FMCSA examines recordkeeping burden associated with fed med card

Anticipated extension of Medical Examiner's Certification Integration final rule included in the notice

Posted April 30, 2018

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is accepting stakeholder comments relating to recordkeeping burdens associated with a commercial driver’s medical qualifications.

The Agency plans to revise and renew an Information Collection Request (ICR) titled “Medical Qualification Requirements” due to several updated information collections related to the topic. The revised ICR will be sent to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for its review and approval.

This ICR is needed to ensure that drivers, motor carriers, and the states are complying with the physical qualification requirements of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The information collected is used to determine and certify driver medical fitness and must be collected for highway safety.

Comments will be accepted through June 26, 2018. Please visit the Federal eRulemaking Portal for additional information on submitting comments. Reference Docket No. FMCSA-2018-0119.

Background

FMCSA is required by statute to establish standards for the physical qualifications of drivers who operate CMVs as defined in Section 390.5 in interstate commerce for non-excepted industries. Information used to determine and certify driver medical fitness must be collected, and this ICR addresses those collections, including:

  • Recording the results of the exam in accordance with §391.43 by the certified medical examiner (ME);
  • Retaining proof of medical certification by the motor carrier in accordance with §§391.51 and 398.3;
  • Requesting a medical conflict resolution in accordance with §391.47 when the driver and/or motor carrier disagree with the decision of a medical specialist;
  • Applying for and renewal of a medical exemption or Skills Performance Evaluation Certificate; and
  • Use of the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

Delay of Medical Examiner's Certification Integration final rule implementation

FMCSA indicated in the ICR Notice that the Medical Examiner's Certification Integration final rule will be delayed. The follow-on rule is an attempt to streamline the process for drivers who hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and have self-certified as non-excepted, interstate.

In the model, FMCSA electronically transmits to the State Driver's Licensing Agencies (SDLAs):

  • Details of the exam from the National Registry, and
  • Medical variance information for all CMV drivers.

SDLAs then post information received electronically from FMCSA onto the driving records.

The Agency states in the ICR it reluctantly concluded that it will not be able to electronically transmit medical examination certification information from the National Registry to the SDLAs nor will the SDLAs be able to electronically receive the MEC information from the National Registry for posting to the CDLIS driver record as intended by rule.

Information technology infrastructure needed to implement the final rule will not be available on June 22, 2018. For this reason, FMCSA anticipates extending the compliance date to June 22, 2021, to ensure that the SDLAs have sufficient time once the final specifications are released to make the necessary information technology programming changes.

However, beginning on June 2, 2018, certified MEs will still be required to report results of all completed CMV drivers' medical examinations (including the results of examinations where the driver was found not to be qualified) to FMCSA by midnight (local time) of the next calendar day following the examination but must continue issuing the original paper MEC to qualified drivers. All CMV drivers will continue to provide the SDLA with their MEC as proof of medical certification.


DOT Medical ExamsJ. J. Keller's DOT Medical Exams: The Complete Guide is a comprehensive medical exam reference for motor carriers, drivers and medical professionals.

 

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