New Medical Certification Requirements for CDL Holders (in late January)

8/18/2011

CDL Drivers are Required to Provide Medical Certification

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is changing how the medical qualifications of commercial driver’s are handled.  

Beginning in January 2012 the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) will begin collecting information from Georgia commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders. In order to obtain or keep a CDL, Georgia drivers must certify the type of commercial driving they expect to do and provide a valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate (also known as a DOT Medical Card) to the DDS upon request.  This information will be used by the DDS to report a CDL holder’s medical certification status in the national CDL database, known as the Commercial Driver License Information System (CDLIS). The result is that a CDL holder’s medical certification status will be instantly accessible by law enforcement, inspectors or employers by accessing the driving record.

Almost 328,000 Georgia CDL holders rely on commercial driving privileges for their livelihood, and it is a vital component of our state commerce. The DDS urges CDL holders and their employers to be proactive in providing this information. Although a commercial license is valid for five years, a Medical Examiner’s Certificate is valid for up to two (2) years. The DDS must have a valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate on file at all times or it will affect the CDL holder’s license status.

The DDS will begin sending notices to CDL drivers later this year encouraging them to submit the required information. The DDS is preparing to receive certificates (originals and copies) via fax and mail, and will allow employers to provide certification for their eligible drivers. The DDS will also begin sending a courtesy notice to inform CDL holders that the Medical Examiner’s Certificate on record is nearing expiration.

If the Medical Examiner’s Certificate on record expires, States are required to change a CDL holder’s medical certification status to “not certified”, which would result in the cancellation of Commercial Driving Privileges. 

FMCSA’s goal for this new procedure is to help improve transportation safety by preventing medically unqualified drivers from operating a commercial vehicle.

DDS will continue to update customers and business partners as the implementation date approaches. Please visit www.dds.ga.gov and the DDS Facebook business page frequently for current information.