WASHINGTON, D.C. – Drivers operating in the United States will have to continue carrying their medical certificates for two more years.
The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has extended compliance dates for the Medical Examiner’s Certification Integration final rule by two years until June 22, 2021.
The extension through a new interim final rule is being implemented to allow the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners and the State Driver’s Licensing Agencies (SDLAs) to make changes and upgrades to their IT systems to accommodate the change.
The administration originally gave notice of the change three years ago in April and June of 2015, with an implementation date set for last week.
During the extension medical examiners will be required to continue to issue paper certificates to all qualified drivers, including those with a learner’s permit or applicant holders.
Drivers in the U.S. will be required to continue sending a copy of their paper certificate to their SDLA, and all drivers will be required to carry their paper certificate with them on the road.
Fleets will still be required to verify that drivers have been cleared by an examiner on the medical registry.
The interim rule is not changing the compliance date for medical examiners to ensure they have entered data into the system by midnight on the day following an exam. That provision came into effect June 22, 2018.
Despite no change for the new provision, according to the FMCSA medical examiners are unable to upload their results of examinations conducted to the system due to a National Registry outage. The administration says it will announce when that function has been restored, but in the meantime medical examiners should separate all the exams conducted during the outage and be prepared to upload them when the system comes back online. No penalties will be issued during this time period.