If you haven't heard, changes are coming in the way we get our medical certificates. No longer will we be able to go to our family doctor (unless they comply) to get our physical.  We will have to find a certified medical examiner that has registered on the new federal program that is to go in effect May of 2014.  As of the time of this writing, there is 1 examiner in my hometown of 50,000 people.  There is another one 30 miles away and one more 60 miles away.  You can check out who's certified in your hometown by following this link.  Some industry compliance experts believe the deadline will be delayed because of the small number of medical professionals that are certified.  It is my understanding that if you get a medical card at your usual doctor who isn't certified prior to the effective date of May 21, 2014, you will be in compliance until the expiration of that card.  After that, you'll have to go to a certified examiner.

The following information is taken right off of the FMCSA website.  You can find it and more information by following this link.  The National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners is a Federal program that establishes requirements for health care professionals who perform physical qualification examinations for truck and bus drivers. To become a certified medical examiner (ME) and be listed on the National Registry, health care professionals must complete training and testing on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) physical qualifications standards and guidelines. The National Registry website is accessible to carriers, drivers, enforcement officials, and the general public.

All health care professionals whose scope of practice authorizes them to perform physical examinations, as defined by the State in which they practice,and who intend to  perform physical examinations 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) must be certified and listed on FMCSA's National Registry by May 21, 2014.

Comments (11)

Joey Slaughter

Joey Slaughter is the owner of Blue Ridge Transport, LLC. Joey has been in the trucking industry since 1992.

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Thanks for the info Shelby. My physical is due in October but I'm considering going to my own doctor (who is not on the list) before the deadline so I'll be good for another 2 years. Hopefully by then, they'll be better options for all of us.

January 14, 2014 7:32:15 AM

I just had my DOT Exam in late December, the FNP that completed the exam isn't on the list, in fact there are only 56 in the entire state of Oregon and only one in Central Oregon where I live! Looks like I will be good until December 2015, hopefully by then somebody at my clinic can do this... As an update to the card rules, looks like the states got a one year extension and drivers must carry the paper card until 30-Jan-2015. http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/about/news/news-releases/2014/digest-14-01-10.aspx

January 13, 2014 22:51:17 PM

Hey Lawrence. Yes they can. I don't know what it costs or the amount of training they will have to complete, but there is some. That's keeping doctors from applying. They evidently don't see a cost benefit to get certified.

December 01, 2013 6:45:52 AM

Can't your local physician apply for certification.

November 30, 2013 23:32:31 PM

It will be interesting to see where this all goes if not enough doctors sign up for the registry. From what I have heard there is no rush from the medical profession to sign up.

November 25, 2013 22:32:01 PM

Good point Craig. Some states are ahead of others regarding the medical card filing. My home state came into compliance nearly a year ago while others are going down to the wire it seems. Everyone must check with their own DMV to ensure compliance.

November 25, 2013 10:07:22 AM

Good article Joey. A side note to the medical card issue is the requirement to have a copy of your medical card filed with your local DMV. Jill Dunn wrote an article about this in Overdrive online a couple weeks ago. She stated the deadline for filing your medical card with your DMV is January 30th 2014. After that date anyone that has not complied essentially will not have a valid CDL.

November 25, 2013 8:33:55 AM

I hope medical examiners get on board and get certified. There are three in my entire county with a population of over 354,000. Of that population a small percentage are CDL carrying individuals but I can see appointments being scheduled out quite a ways if more doctors don't get on board.

November 25, 2013 8:21:28 AM

Once again, in an effort to keep us safer, they hand down massive regulation that makes it more difficult for us to comply. Hopefully there will be a delay so more medical providers can get certified.

November 25, 2013 7:19:51 AM

I was one of the people yelling that we need to certify the testers. They were heading down the road to where anyone could hang a shingle out and do DOT physicals. Too many drivers used that as their only physical. But, when they excluded MDs they went too far.

November 25, 2013 5:49:48 AM

Joey thanks for the link. I looked up the Saint Louis area where we live and there are two registered in an area of 318,000 people. We will no longer be able to use our family doctor who knows our history for our physicals.

November 25, 2013 5:39:21 AM