Not so fast on med cards: Non-CDL commercial drivers still must carry

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doc exam driverThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s CDL “medical” section page in the Registration portion of its website, accessible at this link, reflects the recent change relative to driver medical cards. As reported previously, CDL holders are required to report their new medical certifications to the state driver’s licensing agency and, as of January 30, will only need to carry the paper copy of their medical card with them for 15 days thereafter, emphasizes Marissa Padilla, FMCSA spokesperson. “FMCSA has worked with state licensing agencies to ensure that medical information is electronically available to law enforcement officers through the Commercial Driver License Information System. The implementation of this regulation will relieve drivers from the burden of carrying a paper document and reduce the potential for fraud.”

But that’s not the case for non-CDL commercial drivers, something Richard Wilson of TCRG Consulting emphasized in a recent story on the North American Trucking Alerts website.

“There are a lot of drivers out here that are commercial drivers who do not have a CDL,” their vehicles falling between 10,000 and 26,000 GVW, Wilson wrote. “These drivers do not self-certify with the” state licensing agencies, but have been required to carry cards.

And still are. In case there was any doubt, refer to the page on FMCSA’s site linked to at the top: “Non-CDL holders are not required to self-certify or submit a copy of their ME Certificate to their SDLA.” Given such commercial drivers don’t self-certify, if you are one of them, keep carrying the card.

Resources available via the FMCSA page include this state-by-state guide to submitting certificates, likewise a listing of how far various states are along in full implementation processes with the change — all, FMCSA says, are far along enough to at least announce the change in necessity for CDL drivers to carry their cards.

Several readers, however, irrespective of whether CDL or non-CDL drivers, noted they’d continue carrying their card and/or the full medical long form in the interim, absent solid evidence that roadside officers wouldn’t be continuing to request certification documentation during inspections. Noted Tom Strese under news of the change on Overdrive‘s Facebook page, for instance: “Maybe [carrying the medical card is] no longer required — until the first uninformed officer writes a person up for not having it.”

Continuing to carry physical proof of certification will remain an option, Wilson also confirmed, as medical examiners will continue to issue the certificate for CDL and non-CDL commercial drivers alike.

Keep us updated on what you’re seeing from enforcement down the line.

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