FMCSA Announces Delay of MEC Integration Final Rule
A new federal rule due for implementation on June 22, 2018 that would eliminate the need for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers to carry their medical cards has been delayed for three years by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). In the April 27th Federal Register, the Agency issued a notice announcing that the Medical Examiner’s Certification Integration final rule will not require compliance until June 22, 2021.
The rule requires FMCSA to electronically transmit the driver identification information, medical examination results, and restriction information from examinations performed for holders of commercial learner permits and interstate/intrastate commercial driver licenses from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners to the State Driver’s Licensing Agencies (SDLAs). However, with the final rule compliance date rapidly approaching, FMCSA concluded that it would not be able to electronically transmit information nor would the SDLAs be able to electronically receive the Medical Examiner's Certificate (MEC) information for posting to the driver record as intended by the rule. The National Registry website has been offline since it suffered a security breach on December 1. The Agency has not yet identified the nature of the hack or provided any details as to when the registry might return to functionality. In the notice, FMCSA said postponing the implementation date would give the state driver’s licensing agencies sufficient time to make the necessary information technology program changes.
However, beginning on June 2, certified medical examiners will still be required to report results of all complete commercial motor vehicle drivers’ medical examinations (including the results where the driver was found not to be qualified) to FMCSA by midnight (local time) the day following an examination, and must continue issuing the original paper medical examiner certificate to qualified drivers. All CMV drivers will continue to provide the SDLA with their MEC as proof of medical certification.
FMCSA is accepting public comments on the notice through June 26, 2018.
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