The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners is now in full effect. In a “reminder” released Wednesday, May 21, by the FMCSA, Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and Administrator Anne Ferro jointly notified drivers that from this day forward, all commercial drivers must get their medical certification from a registered medical examiner.
“We have certified thousands of health professionals to conduct driver exams – with more being added every day,” said Administrator Ferro in Wednesday’s statement. “The online database is easily searchable so drivers can schedule their medical certification exam with a qualified healthcare professional wherever they might be – coast to coast, including Hawaii and Alaska.”
Certified examiners can be located by city, state or ZIP code on FMCSA’s website.
According to the agency’s statement, approximately 22,000 medical professionals have completed the coursework and testing and are listed on the National Registry and another 27,000 have begun the certification process. Current medical certificates held by commercial driver’s license holders will continue to be valid until the expiration date that is shown on the card. Only then will the driver need to seek a certified medical examiner to perform their new examination.
Both OOIDA and American Trucking Associations still have serious concerns about whether those estimations represent a sufficient number of examiners to meet demand. On April 8, OOIDA filed a petition to have NRCME delayed. On May 8, ATA sent a letter of request to Administrator Ferro also requesting a delay in the program.
The new program was required by federal law. According to the agency, it addresses four National Transportation Safety Board recommendations, sets baseline training and testing standards for medical professionals who perform commercial driver physicals and for tracking of driver medical certificates.
Medical examiners on the National Registry will be required to maintain and demonstrate competence through periodic training and recertification testing. Those that don’t will be removed from the registry.
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