The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced changes to the CDL Medical Certification reporting submission requirements, due in part to technical issues on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners registry website.
The FMCSA Medical Program requirements are designed to ensure commercial motor carriers are physically qualified to engage in interstate commerce. Drivers are required to obtain a medical exam from a certified medical examiner that is listed in the National Registry. In a new rule that is expected to roll out June 2, 2018, medical examiners are required to submit driver exam results by midnight the following day. However, due to the technical glitch in the current system, examiners are being told to hold on to the exam results from completed physical and then upload them when the system is back online.
The agency is postponing requirements that medical information on drivers and their exam results be submitted to state agencies for three additional years. The postponement is due in part to the technical issues that resulted from unauthorized access to the system, triggering the National Registry website outage. An incident in early December 2017 caused the National Registry to be taken offline, leading to interruptions in the development of the electronic transmission process.
Delaying compliance on the submission of the records until June 22, 2021 will give the agency adequate time to make the necessary programming changes.
Drivers are still required to self-report their certification status to their state agencies, a requirement that has been in effect since January 30, 2012. Certified medical examiners are encouraged to continue to conduct DOT physicals and issue medical examination certifications. Examiners are required to pass certain tests and become listed in the registry.
FMCSA has confirmed that no personal information was exposed in the December 2017 cyber attack. The registry has been down since December and continues to remain down. A simple search by zip code is accessible, but access to the full portal is still not functioning. The attempt to access data by the cyber criminals was not successful, and no information was compromised. Roadside inspectors are continuing to check drivers’ medical certificates, but there is a backlog of exam results being uploaded into the system due to the site still being offline.
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