Compliance, Uncategorized

FMCSA Medical Certification Process*


Do you know which of your drivers need to be medically certified?

According to the FMCSA, drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) must be medically certified.  The Federal definition (which applies to interstate drivers) says that a CMV is a vehicle with:

  • GVW or GCW @ 10,001+ lbs.
  • GVWR or GCWR @ 10,001+ lbs.
  • Placarded Hazmat
  • Transports 9+ people for profit
  • Transports 16+ people for any reason

This means CDL and Non-CDL drivers, mechanics, supervisors, full time/part time, pickup drivers, owner/operators, and a variety of other drivers may need medical certification.

When is a DOT Exam Required?

A DOT exam is required before a driver operates your company’s CMV.  For new hires, your company may:

  • Accept a valid medical certificate/MVR, or
  • Require a new exam

What happens when a driver passes the DOT exam?

The medical examiner’s certificate will be issued to the driver.  The driver gets the original copy, the examiner keeps a copy for 3 years, and a copy is sent to any employing motor carrier who requests it.

Non-CDL drivers must always carry the medical card with them.

CDL drivers must carry the medical card for a minimum of 15 days after the exam (law enforcement officers my accept the card for up to 60 days after the exam).

CDL drivers must provide a copy of the medical card to their state licensing agency within approximately 5 days after the exam.  This is called “self-certification”.  Failure to provide this information may result in their license being downgraded.

Employers must update non-CDL drivers’ qualification file with the medical card and this must be kept in the file for 3 years.

Employers must receive proof for CDL drivers and place this in their qualification file.  The medical card can be placed in the file for up to 15 days after the exam.  Thereafter, the employer must request an official motor vehicle record showing the current medical certification information.  Employers must also verify that the medical examiner that preformed the exam is listed on the National Registry.  You can access the National Registry here.  This information must be kept in the file for 3 years.

What are the penalties for non-compliance?

  • Out of Service (OOS) at roadside inspections
  • Citations and CSA points
  • Record keeping violations: $1214 per day, up to $12,135
  • Knowing falsification: $12,135
  • Non-record keeping safety violations
    • $14,739 for the company
    • $3,685 for drivers
  • Failing Factor 2 on an audit

Changes to the policy

There are no changes in the works for non-CDL drivers.

Effective June 2018, CDL drivers will no longer be issued medical cards.  The driver’s MVR will be the only allowed proof of medical certification.  The medical examiner will have 1 day to upload results and will be transferred electronically to the state licensing agency.  Employers will no longer be required to verify the medical examiner against the National Registry listing.

When in comes to intrastate, each state has different threshold definitions when pertaining to medical certification.

Provisio Circle can help you with interstate and intrastate regulations.  For additional information and pricing options please Contact Us!


*Most information taken from webcast: Navigating compliance: The FMCSA Medical Certification Process

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