OOIDA files comments about delay of medical examiner rule

By Mark Schremmer, Land Line associate editor | 8/21/2018

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association asked for improved communication and a fully functional national registry website as part of its formal comments regarding the FMCSA’s decision to delay its medical examiner’s certification integration final rule.

The final rule, which was originally published in April 2015 and would have eliminated the need for truck drivers to carry their medical cards, was set to go into effect on June 22. The delay means the rule will not be implemented until June 22, 2021.

According to the agency, the action was taken to provide FMCSA additional time to complete certain information technology system development tasks for its National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners and provide the state driver’s licensing agencies sufficient time to make the necessary programming changes.

One of the issues that prompted the delay was when the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners website was compromised on Dec. 1. The FMCSA has been working for more than nine months to return the website to full functionality.

OOIDA, which has about 162,000 members, filed its comments about the delay on Monday, Aug. 20.

“The extension shows the urgency for information technology improvements to the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME),” OOIDA wrote. “The three-year compliance delay comes in the aftermath of the December 2017 NRCME data breach. While no personal data was compromised, the NRCME is still not fully back online yet, more than nine months after the incident. Both the data breach and the extension of compliance dates have created some confusion for drivers and medical examiners.”

OOIDA also asked the agency to improve its communication with the certified medical examiners.

“FMCSA should also help educate drivers about the delay so there are not instances when a driver leaves an exam believing the results will be electronically uploaded to their respective state driver licensing agency,” the Association wrote. “Additionally, OOIDA urges FMCSA to restore the full functionality of the NRCME as soon as possible.”



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