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11/8/2013
Deadline fast approaching for proving medical certification
By Jami Jones, Land Line managing editor

The clock is winding down to a Jan. 30, 2014, deadline that all CDL holders must prove medical certification to their state driver’s licensing agency.

A new regulation issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires CDL holders to present proof of medical certification to their home state drivers licensing agency. The regulation allows the states to choose if the medical certificate issued by the doctor or the examination form – dubbed the long form – will be required.

Once presented to the states, CDL holders will only have to retain the medical certificate on the road with them for 15 days. In that time, the state drivers licensing agency is to enter the certification information into the commercial driver’s license information system, dubbed CDLIS.

The requirement is intended to give roadside law enforcement real-time electronic confirmation of medical certification.

The original compliance deadline for the regulation was Jan. 30, 2012.

However, many states were not prepared for the CDLIS reporting requirement so the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration delayed the state’s data entry deadline to 2014.

In the meantime, FMCSA required anyone who has a licensing “action,” such as renewal, upgrade, transfer, etc., after Jan. 30, 2012, to provide proof of medical certification. In addition to providing their medical certification, drivers will be asked to self-certify whether they are interstate or intrastate drivers and whether they work in an exempt segment of the industry – such as school bus drivers or fire department personnel.

With the Jan. 30, 2014, deadline approaching, all CDL holders must provide proof of certification and self-certify operations before that deadline – regardless if their CDL is up for renewal or not.

States are handling the requirement for providing certification differently. The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrations maintains a list of state-by-state requirements. You can view that here.

Some states still have no plan listed but are making strides toward compliance. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association strongly recommends contacting your state agency and confirming accepted forms of proof of certification and delivery methods.

Drivers who do not present proof of certification are at risk of having their CDL downgraded or even suspended. That decision, again, is left up to the states in the regulation.

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