearance forms. Drivers have until Jan. 30, 2014 to renew their licenses and comply with the rule.


  • Thomas Thomson

    I just renewed my licence and had to get an eye examination before it was renewed and had to show the my medical cars. AK what else will have to ne done beside that? My licence is good until 2017 now an I going to have to renew it again in two years or I am good?

  • tdills

    Thomas, You’re good for now, but you’ll have to have a DOT physical every two years, as required for everyone hauling interstate (assuming you move outside of your state). There is a new program that will integrate drivers’ medical certification with state CDL records by 2014 — upshot is you won’t have to carry the medical card after that. More on that program in this story:

  • Barry J. Zeringue



    I agrss with you Barry,what I would like to add is since washington keeps bullying owner operators and drivers we should have a national strike then we could show DOT and washington how important the trucking industry, and how we could paralise the transportation throughout the states.

  • L S Caldwell Trucking

    By starting this registry they will limit the number of doctors that can do DOT physicals, supply and demand will run up the cost to us. My personal doctors does my physical for $50.00 and he knows my medical history but he won’t and doesn’t have time to go get training for certification. Bet the price goes up 300%, say $150.00 to $200.00. Just like sleep apnea the ones doing the advising to change are the ones to profit!!!!

  • Doc

    I recently went to one of the Chain DOT Clinics and it was a LESS the satisfactory exam, After being weighed, My BP checked and answering a few questions, the exam was over…I passed, then after a drug test, again passed, I was given the SLEEP APNEA TEST, This hasnt even been required by any law in my state, although I was in Missouri, I felt as if the sleep exam was what they really wanted me to get, They sp[end more time asking questions, and then referred me to a testing facility, again I own my Truck and Im signed on to a carrier who doesnt require this testing, BUT I was blackmailed into taking it or they wouldnt pass my Med card, IT WAS BLACKMAIL…and very expensive, After two months af trying to tell them I dont have this issue, they said OH YES you certainly have sleep apnea….I walked out, went to my Regular Doctor, who gave me a THOROUGH physical, far more tests and questions and true CONCERN that I was FIT….These Registered Chains are nothing but MONEY MILLS who have no concern with my fitness, but the depth of my wallet,,Ill not use another chain and If my PHD Doctor who graduated top of his class from HARVARD isnt good enough for the DOT, I think Ill ask for the Pakistani doctor over at the Money mill, where he got his medical certification.

  • Tom Eastman

    Amazing the number government employees that need to prove they are necessary. Trucking has never been safer or cleaner, yet the bueacracy keeps trudging along.

  • Michael

    Stop complaining. The FAA has done their required airman medical exams this way for decades. All regulated DOT modalities should operate under the same standards.

  • j west

    time for a strick all this is , its going to put people out of work 1,000,000 acc. free miles some a hole is gioing to tell me i need added expense of a sleep apnia testing they build this shit now they need people to pay for it bull s–t strick so they leave us alone

  • Marty Marsh

    I don’t care for anything these people do,in the name of safety.Just about everything they do is to make money,the harder they make it the more money they are going to collect.
    But like I always say,there is a good side to everything.After these clowns get through with making more new laws and rules,they are going to make it so hard to become or even want to be a truck driver that they are going to be paying Pilots wages.So keep making your stupid laws in the name of safety and see where it leads you.
    To all the truckers out there,safe flying.

  • Jim Conyers

    Well Pilots wages are at all time low I heard that starting Pilots are being paid around $17,000 per year. They aren’t paid per deim and have been sleeping it airport lounges as they can’t even afford motel rooms for lay overs. Not much defferent than being told that you can’t sleep on the shippers lot and you have your turn to get losded 10 hours or more. The pool of the approved Dr. will be able to help people of thier country of birth and you dumb americans can go to B.H.O. with your hands out and beg for your money. Just an aside will all of these doctors take my goverment health insurance?

  • Mike Ryan

    What happens to drivers when this ruling reaches the final phase? Those of us living in very rural areas won’t be able to see our own physicians any more for our medical certification unless they are in this registry. So I suppose we’ll be forced to drive perhaps long distances to be examined by a physician who has never seen us before, knows nothing about us or our medical history, and has a vested interest in maintaining his name in the registry; he won’t care if we can pass the exam, and he can afford to disqualify us if we’re in less than perfect health because he will have collected his fee for the exam anyway. I’m accident free since 1974, but that counts for absolutely nothing. Once again, Big Brother takes more control over our lives and makes it more difficult for us to earn an honest living. I’m 57, and I’m negotiating the sale of my small trucking business because I’m getting out of trucking after 38 years; I’m sick of it, I’ve had enough.

  • Jason Springer

    Dang Barry, ya sounding like me!!! And all them people everyday and such is asking me why I ain’t driving any more… I love and miss it but them rules they always keep making it harder to deal with-yet 4-wheelers is causing most accidents and everyone seems not to care. All ya’ll out there still going though, take care and God Bless…

  • Tina Spano

    They are gonna regulate us the hell outa business!!! This __it it ridiculous! They keep puttin smaller and smaller hoops out there for us to jump through!! It makes me sick.

  • Jerry Swindle

    Mike I am with you. I sold my truck on March 14, 2012. I’ve had enough! I have just had my medical exam in December and am in good physical condition. I have my medical card for two more years but I do not wish to see anyone other than my doctor. I doubt he has the time to get the certification to get in the registry. If you wish to voluntarily give up your authority, get ready for more hoops to jump through!!!

  • David Dickerson

    I have a problem with this sleep apnea test. These facilities that are recommending it are also in charge of it usually and it is not for safety as much as it is for profit (money). I am the owner of a small trucking company and a little over weight. I have been driving tractor trailer since 1999 and never had any ticket or issues in any way. My bmi is not a problem yet but could be under some guidelines. I have weight lifted since age thirteen and they don’t consider things of this nature at this point such as a neck measurement or punch in your height and weight and it calculates your bmi online with a calculator. I think this could lead to total discrimination of safe healthy overweight people! They already check for diabetes and many other safety issues at the dot physicals. We are proven to be safe!

  • Jim Stewart

    45 years trucking, no chargeable accidents ever, now some idiot tells me I have to be forced into a sleep apnea test. This is total nonsense. Amazing the ones who makeup these laws never walked in our shoes….

  • Edward DuBois

    I’ve never had a problem sleeping if need to yeah a little overweight 50# or less but not anything that is affecting my driving or health
    I drive 10 to 11 hrs straight at a time most times without stopping and I have no problem stopping taking a restroom break, eating then sleeping as much as 8 to 10 hrs if I need to sometimes less if I need to then fall right back to sleep until my day starts again
    If I get tired I stop and rest if I feel I need a day off I take one I’m old enough to know what I need to do the job I don’t need someone in an office to tell me
    medical cards don’t weigh anything I’ve never had a problem keeping a copy of the long form in my permit book and the card in my wallet if you want to put it on the license that’s fine, but I can almost bet you if I don’t continue to carry one that some officer will write me up for not having one not that it would hold up in court, but the time and aggravation because some Barney Fife is trying to make my life miserable, because he hates truck drivers or is just having a bad day

  • Doc

    Im not flying a plane, or has the difference been made closer now that we have more electronics like planes, more knobs on the CB, Fancy headset like planes and modern tracking and logging with GPS, When they PAY ME LIKE A PILOT Ill got thru gladly what a pilot does, a physical is a test of fitness, not a Military exam to make sure I can fly a space shuttle.
    I have no issue with physicals, lets just make it clear we dont mind that its finally added to our license, but these added tests and mandates are ridiculous, my family doctor knows me better then that Indian doctor in the chain ever could…Ive got 27 years of medical history there, and a Doctor who spends five minutes with a patient is NOT DOING A PHYSICAL.

  • Doc

    Maybe a class action Discrimination suit will get there attention, I am the same, Overweight but healthy, dont smoke, dont drink, never had any BOP , or sleep etc issues, have safe drivers awards and they dont matter, now if your FAT they want to pigeon hole us, make us feel less then human and discriminate against us, LAWYERS ARE YOU LISTENING !!

  • Ronald Hanson

    What ever happened to our constitutional rights Inicent until proven guilty??? Seems we have to prove we arnt on drugs before we drive well maybe to get in congress or be a judge you should have to be on a random list and make the results public information!!! strives to maintain an open forum for reader opinions. Click here to read our comment policy.