FMCSA medical certificate rule begins

Beginning today truckers must keep paper copies of their medical examiner’s certificate with them for another two years until Jan. 30, 2014, under a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s rule. Carriers also must keep paper copies of their drivers’ certificates until then.

This rule is a follow-up to the agency’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, issued last June, which proposed amending a 2008 final rule.

That 2008 final rule required CDL holders subject to federal physical qualification provide an original or copy of their medical examiner’s certificate to their state driver’s licensing agency. State agencies must post the medical certification information in the Commercial Driver’s License Information System, the federal electronic database.

After the 2008 final rule, several states told the FMCSA their offices lacked the capacity to comply by today’s deadline. The agency extended the paper copy requirement for interstate CDL holders and carriers two years to provide sufficient overlap for state agencies.

However, the FMCSA did not extend the deadline for state agencies. Beginning Jan. 30, drivers applying for or renewing CDLs under the non-excepted interstate category will have to self-certify and provide the certificate or a copy to the state licensing agency. All drivers affected by the rule will have to comply by Jan. 30, 2014.

More information on the final rule, FMCSA-1997–2210, is available here.

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