May 21st, 2014
New CDL Requirements

How Does This Affect Me?

As of May 21st, 2014, all commercial motor vehicle drivers will need to get a CDL physical from a health provider certified by the FMCSA.

CDL Health connects drivers with certified health providers that are certified with the FMCSA to do CDL physicals. We make it easy to find a certified health provider.

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These are FAQs from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

What impact does the National Registry have on CMV drivers and motor carriers?

As of May 21, 2014, interstate CMV drivers are required to obtain physical examinations and a medical examiner's certificate from a certified ME listed on the National Registry website.

Is this program applicable to both interstate and intrastate CMV drivers?

No, this program applies to interstate drivers only. Intrastate drivers must follow State requirements concerning medical certification.

How is the driver medical certificate issued by a ME on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners different from the current driver medical certificate?

The new driver medical certificate will contain the same medical information as the current driver medical certificate, but will now include the ME's National Registry number. Additionally, this rule assures that all healthcare professionals, who perform medical exams for interstate truck and bus drivers, are trained, tested and certified on the specific physical qualifications standards that affect a driver's ability to safely operate the vehicle.

Will the ME inform the State driver licensing agency that I have passed the physical examination?

No, it is up to CMV drivers required to have a CDL to provide the medical certificate to the State agency issuing the license. Contact your State driver licensing agency for information about how to provide your medical certificate. As of May 21, 2014, States will be required to enter the National Registry Number from the medical examiner's certificate into CDLIS for each nonexcepted interstate CDL driver. A driver's medical certificate is valid until it expires. If the expiration date is after May 21, 2014, the driver must obtain a medical certificate from a ME listed on the National Registry.

Will FMCSA transmit the medical certificate information for interstate CDL drivers to the State driver licensing agencies?

Not at this time. The final rule provides for reporting to FMCSA by the MEs of medical certificate information for all interstate CMV drivers. The Agency is considering a new rulemaking to require more frequent submission of medical certificate information by the MEs and for FMCSA to transmit to the SDLAs that information for interstate CDL drivers required to have a medical certificate.

How will an employer or enforcement personnel verify that a ME is on the National Registry?

They may visit the National Registry web site at and search the registry for the ME who provided the driver's medical certificate. They can search by ME name or National Registry number.

How will a driver/carrier find a ME?

ME candidates who pass the exam will be listed in an online registry located on the National Registry web site. As of May 21, 2014, all interstate CMV drivers seeking a medical examination/certificate must use a ME listed on the National Registry. To find a certified ME, visit the National Registry web site and conduct a basic or advanced search by: City and State, ZIP Code, Name of ME, Business Name, Employer Name, Medical Profession, National Registry ID #

Will the medical examination reports be entered into the National Registry?

No. The FMCSA will not routinely collect or store medical examination reports (i.e., the long form).

If I lose my medical card, can I get a replacement copy from the National Registry?

No. The National Registry is not intended to serve as a medical certificate database for drivers or carriers. To get a copy of your signed medical certificate you must contact the ME that issued it.

If a driver receives a medical certificate from a ME who is later removed from the National Registry for fraudulent activities, is the medical certificate still valid?

Yes. However, FMCSA may exercise its authority to review the ME's report (long form) and discuss the matter with the individual driver to make an individual determination whether to void the certificate.

What happens to a ME who inappropriately or fraudulently certifies a driver?

Errors, omissions, or other indications of improper certification by a ME of a driver in either the completed Medical Examination Reports or the medical certificates, may result in FMCSA initiating action to remove the ME from the National Registry. The final rule provides due process for addressing the removal of MEs from the National Registry.

I prefer going to my doctor for my CMV physical exam. Can I still go to him/her once this rule is implemented?

Yes, provided he/she is listed as a certified ME of the National Registry. If not, drivers will have to use a certified ME that is listed in the online registry.

About the NRCME

What is the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners?

The National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (National Registry) is a Federal program that establishes requirements for healthcare professionals that perform physical qualification examinations for truck and bus drivers. To become a certified medical examiner (ME) and be listed on the National Registry, healthcare professionals must complete training and testing on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) physical qualifications standards and guidelines. The National Registry web site is accessible to carriers, drivers, enforcement officials, and the general public. All healthcare 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.

Why is the National Registry necessary?

FMCSA developed the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners final rule as part of the agency's commitment to enhancing the medical oversight of interstate drivers, and preventing commercial vehicle-related crashes, injuries and fatalities. The final rule addresses four NTSB recommendations on a comprehensive medical oversight program for interstate drivers.

Who is impacted by this program?

The program impacts medical examiners who need to obtain certification in order to continue issuing medical certificates for truck and bus drivers, CMV drivers who need to obtain medical certificates from examiners on the National Registry, motor carriers who must ensure their interstate drivers have been medically certified by an examiner on the registry, and training and testing organizations that will deliver these aspects of the program.

Are there any National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommendations related to the establishment of the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners?

The National Registry final rule addresses four NTSB recommendations on a comprehensive medical oversight program for interstate drivers that include the following elements:
  • Individuals performing medical examinations for drivers are qualified to do so and are educated about occupational issues for drivers (H-01-017);
  • A tracking mechanism is established that ensures that every prior application by an individual for medical certification is recorded and reviewed. (H-01-018);
  • Medical certification regulations are updated periodically to permit trained examiners to clearly determine whether drivers with common medical conditions should be issued a medical certificate. (H-01-019); and
  • Individuals performing examinations have specific guidance and a readily identifiable source of information for questions on such examinations (H-01-020). FMCSA staff will meet with NTSB staff to provide a briefing on the rule. The Agency will provide any additional technical assistance necessary for the NTSB to determine whether the recommendations have been satisfied through the rulemaking.