In 2015, the Department of Transportation issued new Medical Examiner Report Forms and Cards for the CDL physicals. While they were intended to be mandatory on December 22 2015, the active date for the new forms has been extended until April 20, 2016. This extension has been implemented to ensure that Medical Examiners have sufficient time to become familiar with the new forms and to program electronic medical records systems.
What to Expect with the New Medical Examiner Reports Forms for CDL Physicals
Based on the new information required on the new forms it is more important than ever for drivers to come prepared to their physical exams. Medical records from the driver’s personal physician are necessary if CDL he or she have had any change in health status since their last exam. Changes include heart attacks, new eye symptoms, seizure episodes, changes in hearing and newly diagnosed diabetes.
In preparation for the updated forms, HealthCare for Business has already started the new Medical Examination Report (MCSA-5875) and the Medical Examiner’s Certificate Form (MCSA-5876). We recommend drivers and employers schedule their exam appointment approximately 45 days prior to their expiration date.
The extra time for these exams is advised because medical examiners can now pend an exam if he or she are waiting for information from another physician. The delay is done so the driver could avoid having to come and pay for another exam. At the end of the 45 pending determination status, the medical examiner would either approve or deny the driver’s CDL status. If the driver does wait too long and the examiner needs more information, he or she could be grounded and unable to drive/work if their exam has expired.
Also included in the new rule is a requirement of medical examiners to electronically submit on the National Registry the results of medical exams once a month. Until June 22, 2018, FMCSA says drivers only have to carry the exam certificate for 15 days after the physical for proof of medical certification. After that 15-day period, law enforcement will have the records in a database they can access at roadside.
Beginning June 22, 2018, CDL drivers will no longer have to carry medical examiner’s certificates as examiners will have to submit exam results by midnight of the day the exam is conducted, and the results will be available to law enforcement immediately.