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OOIDA asks FMCSA to extend deadline for national registry of certified medical examiners

Those who are able to find an examiner on the national registry and schedule an appointment to be certified may face much greater costs and burdens. The artificial shortage of examiners could mean that many drivers will have to drive a few hundred miles out of their way to complete their certification, says OOIDA.

The Trucker News Services

4/8/2014

GRAIN VALLEY, Mo.  — The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has requested that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration extend the registration deadline for Certified Medical Examiners. As of this time, there is a shortage of medical examiners that have been accepted in to the new national registry.

"It's a source of concern for us that there are so few examiners registered so far," said OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer. "And it also should be a source of serious concern for the agency."

Approximately 25 percent of the goal of 40,000 medical examiners has been reached with only six weeks to go before the enforcement deadline, according to OOIDA. The group is concerned that some truck drivers will not be able to become recertified before their current certification expires.

Those who are able to find an examiner on the national registry and schedule an appointment to be certified may face much greater costs and burdens. The artificial shortage of examiners could mean that many drivers will have to drive a few hundred miles out of their way to complete their certification. Fewer examiners could also lead to longer wait times for drivers and no opportunities for walk-ins.

In May 2012, FMCSA established a National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners and set the number at 40,000 medical examiners to be registered by the compliance date of May 21. As of today, the total number of registered medical examiners is a little more than 10,000.

The National Registry requires drivers to receive medical certification from medical professionals who are part of the registry. Official examiners will be trained on FMCSA's regulations and the physical standards of the truck driving industry.

OOIDA filed a petition asking to extend the deadline and that in the interim, drivers be permitted to obtain medical certification from persons who are either certified under the new rules or qualified under the current rules.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the largest national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. The Association currently has more than 150,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the Greater Kansas City, Mo., area.

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

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