National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners FAQs

The following information relates to the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners, an online database of certified medical examiners who are authorized to perform physical exams on interstate commercial motor vehicle drivers. Under 49 CFR Sec. 391.42, use of the Registry is mandatory for all exams conducted on or after May 21, 2014.

Q: What is the National Registry?
A: The National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners is a listing of medical personnel who have been approved to conduct medical exams on DOT-regulated commercial motor vehicle drivers. The National Registry is available online at nrcme.fmcsa.dot.gov.

Q: Who has to use the National Registry?
A: Any driver who operates or intends to operate a regulated commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce and who needs to obtain a DOT-mandated medical exam after May 20, 2014, will need to select someone from the National Registry to perform the exam.

Q: Will non-CDL drivers be affected as well?
A: Yes. All interstate drivers of “commercial motor vehicles” as defined in Sec. 390.5, whether they hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or not, will need to use the National Registry for exams conducted on or after May 21st.

Q: Are the medical standards changing on May 21st?
A: No, there are no changes to the medical standards as part of the National Registry. However, some individual examiners may alter their own standards based on what they learn during their training to be added to the Registry.

Q: Do in-state-only drivers need to use the Registry?
A: Drivers who are not involved in interstate commerce do not need to use the Registry unless their state requires it.

Q: Do all interstate drivers need a new exam after May 20th?
A: No. The National Registry does not affect when drivers need to get their exams. Existing medical certificates will not expire until the expiration date shown on the certificate. However, any interstate DOT medical exams that are conducted after May 20, 2014, will need to be performed by someone listed on the National Registry.

Q: Are the medical forms changing after May 20th?
A: The medical “long form” will not change, but medical certificates used for interstate CMV drivers after May 20, 2014, will need to include a space for the examiner’s National Registry number and a checkbox to designate whether the driver is “intrastate only.”

Q: Does the National Registry affect our interstate drivers’ qualification files?
A: Yes. For any interstate driver who obtains a DOT medical exam after May 20, 2014, his or her file must include documentation showing that the motor carrier verified that the examiner was listed on the National Registry at the time of the exam.

Q: How can someone verify that an examiner is on the Registry?
A: By going to the National Registry website and searching by the examiner’s National Registry number or name, or using a variety of other search criteria.

Q: I can’t find any registered examiners in my area. What do I do?
A: There are no exceptions based on geographic location or the distance to the nearest examiner. You may want to get an exam from your normal (unregistered) examiner before May 21st and then continue watching the Registry for a local examiner to become registered, or encourage your regular examiner to become registered.

Q: We’ve been using the same examiner for years. Can he/she continue to perform our interstate driver exams?
A: Yes, but only if he/she is listed on the National Registry. There are no exceptions that would allow someone to perform interstate CMV driver exams without being on the Registry. An unregistered examiner may, however, be able to continue performing exams for intrastate-only drivers.

Q: If the person who performed my last medical exam (before May 21st) isn’t listed on the National Registry by May 21st, is my medical card still valid?
A: Yes. Medical certificates created prior to May 21st will not be affected by the National Registry. However, once the card expires or the interstate driver otherwise needs a new DOT exam after May 20th, someone from the National Registry will need to be selected to perform the exam.

Q: Is it true that medical certificates are going to be sent to the FMCSA for review?
A: No. Medical examiners will not be sending medical forms or certificates to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). They will, however, need to send a monthly report to the FMCSA with information about each exam performed, including each driver’s name, date of birth, driver’s license information, the date of the exam, whether the driver was qualified, and the date the certificate expires.

Q: If I lose my medical card, can I get a replacement copy from the National Registry?
A: No, you would have to contact the medical examiner who issued it.

Q: If a driver receives a medical certificate from an examiner who is later removed from the National Registry, is the medical certificate still valid?
A: Yes. However, the FMCSA has authority to review the examiner’s exam reports and void the examiner’s medical certificates. If that were to happen, the affected drivers would be contacted.