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FMCSA proposes rule to automate drivers’ physical exam results

With publication of the official Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), the agency will begin to accept public comments on the proposal called the Medical Examiner’s Certification Integration. A requirement for the rulemaking was included in MAP-21, the current surface transportation legislation passed last year.

The Trucker Staff

5/9/2013

WASHINGTON — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Friday will post in the Federal Register a proposed rulemaking that would streamline the process of securing a Commercial Driver’s License or commercial leaner’s permit or renewing a CDL by automating the reporting of drivers’ physical examinations.

With publication of the official Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), the agency will begin to accept public comments on the proposal called the Medical Examiner’s Certification Integration. A requirement for the rulemaking was included in MAP-21, the current surface transportation legislation passed last year.

This rulemaking would (1) require certified medical examiners performing physical examinations on drivers of commercial motor vehicles to use a newly developed Medical Examination Report (MER) Form; (2) require medical examiners to use a prescribed form for the medical examiner´s certificate; (3) require medical examiners to report results of all completed commercial drivers´ physical examinations (including the results of examinations where the driver was found not to be qualified) to FMCSA by close of business on the day of the examination; (4) transmit information from the Medical Examiner´s Certificate electronically from the National Registry system to the State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLAs); (5) transmit to the SDLAs information about Medical Examiner´s Certificates that have been invalidated because a subsequent examination has found that the driver is not physically qualified; and (6) require the agency to transmit medical variance information for such drivers electronically to the SDLAs.

Because the information would be virtually immediately available electronically in the Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS) that is accessible to departments of motor vehicles in each state, drivers would no longer have to carry proof of passing the exam to the local DVM, sources familiar with the proposed process told The Trucker.

The information would also be immediately available to law enforcement agencies that stopped a commercial vehicle for a violation.

Also immediately available would be medical variance information (exemptions, skills performance evaluation certificates and grandfathered exemptions) for all CMV drivers electronically to the SDLAs.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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