Drivers, Start Your…Medical Examinations?

I officially need to uncross my eyes after reading the 75 plus pages of the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners Final Ruling write-up by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

What a ton of valuable information!

Cross-eyed, crossed eyes

In a nutshell, medical examiners (ME) are now required be listed on a national registry as a Certified Medical Examiner by the FMCSA, a part of the new MAP-21 ruling, to administer medical examinations for driver health eligibility.

Or in the direct words of the FMCSA:

“FMCSA is developing the National Registry program to improve highway safety and driver health by requiring that medical examiners be trained and certified so they can determine effectively whether a CMV [commercial motor vehicle] driver’s medical fitness for duty meets FMCSA’s standards.”

An approximate 1,219 crashes, or one-fifth,  a year could be avoided, estimates the FMCSA, by simply keeping medically unqualified drivers off of the road. “2.2 percent of crashes involve a crash where the truck driver was assigned the critical reason for the crash and the main contributing factor was the health or physical condition of the truck driver.”

The American Chiropractic Association commented that “training protocol will ensure that MEs are knowledgeable and capable of performing these examinations since in the past there have been instances of disqualifying a driver due to blindness, insulin use, psychological conditions, appendage loss, seizure disorders, and cardiovascular disorders that had been previously been improperly approved by unqualified MEs.”

The ruling was effective as of May 21, 2012. Compliance is required beginning on May 21, 2014. All drivers (truck drivers and bus drivers) must be certified by a ME on the National Registry before the May 21, 2014 date. Two years were given to allow for implementation and training of certified MEs. This ruling is for ALL motor carriers whether owner-operators or company carriers. All drivers are required to carry their medical examiner’s certificate proving that they have passed the physical examination administered by a REGISTERED Medical Examiner with them at all times while on the road.

The ME who administers the examination is required to hold record of all drivers that they examine and certify for three years after their medical approval. In that time, the ME must make a copy or electronic version of the medical examiner’s certificate available to authorized representatives of the FMCSA or authorized Federal, State, or local enforcement agency within 48 hours of request.

The fee for an examination averages between $70.00-$100.00, as estimated by the FMCSA.

Training to be certified on the National Register must be accredited by a nationally recognized organization and be based on the FMCSA’s core curriculum’s specifications and guidelines, such as post-graduate divisions of colleges and universities would be eligible to provide training.

Training and certification includes:

  • Maintain a valid State license to conduct medical examinations;
  • Complete required training on FMCSA’s physical qualification standards
  • Pass the ME Certification Test to demonstrate a sound understanding of FMCSA’s physical qualification standards
  • Complete periodic training and re-certification testing every 5-10 years

According to the report, 40,000 MEs should be certified by the May 21st, 2014 deadline for implementation providing sufficient number of certified MEs to provide coverage to the estimated 3 million drivers from all geographic locations.

“Once the National Registry Program is implemented, FMCSA will accept medical examinations performed ONLY by certified MEs listed on the National Registry, as required by law,” declared the FMCSA.

If you are wondering where to find this registry simply follow this link:

So, there you have it! If you are a truck or bus driver that hasn’t been examined by an ME on the National Registry, you have one year to get your gears grinding to do it. (The pun was absolutely intended.)





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