National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners
On April 20, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a final rule establishing its National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME).
According to an implementation schedule published on FMCSA’s official NRCME website, on May 21, 2012 the agency will begin the process to allow accredited private companies to test and certify medical examiners for inclusion on the NRCME. BeginningMay 21, 2014, all medical certificates must be issued by a certified medical examinerand contain his/her Medical Examiner Registration Number. Medical certificates issuedbefore May 21, 2014 will still be valid until their expiration, even if that date is after May21, 2014. On that date, motor carriers will also be required to verify that a medicalcertificate is valid by checking a driver’s medical certificate against the examiner’sregistration number in the NRCME.
Even after being examined by an examiner registered in FMCSA’s database, a driver will still need to transmit a copy of the medical certificate to his or her state licensing agency. The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has long advocated that, both to reduce fraud and possible processing errors, medical examiners should transmit this data directly to the licensing agencies for inclusion in the Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS). ATA has urged FMCSA to issue a proposed rule that would require medical examiners to send such information and States to be able to directly add it to a CDLIS record. Based upon the Department of Transportation’s regulatory agenda, FMCSA is scheduled to publish a notice proposing such a rulechange in August 2012.