The National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners
The National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners – How it Impacts CDL/DOT Physicals
Beginning May 21, 2014 all medical examiners who conduct CDL/DOT physical examinations must be part of the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. Medical professionals who wish to be on the national registry must complete an intricate training and testing program on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) physical standards and guidelines. As a part of the national registry, the Certified Medical Examiner is authorized by FMCSA as qualified to perform physicals exams and issue medical certificates for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers to meet the requirements of Section 391.41 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). This certification of CMV drivers ensures that those with serious medical conditions which could contribute to fatal crashes are not placed behind the wheel where they could endanger fellow motorists.
The National Registry program provides a comprehensive list of nationwide qualified Certified Medical Examiners that CMV drivers must use for certification after May 21, 2014. Medical examiners certification expires 10 years from the date of certification; however MEs must complete refresher training every 5 years to maintain certification. According to the FMCSA website, the “FMCSA may remove an ME from the National Registry if he or she does not complete the periodic training (after 5 years) or pass the recertification test (after 10 years.)” There are additional requirements that a ME must follow in order to remain on the registry. For example, forms must be submitted monthly for every driver examined, original reports must be retained for at least 3 years from the date of examination and the ME must submit to periodic audits.
So what is the impact for CMV drivers? As previously mentioned, after May 21st all CMV drivers must obtain physical exams from a certified ME listed in the National Registry in order for their certification to be valid. If a driver previously used their personal physician they may still do so, but only if that physician is listed on the National Registry. This includes all physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners. The physical exam requirements for the CMV driver remain the same as outlined in 49 CFR 391.41 (Physical Qualifications for Drivers). The new medical certificate will contain the same information as previously required, but will now also include the ME’s National Registry number. Employers may verify the ME’s qualifications through the National Registry website. The medical examination reports are not entered into the registry. FMCSA explains, “It is up to CMV drivers, who are required to have a CDL, to provide the medical certificate to the State agency issuing the license.”
Employers who need to send their drivers for CDL/DOT physical exams need to be aware of these new medical examiner requirements. The Industrial Health Council offers CDL/DOT physical exam services conducted by Certified Medical Examiners listed on the National Registry. Additionally, IHC specializes in on-site screening services nationwide as well as two clinic locations in Birmingham and Decatur Alabama. For more information or a complete list of IHC services contact Gigi Talley at 205-326-4109, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.i-h-c.org.
National Registry: https://nationalregistry.fmcsa.dot.gov/NRPublicUI/home.seam