The National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME) examination is the final step for medical providers seeking to become certified Medical Examiners in the DOT/FMCSA NRCME program. Once certified, medical providers can perform commercial driver license (CDL) examinations on commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers in all the states the provider is licensed to practice in for a period of 10-years. Re-certification is required 10-years from the original certification date.
Candidates eligible to sit for the national exam to become certified Medical Examiners include MD, DO, DC, APN, APRN, NP and PA medical providers. All candidates must complete an accredited training program first, which will afford them a Certificate of Completion. Candidates can then apply for an account with the DOT/FMCSA and will be assigned a 10-digit National Registry number once they have been verified by the DOT. The exam is administered in person and by appointment through Prometric and PSI testing companies, which have locations nationwide and offer Saturday morning testing in most locations. Comira, which is listed on the FMCSA website as a testing company, was acquired by PSI in late 2016. The cost of the exam is $79 and can be scheduled online by candidates using their 10-digit National Registry number issued to them by the DOT. Candidates must bring their Certificate of Completion the day they sit for the exam, in addition to presenting a valid state issued photo ID and a copy of their current medical license.
The 2-hour NRCME exam consists of 120 questions, where 20 questions are pilot questions which are not graded, and the candidate will not know which test questions are the pilot questions and which questions are the actual test questions. Of the remaining 100 questions, 60-70% are from the outline specified by the NRCME and must be followed by all training courses. The remaining 30-40% are clinical questions that test the user's general medical knowledge as well as testing the user's understanding of the unique role of the medical examiner in contrast to the role of treatment providers. The exam is closed book and administered on a computer. Candidates will be notified of their exam score upon completion and must achieve a 71% to pass. The DOT will email providers their final certificate once they have received the passing score from the testing company, which can take up to 3 weeks. Providers who do not pass the exam must wait 30 days before they can schedule their next NRCME exam.
The FMCSA will provide the required (5) year refresher training online to Medical Examiners at no cost. Medical Examiners eligible to take the (5) five-year periodic online training will be notified by email from the FMCSA.
As of January 2021, the 5-year refresher training has not been made available by the DOT. Certified Medical Examiners will be notified by email when the refresher training is available from the DOT.