The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations or FMCSR established criteria that will determine if a person is qualified physically to drive and operate a specific type of commercial vehicle. There are guidelines to be followed applicable to different medical conditions. Drivers with licenses to drive commercial vehicles under Class A, B, and C must meet the medical requirements as required by the federal government as well as the department that regulates commercial vehicles. When issued a license, the driver needs to file the appropriate medical report with the department, renewable every two years, and must include an approved valid medical certificate in their license.
All drivers of commercial vehicles traversing interstate commerce with a maximum GVW (gross vehicle weight) rating of more than 10,000 pounds or 4,536 kilograms are required by law to obtain a valid certificate from the Medical Examiner or ME Certificate. For drivers of commercial vehicles that require a CDL, on the other hand, need to complete two additional requirements. As of January 30, 2014, all drivers with CDLs are now required to declare to their respective State Driver Licensing Agency or SDLA that they only drive or are expected to drive commercially in one of four possible categories as stated in their CDLs. This newly implemented process is known as self – certification.
A CDL holder needs to provide a copy of ME Certificate to their respective SDLA. This requirement is for the addition of information on the driver’s State driving records. Non-CDL drivers on the other hand are not required for self – certification or furnish their SDLA with their Medical Examiner Certificate. If a CDL driver is discovered to be driving in a category that is not stated in his or her self-certification, the driver is subject to suspension or worse, revocation of their privileges to drive commercial vehicles. Likewise, CDL holders with an expired ME Certificate from their respective State will have downgraded commercial driving privileges and he or she will also be ineligible to drive a commercial vehicle requiring a CDL driving permit.
Commercial Driver’s License Motor Vehicle Record
FMCSA or Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has examined each State’s CDLIS MVR that refers to commercial driver’s license motor vehicle record in fulfillment of the Medical Certification requirements. As of 2015, FMCSA has already verified that every State in the country is posting the required information for all minimal, basic medical certification that permits a motor carrier to authenticate if a driver is physically and medically qualified to operate and drive a commercial vehicle. The basic information included in the database is made up the driver’s current medical statues along with ME Certificate’s expiration date.
Apart from these basic information, all respective States also post comprehensive medical certification information of commercial vehicle drivers. Producing the extensive CDLIS MVR along with all the required Med Cert info has become the priority of every State. But for the moment, while the entire database is being updated, FMCSA has issued an advisory for all its staff and enforcement personnel to accept the driver’s medical certification status complete with expiration date for CDLIS MVR as proof that will substantiate that the driver is medically and physically qualified to drive a commercial vehicle.
All medical examination reports need to meet the requirements stated in 391.41-49 FMCSR. The Medical Examination Report along with DL 51 and the departmental form must include an ME Certificate that is duly signed by an accredited health care professional when and if the driver has completed all federal requirements. For record keeping, the medical report must be maintained on file by the respective department.
The medical examination report is only deemed valid if completed and signed by a licensed, certified or registered health care professional, in accordance with pertinent State laws and policies to practice medicine and carry out physical examinations in the U.S. As defined by federal law, these health care professionals are considered as doctors of medicine or osteopathy, assistants for licensed physicians, and advanced practice nurses. Also, doctors of chiropractic with clinical competence to perform the medical examination are also considered health care professionals. For the vision portion of the exam, an optometrist (O.D.) may perform the necessary medical examination for that part.
The purpose of the Medical Program Division of FMCSA is to promote and encourage the safety of roadways in the United States by promulgating and implementing appropriate medical regulations, policies and guidelines that will make sure all drivers of commercial motor vehicles traversing in any interstate commerce are physically and medically qualified to do so.