Between January 30, 2012, and January 30, 2014, all interstate drivers who hold a CDL and are required to hold a medical card under Part 391 must begin providing their medical cards to their state driver licensing agencies. States may determine how those cards are to be delivered (e.g., in person, mail, fax, email), whether copies will be allowed, and whether a fee will be charged for medical card processing. The state will then upload the medical card information into the national CDL database (CDLIS) to enable employers and roadside enforcement to verify that a driver is medically qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
Drivers who operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce but are exempt from needing a medical card under Part 391 must give the state a copy of their medical variance letter or certificate from the FMCSA and carry that document in the vehicle at all times.
Intrastate drivers subject to state qualification rules must follow state requirements, which may also include submitting their medical card. Intrastate drivers who are exempt from state qualification rules must continue to follow state requirements.
If a driver fails to turn in or update his/her medical card or variance by January 30, 2014, or if the med card or variance at the state expires, the state will update the driver’s driving record within 10 days showing that the driver is “not certified.” The driver’s CDL will be downgraded within 60 days. The driver will no longer be qualified to operate in interstate commerce (unless exempt from Part 391 medical qualifications standards ) but may be able to drive in-state if allowed by the state.
Interstate CDL drivers will have to continue to carry their medical cards (or a copy of the med card) until January 30, 2014, even if they have already given their medical card to the state.
Motor carriers who employ CDL or commercial learner’s permit (CLP) drivers will no longer have to have a copy of the driver’s medical cards in the DQ (driver qualification) files starting January 30, 2014. When hiring a new driver, carriers will have to obtain the applicant’s MVR to verify his/her medical status. If the med card is new and the MVR does not yet show the driver’s medical status, the carrier can use the med card as proof of qualification for a period of 15 days after the card was issued. This is why it is important for the driver to update his/her medical card on a timely basis.
A motor carrier hiring a driver before January 30, 2014, whose medical card was issued prior to January 30, 2012, can accept the driver’s medical card as proof of qualification. The med card must then be placed in the driver’s DQ file .
The rule will affect neither the frequency with which medical cards must be obtained nor the frequency with which CDLs must be renewed.