WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today published a final rule that extends by one year the requirement for interstate commercial drivers to have paper copies of their medical examiner’s certifications with them while operating their vehicle.
However, a separate requirement for commercial drivers to self-certify their status still has the same imminent deadline: Jan. 30, 2014.
With today’s final rule, the mandate for interstate commercial drivers to keep paper copies of their medical certifications with them is extended from Jan. 30, 2014, to Jan. 30, 2015. This applies to interstate drivers with either a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or commercial learner’s permit (CLP) who must be medically certified under 49 CFR Part 391.
“This extension of the requirement to carry a medical certificate card was needed to ensure that all SDLAs [state driver licensing agencies] are prepared to accept and transmit the medical qualification of CDL and CLP holders on the Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS) driver record,” FMCSA officials explained.
For more information, see this FMCSA web page.
In announcing the extension of that requirement, FMCSA officials noted that CDL drivers are still required to certify their status (interstate or intrastate, exempt or non-exempt) with their SDLA before Jan. 30, 2014, and to provide the SDLA a copy of any new medical certificate received after Jan. 30, 2012. (Some reports in recent days incorrectly indicated that FMCSA was extending the self-certification deadline.)
With two weeks to go before the Jan. 30, 2014, deadline, it appears that many commercial drivers have yet to self-certify.
In Minnesota, for example, the Department of Public Safety has issued reminders about the need for CDL holders to self-certify. On Dec. 11, the agency announced that one-third of Minnesota’s commercial licensed drivers had not yet complied and could lose their driving privileges if they don’t take action by the end of January.
On Wednesday, a Minnesota Department of Public Safety spokesperson gave SBF updated data showing that now about a quarter of the state's CDL holders (66,273 of about 250,000) have yet to self-certify.