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Federal Motor Carrier Deadlines Extended 3 Years

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued an interim final rule to delay several provisions of the Medical Examiner’s Certification Integration final rule from June 22, 2018 to June 22, 2021.

The interim final rule does not change the June 22, 2018, compliance date requirement for Certified Medical Examiners to report results of all commercial motor vehicle driver physical examinations performed, including results when a driver is not qualified, to the FMCSA by midnight (local time) of the next calendar day following the examination.

The three-year delay affects commercial vehicle operators, their employers, medical examiners and State Drivers’ License Agencies (SDLAs).

The FMCSA reported in December that it was working to develop a manual process while its new online system for the National Registry for Certified Medical Examiners was inoperative due to a high volume of use. The system was temporarily restored, but since then it has not been fully operational, causing frustration for users.

The National Registry lists health care professionals who are qualified to perform commercial driver medical exams. The delay is needed to give the FMCSA time to refine the information technology system developed for the registry and provide SDLAs sufficient time to make corresponding IT program changes.

Through June 21, 2021:

  • Certified Medical Examiners will continue issuing the original paper Medical Examiner’s Certificate, Form MCSA-5876, to all qualified drivers, including Commercial Learner’s Permit/Commercial Driver’s License applicants/holders.
  • Commercial Learner’s Permit/Commercial Driver’s License applicants/holders will continue to provide their SDLA a copy of their Medical Examiner’s Certificate, Form MCSA-5876, and continue carrying their Medical Examiner’s Certificate, Form MCSA-5876, as proof of medical certification for the first 15 days following certification.
  • Motor carriers will continue verifying that drivers were certified by a medical examiner listed on the National Registry.
  • SDLAs will continue processing paper copies of Medical Examiner’s Certificates, Form MCSA-5876, they receive from Commercial Learner’s Permit/Commercial Driver’s License applicants/holders.

FMCSA officials said they will announce when the registry function is restored to allow medical examiners to report exam results. Meanwhile, medical examiners are instructed to segregate all examinations completed while the reporting system is offline and be prepared to upload them to the National Registry when it is back online, with no penalties assessed.

For more information, refer to 80 FR 22790, Apr. 23, 2015; 80 FR 35577, Jun. 22, 2015.