The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a final rule that will require states to merge the commercial driver’s license (CDL) and the driver’s medical examination certificate into a single electronic record.

When fully implemented, the new combined CDL will streamline record keeping obligations for the states and CDL holders, while providing instant electronic access to the CDL holder’s medical certificate by state and federal enforcement officials.

In addition, the rule requires states to take enforcement actions against CDL holders if they do not provide medical certification status information within the deadline.

“While we have made significant improvements in motor carrier safety, these actions will support and strengthen our continuing commitment to ensure that only medically qualified individuals are allowed to operate an interstate truck or bus. Safety is our paramount responsibility,” FMCSA administrator John H. Hill said.

FMCSA also issued a related rulemaking that would establish a National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners to ensure that physical qualification examinations of CDL holders are performed by qualified medical practitioners and administered in a uniform and consistent manner.

The NPRM for the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners can be found at www.regulations.gov, docket number FMCSA-2008-0363.

The final rule on Medical Certification Requirements as Part of the CDL is available for review at www.fmcsa.dot.gov.

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