Carriers and CMV drivers should be knowledgeable about the creation of the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (National Registry), a new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) program. All commercial drivers whose current medical certificate expires on or after May 21, 2014, at expiration of that certificate must be examined by a medical professional listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. Only medical examiners that have completed training and successfully passed a test on FMCSA’s physical qualification standards will be listed on the National Registry.
Why the change? The new rule was created in 2014 to enhance CMV driver health and reduce highway crashes. Information from NTSB crash investigations indicated that improper medical certification of CMV drivers with serious disqualifying medical conditions has directly contributed to fatal and injury crashes. It is meant to ensure that medical examiners know the FMCSA rules for drivers.
Compliance tip: When reviewing your DOT compliance responsibilities, do not overlook the requirement to verify that all driver physical exams are performed by a Medical Examiner who is certified and listed on the National Registry.
How do you verify? Before scheduling the next physical exam, make sure you can see your Medical Examiner’s name on the National Registry website. If you are unable to find your Medical Examiner, he or she is not certified and you should select another practitioner.
Documenting Compliance: There is no specific direction on how to document compliance with this requirement – but companies and drivers should maintain evidence of compliance. Human Resources professionals that send company drivers to get DOT physicals should create a standard company form to prove that HR checked the National Registry, and the medical examiner was listed. Here is a sample form.
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