Skip to Content

Rule

Medical Examiner's Certification Integration; Correction

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Enhanced Content

Relevant information about this document from Regulations.gov provides additional context. This information is not part of the official Federal Register document.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

Start Preamble

AGENCY:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION:

Final rule; correction.

SUMMARY:

FMCSA makes corrections to a rule that appeared in the Federal Register on April 23, 2015 (80 FR 22790). In that rule, FMCSA amended the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to require certified medical examiners (MEs) performing physical examinations of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers to use a newly developed Medical Examination Report (MER) Form, MCSA-5875, in place of the current MER Form and to use Form MCSA-5876 for the Medical Examiner's Certificate (MEC); and report results of all CMV drivers' physical examinations performed (including the results of examinations where the driver was found not to be qualified) to FMCSA by midnight (local time) of the next calendar day following the examination. That final rule was a follow-on rule to the Medical Certification Requirements as Part of the CDL rule final rule, published on December 1, 2008, and the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners final rule, published on April 20, 2012.

DATES:

Effective June 22, 2015.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Charles A. Horan, III, Director, Carrier, Driver, & Vehicle Safety Standards, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001, by telephone at (202) 366-4001 or via email at fmcsamedical@dot.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

In FR Doc. 2015-09053, published on Thursday, April 23, 2015 80 FR (22790) the following corrections are made.

Corrections to the Preamble

1. On page 22798, in the third column, in FMCSA's response to comment number 8. Voiding the MEC, the first sentence under the heading “FMCSA Response” is corrected to read as follows:

As explained in both the National Registry final rule (77 FR at 24108) and in the NPRM in this rulemaking (78 FR at 27348), under the authority granted by 49 U.S.C. 31149(c)(2), FMCSA may void an MEC issued to a CMV driver if it finds either that a Medical Examiner has issued a certificate to a driver “who fails to meet the applicable standards at the time of the examination” or “that a Medical Examiner has falsely claimed to have completed training in physical and medical examination standards.”

2. Beginning on page 22810, in the third column, and continuing on page 22811, in the first column, in § 383.73, paragraphs (a)(2)(vii), (b)(5), (o)(1)(i)(A), and (o)(1)(ii)(A) are corrected to read as follows:

§ 383.73 State procedures

(a) * * *

(2) * * *

(vii)(A) Before June 22, 2018, for drivers who certified their type of driving according to § 383.71(b)(1)(i) (non-excepted interstate) and, if the CLP applicant submits a current medical examiner's certificate, date-stamp the medical examiner's certificate, and post all required information from the medical examiner's certificate to the CDLIS driver record in accordance with paragraph (o) of this section.

(B) On or after June 22, 2018, for drivers who certified their type of driving according to § 383.71(b)(1)(i) (non-excepted interstate) and, if FMCSA provides current medical examiner's Start Printed Page 35578certificate information electronically, post all required information matching the medical examiner's certificate to the CDLIS driver record in accordance with paragraph (o) of this section.

(b) * * *

(5)(i) Before June 22, 2018, for drivers who certified their type of driving according to § 383.71(b)(1)(i) (non-excepted interstate) and, if the CDL holder submits a current medical examiner's certificate, date-stamp the medical examiner's certificate and post all required information from the medical examiner's certificate to the CDLIS driver record in accordance with paragraph (o) of this section.

(ii) On or after June 22, 2018, for drivers who certified their type of driving according to § 383.71(b)(1)(i) (non-excepted interstate) and, if FMCSA provides current medical examiner's certificate information electronically, post all required information matching the medical examiner's certificate to the CDLIS driver record in accordance with paragraph (o) of this section.

* * * * *

(o) * * *

(1) * * *

(i) * * *

(A) Post the driver's self-certification of type of driving under § 383.71(b)(1) to the CDLIS driver record;

* * * * *

(ii) * * *

(A) Post the driver's self-certification of type of driving under § 383.71(b)(1) to the CDLIS driver record;

* * * * *

Part 391 Authority [Corrected]

3. On page 22812, in the first column, the authority citation for part 391 is corrected to read as follows:

Start Authority

Authority: 49 U.S.C. 504, 508, 31133, 31136, 31149 and 31502; sec. 4007(b), Pub. L. 102-240, 105 Stat, 1914, 2152; sec. 114, Pub. L. 103-311, 108 Stat. 1673, 1677; sec. 215, Pub. L. 106-159, 113 Stat. 1748, 1767; and 49 CFR 1.87.

End Authority

4. On page 22812, beginning at the top of the second column and continuing at the top of the third column, in § 391.23, paragraphs (m)(2)(i) and (m)(3) are corrected to read as follows:

§ 391.23 Investigation and inquiries.

* * * * *

(m) * * *

(2) Exception. For drivers required to have a commercial driver's license under part 383 of this chapter:

(i) Beginning January 30, 2015, using the CDLIS motor vehicle record obtained from the current licensing State, the motor carrier must verify and document in the driver qualification file the following information before allowing the driver to operate a CMV:

(A) The type of operation the driver self-certified that he or she will perform in accordance with § 383.71(b)(1) of this chapter.

(B)(1) Beginning on May 21, 2014, and ending on June 22, 2018, that the driver was certified by a medical examiner listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners as of the date of medical examiner's certificate issuance.

(2) If the driver has certified under paragraph (m)(2)(i)(A) of this section that he or she expects to operate in interstate commerce, that the driver has a valid medical examiner's certificate and any required medical variances.

(C) Exception. Beginning on January 30, 2015 and until June 22, 2018, if the driver provided the motor carrier with a copy of the current medical examiner's certificate that was submitted to the State in accordance with § 383.73(b)(5) of this chapter, the motor carrier may use a copy of that medical examiner's certificate as proof of the driver's medical certification for up to 15 days after the date it was issued.

* * * * *

(3) Exception. For drivers required to have a commercial learner's permit under part 383 of this chapter:

(i) Beginning July 8, 2015, using the CDLIS motor vehicle record obtained from the current licensing State, the motor carrier must verify and document in the driver qualification file the following information before allowing the driver to operate a CMV:

(A) The type of operation the driver self-certified that he or she will perform in accordance with § 383.71(b)(1) and (g) of this chapter.

(B)(1) Until June 22, 2018, that the driver was certified by a medical examiner listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners as of the date of medical examiner's certificate issuance.

(2) If the driver has a commercial learner's permit and has certified under paragraph (m)(3)(i)(A) of this section that he or she expects to operate in interstate commerce, that the driver has a valid medical examiner's certificate and any required medical variances.

(C) Until June 22, 2018, if the driver provided the motor carrier with a copy of the current medical examiner's certificate that was submitted to the State in accordance with § 383.73(a)(5) of this chapter, the motor carrier may use a copy of that medical examiner's certificate as proof of the driver's medical certification for up to 15 days after the date it was issued.

(ii) Until July 8, 2015, if a driver operating in non-excepted, interstate commerce has no medical certification status information on the CDLIS MVR obtained from the current State driver licensing agency, the employing motor carrier may accept a medical examiner's certificate issued to that driver, and place a copy of it in the driver qualification file before allowing the driver to operate a CMV in interstate commerce.

5. Beginning on page 22812, in the third column, and continuing to page 22821, in the third column, in § 391.43, paragraphs (f), (g)(5)(ii), and (h) are corrected to read as follows:

§ 391.43 Medical examination; certificate of physical examination.

* * * * *

(f)(1) Until December 22, 2015, the medical examination shall be performed, and its results shall be recorded, substantially in accordance with the following instructions and examination form.

Instructions for Performing and Recording Physical Examinations

The medical examiner must be familiar with 49 CFR 391.41, Physical qualifications for drivers, and should review these instructions before performing the physical examination. Answer each question “yes” or “no” and record numerical readings where indicated on the physical examination form.

The medical examiner must be aware of the rigorous physical, mental, and emotional demands placed on the driver of a commercial motor vehicle. In the interest of public safety, the medical examiner is required to certify that the driver does not have any physical, mental, or organic condition that might affect the driver's ability to operate a commercial motor vehicle safely.

General information. The purpose of this history and physical examination is to detect the presence of physical, mental, or organic conditions of such a character and extent as to affect the driver's ability to operate a commercial motor vehicle safely. The examination should be conducted carefully and should at least include all of the information requested in the following form. History of certain conditions may be cause for rejection. Indicate the need for further testing and/or require evaluation by a specialist. Conditions may be recorded which do not, because of their character or degree, indicate that certification of physical fitness should be denied. However, these conditions should be discussed with the driver and he/she should be advised to take the Start Printed Page 35579necessary steps to insure correction, particularly of those conditions which, if neglected, might affect the driver's ability to drive safely.

General appearance and development. Note marked overweight. Note any postural defect, perceptible limp, tremor, or other conditions that might be caused by alcoholism, thyroid intoxication or other illnesses.

Head-eyes. When other than the Snellen chart is used, the results of such test must be expressed in values comparable to the standard Snellen test. If the driver wears corrective lenses for driving, these should be worn while driver's visual acuity is being tested. If contact lenses are worn, there should be sufficient evidence of good tolerance of and adaptation to their use. Indicate the driver's need to wear corrective lenses to meet the vision standard on the Medical Examiner's Certificate by checking the box, “Qualified only when wearing corrective lenses.” In recording distance vision use 20 feet as normal. Report all vision as a fraction with 20 as the numerator and the smallest type read at 20 feet as the denominator. Monocular drivers are not qualified to operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce.

Ears. Note evidence of any ear disease, symptoms of aural vertigo, or Meniere's Syndrome. When recording hearing, record distance from patient at which a forced whispered voice can first be heard. For the whispered voice test, the individual should be stationed at least 5 feet from the examiner with the ear being tested turned toward the examiner. The other ear is covered. Using the breath which remains after a normal expiration, the examiner whispers words or random numbers such as 66, 18, 23, etc. The examiner should not use only sibilants (s-sounding test materials). The opposite ear should be tested in the same manner. If the individual fails the whispered voice test, the audiometric test should be administered. For the audiometric test, record decibel loss at 500 Hz, 1,000 Hz, and 2,000 Hz. Average the decibel loss at 500 Hz, 1,000 Hz and 2,000 Hz and record as described on the form. If the individual fails the audiometric test and the whispered voice test has not been administered, the whispered voice test should be performed to determine if the standard applicable to that test can be met.

Throat. Note any irremediable deformities likely to interfere with breathing or swallowing.

Heart. Note murmurs and arrhythmias, and any history of an enlarged heart, congestive heart failure, or cardiovascular disease that is accompanied by syncope, dyspnea, or collapse. Indicate onset date, diagnosis, medication, and any current limitation. An electrocardiogram is required when findings so indicate.

Blood pressure (BP). If a driver has hypertension and/or is being medicated for hypertension, he or she should be recertified more frequently. An individual diagnosed with Stage 1 hypertension (BP is 140/90-159/99) may be certified for one year. At recertification, an individual with a BP equal to or less than 140/90 may be certified for one year; however, if his or her BP is greater than 140/90 but less than 160/100, a one-time certificate for 3 months can be issued. An individual diagnosed with Stage 2 (BP is 160/100-179/109) should be treated and a one-time certificate for 3-month certification can be issued. Once the driver has reduced his or her BP to equal to or less than 140/90, he or she may be recertified annually thereafter. An individual diagnosed with Stage 3 hypertension (BP equal to or greater than 180/110) should not be certified until his or her BP is reduced to 140/90 or less, and may be recertified every 6 months.

Lungs. Note abnormal chest wall expansion, respiratory rate, breath sounds including wheezes or alveolar rales, impaired respiratory function, dyspnea, or cyanosis. Abnormal finds on physical exam may require further testing such as pulmonary tests and/or x-ray of chest.

Abdomen and Viscera. Note enlarged liver, enlarged spleen, abnormal masses, bruits, hernia, and significant abdominal wall muscle weakness and tenderness. If the diagnosis suggests that the condition might interfere with the control and safe operation of a commercial motor vehicle, further testing and evaluation is required.

Genital-urinary and rectal examination. A urinalysis is required. Protein, blood or sugar in the urine may be an indication for further testing to rule out any underlying medical problems. Note hernias. A condition causing discomfort should be evaluated to determine the extent to which the condition might interfere with the control and safe operation of a commercial motor vehicle.

Neurological. Note impaired equilibrium, coordination, or speech pattern; paresthesia; asymmetric deep tendon reflexes; sensory or positional abnormalities; abnormal patellar and Babinski's reflexes; ataxia. Abnormal neurological responses may be an indication for further testing to rule out an underlying medical condition. Any neurological condition should be evaluated for the nature and severity of the condition, the degree of limitation present, the likelihood of progressive limitation, and the potential for sudden incapacitation. In instances where the medical examiner has determined that more frequent monitoring of a condition is appropriate, a certificate for a shorter period should be issued.

Spine, musculoskeletal. Previous surgery, deformities, limitation of motion, and tenderness should be noted. Findings may indicate additional testing and evaluation should be conducted.

Extremities. Carefully examine upper and lower extremities and note any loss or impairment of leg, foot, toe, arm, hand, or finger. Note any deformities, atrophy, paralysis, partial paralysis, clubbing, edema, or hypotonia. If a hand or finger deformity exists, determine whether prehension and power grasp are sufficient to enable the driver to maintain steering wheel grip and to control other vehicle equipment during routine and emergency driving operations. If a foot or leg deformity exists, determine whether sufficient mobility and strength exist to enable the driver to operate pedals properly. In the case of any loss or impairment to an extremity which may interfere with the driver's ability to operate a commercial motor vehicle safely, the medical examiner should state on the medical certificate “medically unqualified unless accompanied by a Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate.” The driver must then apply to the Field Service Center of the FMCSA, for the State in which the driver has legal residence, for a Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate under § 391.49.

Laboratory and other testing. Other test(s) may be indicated based upon the medical history or findings of the physical examination.

Diabetes. If insulin is necessary to control a diabetic driver's condition, the driver is not qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce. If mild diabetes is present and it is controlled by use of an oral hypoglycemic drug and/or diet and exercise, it should not be considered disqualifying. However, the driver must remain under adequate medical supervision.

Upon completion of the examination, the medical examiner must date and sign the form, provide his/her full name, office address and telephone number. The completed medical examination form shall be retained on file at the office of the medical examiner.

Start Printed Page 35580

Start Printed Page 35581

Start Printed Page 35582

Start Printed Page 35583

Start Printed Page 35584

Start Printed Page 35585

Start Printed Page 35586

Start Printed Page 35587

(2) On and after December 22, 2015, the medical examination shall be performed, and its results shall be recorded on the Medical Examination Report Form, MCSA-5875, set out below:

Start Printed Page 35588

Start Printed Page 35589

Start Printed Page 35590

Start Printed Page 35591

Start Printed Page 35592

Start Printed Page 35593

Start Printed Page 35594

Start Printed Page 35595

(g) * * *

(4) Beginning December 22, 2015, if the medical examiner finds that the determination of whether the person examined is physically qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle in accordance with § 391.41(b) should be delayed pending the receipt of additional information or the conduct of further examination in order for the medical examiner to make such determination, he or she must inform the person examined that the additional information must be provided or the further examination completed within 45 days, and that the pending status of the examination will be reported to FMCSA.

(5) * * *

(ii) Beginning on June 22, 2015, if the medical examiner does not perform a medical examination of any driver who is required to be examined by a medical examiner listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners during any calendar month, the medical examiner must report that fact to FMCSA, via a secure FMCSA-designated Web site, by the close of business on the last day of such month.

(h)(1) Until December 22, 2015, the medical examiner's certificate shall be substantially in accordance with the following form.

Start Printed Page 35596

(2) On and after December 22, 2015, the medical examiner's certificate shall be completed in accordance with the following Form MCSA-5876, Medical Examiner's Certificate.

* * * * *
Start Signature

Issued under the authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.87 on: June 12, 2015.

Larry W. Minor,

Associate Administrator for Policy.

End Signature End Supplemental Information

BILLING CODE 4910-EX-C

[FR Doc. 2015-15161 Filed 6-19-15; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P