FMCSA Delaying Driver Medical Cards Rule for 3 Years because of CME Registry Hack
Written By Lucas Kibby
A new federal rule, due for implementation in June 2018, would have eliminated the need for truck drivers to carry their medical cards. This rule has now been delayed for three years due the recent hack of the certified medical examiners registry back in December.
FMCSA’s April 26 announcement said that the Medical Examiner’s Certification Integration final rule will not require compliance until June 22, 2021. The national registry, which has been down for more than four months, is “dependent upon the implementation of information technology infrastructure that will not be available” by June 2018, the agency said.
The final integration rule will require FMCSA to electronically transmit from the national registry to state driver licensing agencies for the driver identification information, examination results and restriction information from examinations performed for holders of learner permits and commercial driver licenses.
It will also require the FMCSA to electronically transmit to state licensing agencies the medical variance information for all commercial vehicle drivers and post driver identification, examination results and restriction information received electronically from FMCSA.
However, FMCSA said that as the final rule compliance date draws nearer, they concluded that they will not be able to electronically transmit medical examiner certification information from the registry to the state licensing agencies, and the licensing agencies will not be able to electronically receive medical certification information from the national registry for posting to their CDL information system driver record.
“For this reason, FMCSA anticipates extending the compliance date to June 22, 2021,” FMCSA said.
Despite the delay, the agency said that beginning June 2, certified medical examiners still will be required to report results of all completed CMV 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.
Although the online registry remains down, FMCSA said earlier this month that health care professionals still can get listed on the registry and that a static look-up function allows licensing agencies and employers to check the validity of medical cards.
The agency has yet to identify the nature of the registry breach, nor has it predicted when the registry might return to functionality.