May 14, 2018

The FMCSA to delay the implementation of the electronic medical certificate rule

The FMCSA to delay the implementation of the electronic medical certificate rule

Because of a malware that affected the online registry of certified medical examiners, the FMCSA has decided to postpone the implementation of the automated driver medical certification for three years.

Online medical reporting was designed to make the sharing of relevant driver medical information seamless, with the intention of making roads and highways safer.

The FMCSA’s requirement for drivers to begin their automated reporting by June 22 of this year will be pushed back to June 22, 2021. The agency cited the malware attempt that took the National Registry offline as the reason why the development of the electronic transmission process could not be completed in time.

According to the FMCSA, the agency “has reluctantly concluded that it will not be able to electronically transmit [medical examiner’s certificate] information from the National Registry to the SDLAs nor will the SDLAs be able to electronically receive the MEC information from the National Registry for posting to the CDLIS driver record as intended by the Medical Examiner’s Certification Integration final rule.”

Starting June 2, 2018, examiners will be required to upload driver exam results by midnight (local time) the day following an examination. Additionally, they must continue issuing the original paper medical examiner certificate to qualified drivers. Drivers will also be required to provide their license-issuing state a copy of their medical certificate as a proof of certification.

The extension of the compliance date to June 22, 2021, will “ensure that the [state agencies] have sufficient time once the final specifications are released to make the necessary information technology programming changes”, said the FMCSA.

Until the rule is fully implemented by the FMCSA, drivers will need to report their certificate status to their state licensing agency. This requirement has been in effect since January 30, 2012.

The FMCSA is accepting public comments on the notice until June 26, 2018.

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