Rumormill: About a Homeland Security Survey?

Q. One of my driver’s had a question, based on information given him by a doctor or nurse in one of those medical facilities at Pilot: If a driver does not complete a survey from Homeland Security, would they have their CDL status dropped?

New Medical Certification requirements as of January 30, 2012 (no later than January 30, 2014) require that all CDL drivers need to provide information to their State Driver Licensing Agency (SDLA) regarding the type of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operation they drive in or expect to drive. CDL drivers who are required to have a ”certified” medical status, and fail to provide and/or keep their medical examiner’s certificate current with their SDLA will become ”not-certified” and may lose their CDL. Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) holders became subject to the same requirement as CDL drivers (that a medical examiner’s certificate be provided to the SDLAs so that this information will be available on record for CLP holders), beginning on July 8, 2015.

Most states are compliant with this new rule (RIN: 2126–AB71). Compliance Check: If you run the driver’s MVR, you should see the required information on the MVR report. As of a January 14, 2014 modification, CDL drivers are required to carry their paper medical certificate until January 30, 2015. Carriers and organizations should retain a copy for the driver’s qualification file.

Here’s the new updated regulations form the Federal Register:

FMCSA has decided to again extend for another year, until January 30, 2015, the date after which sole reliance on such driver records will be required for another year. The necessary amendments to 49 CFR 391.23(m), 391.41(a) and 391.51(b)(7) to accomplish this extension are set out below. (Note: keeping the paper documents is the only change; the remainder of the regulation is NOT postponed or delayed.)

In § 391.41, revise paragraph (a)(2) to read as follows:

§ 391.41 Physical qualifications for drivers.

(a) * * *
(2) CDL/CLP exception. (i) Beginning January 30, 2015, a driver required to have a commercial driver’s license under part 383 of this chapter, and who submitted a current medical examiner’s certificate to the State in accordance with § 383.71(h) of this chapter documenting that he or she meets the physical qualification requirements of this part, no longer needs to carry on his or her person the medical examiner’s certificate specified at § 391.43(h), or a copy for more than 15 days after the date it was issued as valid proof of medical certification.

(ii) Beginning July 8, 2015, a driver required to have a commercial learner’s permit under part 383 of this chapter, and who submitted a current medical examiner’s certificate to the State in accordance with § 383.71(h) of this chapter documenting that he or she meets the physical qualification requirements of this part, no longer needs to carry on his or her person the medical examiner’s certificate specified at § 391.43(h), or a copy for more than 15 days after the date it was issued as valid proof of medical certification.

(iii) A CDL or CLP holder required by § 383.71(h) of this chapter to obtain a medical examiner’s certificate, who obtained such by virtue of having obtained a medical variance from FMCSA, must continue to have in his or her possession the original or copy of that medical variance documentation at all times when on-duty.
* * * * *
4.In § 391.51, revise paragraph (b)(7)(ii) to read as follows:
§ 391.51 General requirements for driver qualification files.

* * * * *
(b) * * *
(7) * * *
(ii) Exception. For CDL holders, beginning January 30, 2012, if the CDLIS motor vehicle record contains medical certification status information, the motor carrier employer must meet this requirement by obtaining the CDLIS motor vehicle record defined at § 384.105 of this chapter. That record must be obtained from the current licensing State and placed in the driver qualification file. After January 30, 2015, a non-excepted, interstate CDL or CLP holder without medical certification status information on the CDLIS motor vehicle record is designated “not-certified” to operate a CMV in interstate commerce. After January 30, 2015, a motor carrier may use a copy of the driver’s current medical examiner’s certificate that was submitted to the State for up to 15 days from the date it was issued as proof of medical certification.

* * * * *
end regulatory text
Issued under the authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.87 on: January 8, 2014.

How does “Homeland Security” fit into this?

In some states Homeland Security may be part of the licensing bureau or DMV. For example, in Tennessee,  the State Driver Licensing Agency (SDLA) is called the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security (TDOSHS).  TDOSHS will be adding CDL driver’s medical certification status and the information from Tennessee drivers’ medical certificates to the federal Commercial Driver’s License System (CDLIS) record.

Obiter Dictum

Napoleon uttered the famous observation, “Order, counter-order, disorder.” With so many recent changes to DOT regulations, a little ‘disorder’ and confusion can be anticipated until everyone is on the same page. Please bookmark this blog for additional compliance insights and to stay current on recent regulatory changes and issues.