Get ready to revamp your recordkeeping system a little bit. If you hire or use interstate drivers who have commercial driver’s licenses and who are required to be medically certified, rules will change January 30, 2014. For clarity’s sake, we’re talking here about drivers who self-certify that they are in Category A and therefore must furnish a copy of their medical card (short form, not long form) to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
After January 30, you may no longer rely on a copy of the medical examiner’s certification form in the driver qualification file to help show that the driver is qualified. Instead, you need to get a fresh copy of the driver’s motor vehicle record (MVR) showing: • the driver’s self-certification to drive interstate • the driver’s medical certificate is on file and current • whether or not the driver has a medical variance issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
You’re required to get an MVR as part of the hiring process and annually after that. If the medical certificate expires between the required annual checks, then you’ll need to request an additional MVR to document that the driver’s medical certification status has been renewed. You may, as a matter of company policy, continue to require that a commercial driver furnish you with his or her medical certificate or examiner’s long form. It just won’t be a federal requirement any more. If a driver is excepted or intrastate (categories B, C and D), or is not required to have a CDL, then the “old rules” apply and you can continue to document his or her physical qualification by retaining a copy of the medical certificate in the DQ file.
Note: Nebraska is requiring everyone who applies for a school bus permit to meet DOT medical and vision requirements and provide a medical examiner’s long form to the DMV annually.