FMCSA seeks to modify proposal for medical examiners registry

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has made available for public comment a modification of the proposed information collection request related to the notice of proposed rulemaking for the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners published on Dec. 1, 2008. FMCSA has proposed to establish and maintain a NRCME, and all medical examiners who conduct medical examinations for interstate commercial motor vehicle drivers would have to complete certain training concerning FMCSA physical qualification standards, pass a test to verify an understanding of those standards, and maintain competence by periodic training and testing.

In the comments on the NPRM, a commenter inquired as to what a motor carrier had to do to verify that a medical examiner’s certificate had been issued to a commercial motor vehicle driver by a medical examiner listed on the proposed NRCME. In response to this and other comments, FMCSA is considering whether to require employers to verify that the medical examiner is listed and to place a record of such verification in the driver qualification file.

FMCSA said its latest document is to inform the public that a modified ICR that includes this verification requirement under consideration is available for public comment. The other information collection requirements were made available for public comments at the same time as the NPRM, so comments will be considered only in response to the latest document with respect to the information collection aspects of the verification requirements under consideration by the agency. Comments on the other information collection requirements proposed with the NPRM will not be considered. To submit comments on the latest document, go to www.regulations.gov; the docket number is FMCSA-2008-0363.

Interstate commercial driver’s license holders subject to the physical qualification requirements of the federal safety regulations will have to provide a current copy of their medical examiner’s certificates to their state driver licensing agency. FMCSA’s final rule published Dec. 1, 2008, also requires the SDLA to record on the Commercial Driver License Information System driver record the self-certification the driver made regarding the applicability of the federal driver qualification rules and, for drivers subject to the requirements, the medical certification status information required by the rule.

That rule, which was required by the same 1999 law that created FMCSA, took effect Jan. 30, 2009. States must comply by Jan. 30, 2012, and all CDL holders must submit their self-certification by Jan. 30, 2014, as to whether or not they are subject to the physical qualification rules.