New Medical Exam Requirements for Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers
The US Department of Transportation (DOT) through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued final rules late last month that laid out the requirements for health care providers to become certified Medical Examiners and issue medical certificates for commercial motor vehicle drivers. The rule was finalized after many years of work and development, and as expected, Chiropractic Physicians are included in the list of health care providers that are qualified to become Medical Examiners.
The rule establishes a requirement that by May 21, 2014, all certified Medical Examiners (MEs) must complete specific training AND pass a certification test through a National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.
All medical certificates issued beginning May 21, 2014, MUST be issued by examiners listed on the National Registry of Certified MedicalExaminers. Additionally, MEs will be required to pay for their own training and testing.
A Medical Examiner’s certification will last for 10-years from the date of issue. However, the ME must take additional education after 5-years and take the test again in order to renew the certificate.
Providers must register with the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME), and once trained and tested, Medical Examiners will be listed in a registry for those seeking medical evaluations for DOT. Registration and other information can be found here: http://nrcme.fmcsa.dot.gov. Registration will not be available until August 20, 2012.
The training must be completed by an organization that has been accredited by a nationally-recognized medical profession accrediting organization that provides continuing medical education units. Additionally, the training MUST include all eight of the core components and all other specific requirements in the final rule. According to NRCME, a provider may take the training at any time, as long as the training has met the requirements within the rule.
The Illinois Chiropractic Society is having discussions with two different organizations to bring the education to Chiropractic Physicians in Illinois. We will keep members informed as more information becomes available.
Testing will be performed by approved testing organizations, and only after the testing organization has been approved by NRCME. These organizations will be able to be found at http://nrcme.fmcsa.dot.gov once they have registered (examination organization registration begins May 21, 2012). The testing organization and the training organization CANNOT be the same entity.
The ICS will continue to update our members on the progress of this program, as well as, training options in the near future.
Although more requirements are coming, until May 2014, providers are not required to be certified. If you are currently certifying medical certificates for commercial motor vehicle drivers, you may continue to certify until that point. However, it has come to our attention that some doctors who are currently certifying have not been completing the paperwork appropriately. Please take an extra moment and verify the following:
- Please verify all information on the medical certificate with the driver’s license. This includes eyeglass restrictions. Make sure you are fully aware and document any vision impairment and corrective lens requirements on the certificate. Additionally, the corrective lens box on the medical card ONLY should be checked if the driver must wear eyeglasses while driving (i.e. reading glasses do NOT constitute vision impairment).
- Signatures MUST be legible. Make sure the doctor’s printed name is on the medical certificate along with a legible signature. If the physician’s signature is not legible, please include an attestation statement verifying that the signature on the certificate with the physician performing the evaluation. These verifications are important, as some drivers have had their medical certificates denied because of these two problems.