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June 18, 2018 2:15 PM, EDT

FMCSA Announces Three-Year Delay of Rule to Eliminate Need for Truck Drivers to Carry Their Medical Cards

Physical exam (iStock)

Federal trucking regulators have issued a final rule that will delay for three years a streamlined process to eliminate the need for truck drivers to carry their medical certification cards.

The plan, first previewed in April, calls for a compliance delay of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s medical examiners certification integration final rule until June 22, 2021, in part due to a hack of the medical examiner’s website that has left it offline while the agency rebuilds the infrastructure, according to a June 18 agency pre-publication announcement.

FMCSA logo

The agency has not yet predicted when the registry might return to complete functionality.

“This action is being taken to provide FMCSA additional time to complete certain information technology system development tasks for its National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners, and provide state driver’s licensing agencies sufficient time to make the necessary IT programming changes after upgrades to the National Registry,” the agency said.

The final integration rule specifically requires FMCSA to electronically transmit from the national registry to state driver licensing agencies the driver identification information, examination results and restriction information from examinations performed for holders of learner permits and commercial driver licenses.

Despite the delay, the agency said that certified medical examiners still will be required to report results of all completed commercial motor vehicle drivers’ medical examinations to FMCSA — and those where the driver was found not to be qualified — by midnight of the next calendar day after the examination, but must continue issuing the original medical certification to qualified drivers.