Effective May 21, 2014, for the first time, require that all medical professionals who provide physical qualification examinations for truck and bus drivers to be certified and registered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended creating a National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners to unify medical oversight of commercial drivers and ensure examiners understand and are trained on FMCSA physical qualifications and standards. Medical professionals have long performed the examinations to ensure drivers are physically qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle. Typically, examiners had to be licensed, certified, and registered only according to laws in their respective states. The purpose of the new regulation is to disqualify drivers with serious conditions from commercial driving and avoid fatal accidents. The new rule states that, in order to issue a DOT medical certificate, a medical professional who performs the physical exams must be:

  • Doctor of Medicine;
  • Doctor of Osteopathy;
  • Doctor of Chiropractic;
  • Physician Assistant;
  • Advanced Practice Nurse; or
  • Any other medical professional authorized by the particular state’s law.

In addition, the individual must pass an examination of the FMCSA to become certified. Once certified and registered, a medical examiner must be recertified every 10 years and must complete periodic refresher training every 5 years. The final rule establishing the national registry went into effect on May 21, 2012, and medical examiners have two years to become compliant. For more information regarding this new rule and to find training opportunity locations, see the FMCSA’s FAQ page at http://nrcme.fmcsa.dot.gov/about_faqs.aspx#5   Additional Resources: Register online at: https://nationalregistry.fmcsa.dot.gov/NRPublicUI/home.seam More details about the new California requirements, visit: http://www.dmv.ca.gov/forms/dl/dl51.htm

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