Commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders now have less than 30 days to contact their state licensing agencies to let them know what kind of driver they are and, if necessary, submit a copy of their medical card.
Under federal rules adopted in 2008, state licensing agencies are required to obtain information by January 30, 2014, from all CDL holders on the type of driving they perform (interstate or intrastate) as well as the status of their medical examiner’s certificate.
For most CDL drivers, their medical qualification status will then appear on their driving record so enforcement officers and motor carriers can verify that they are medically qualified to drive.
After January 30, 2014:
- Any interstate CDL holder who is subject to the federal medical standards but has not provided a current, valid medical card to the state licensing agency is deemed “not certified” to drive a commercial vehicle in interstate commerce.
- For any driver whose CDL driving record includes medical certification status, the motor carrier must keep a copy of the driving record instead of the medical card as proof of medical qualification, and will need to get a new driving record each time the driver renews the medical card.
Drivers and carriers can use a copy of each new medical card for up to 15 days as proof of medical qualification, to give the state time to enter the data into the driving record (the state has 10 days). After those 15 days, interstate CDL drivers will no longer have to carry the medical card, and the employer will need a copy of the new driving record in the driver’s file.
Non-CDL drivers are not affected by the new requirements. They will need to continue carrying their medical cards and providing copies to their employers.
The self-certification will need to be updated each time a driver renews, transfers, or upgrades the CDL.
The federal rules governing this process are primarily concerned with interstate drivers, so states have leeway to adopt or not adopt the same requirements for their in-state-only drivers. Check with your state for details (most states have websites with more information on their implementation of the new rules).
Article from JJ Keller