To search for content, click on the magnifying glass icon at the top of each page.

Drivers with a Foreign License or No License

Conducting Medical Qualification Examinations for Drivers Not Domiciled in or Not a Resident of the United States

Certified Medical Examiners (MEs) may conduct a physical qualification examination on any driver that requests one.

It is not the responsibility of the ME to inquire about where an individual is domiciled in order to perform the examination and issue a Medical Examiner’s Certificate, MCSA-5876.

For drivers with a foreign license or no license, the ME should verify the identity of the driver with a photo identification prior to conducting the examination, just as would be done for a U.S. driver.

International CDLs

A commercial driver’s license can be issued by a State to an individual not domiciled in the State in certain specified circumstances. 49 U.S.C. 31311(a)(12)(B) and 49 CFR 383.23(b). Therefore, a certified ME does not need to know where an individual is domiciled in order to perform the examination and issue a Medical Examiner’s Certificate, MCSA-5876.

It is the responsibility of the State Driver’s Licensing Agency (SDLA) to inquire about the driver’s domicile, and to determine whether to issue a standard commercial learner’s permit (CLP)/commercial driver’s license (CDL) or a non-domiciled CLP/CDL. 49 CFR 383.71(f) and 383.73(f).

State of domicile means the State where a person has his/her true, fixed, and permanent home and principal residence and to which he/she has the intention of returning whenever he/she is absent.

Examinations for drivers who do not speak English and/or bring an interpreter

Certified MEs are not required to certify to the level that a driver understands English.

However, MEs should only conduct examinations when they are confident that they can communicate with drivers to the level that allows for a thorough examination to be conducted.

As the signature authority on the Medical Examiner’s Certificate, MCSA-5876, MEs can turn the driver away if the level of English is not proficient enough to conduct the examination. Therefore, if the certifying ME cannot obtain a complete medical history to appropriately proceed with conducting a physical qualification examination, with or without an interpreter, the ME should not conduct the examination.

Foreign drivers that require a Federal medical variance

Certified MEs may issue a Medical Examiner’s Certificate, MCSA-5876, with the appropriate entry, to a foreign driver who requires a Federal medical exemption or SPE Certificate to be medically qualified.

When this occurs, the ME should tell the driver that FMCSA determines whether to issue a medical exemption or SPE Certificate and to contact FMCSA’s Medical Programs Division for additional information.

Reporting CMV driver examination results to the National Registry

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) require MEs to submit to the National Registry, results of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver physical qualification examinations for each driver who is required to be examined by an ME listed on the National Registry. 49 CFR 391.43(g)(5)(i)(B).

Instructions for submitting physical qualification examination results for drivers not domiciled in or not a resident of the United States

If conducting an examination of a driver not domiciled in, or not a resident of the United States, enter “None” for the license number, and enter the State where the driver is going to be licensed.

If the driver is not going to apply for a commercial license in the U.S., the examination results do not need to be entered into the National Registry.

Although results of these exams are not uploaded into the National Registry, 49 CFR 390.111(a)(4) allows FMCSA to request the examination results when needed.

For more information, providers can contact the DOT directly at (recommended) or by telephone at (617) 494-3003.

Enroll in the NRCME Training Institute today or purchase our $99 NRCME Exam Reference Materials. Call us at (941) 600-8411 for more program information and for any current single provider enrollment discounts.

Back to blog

10-Year Recertification Notice

Certified Medical Examiners on the National Registry are required to be recertified no sooner than 9 years and no later than 10 years from the date of issuance of their medical examiner certification credential. Recertification requires that providers complete an accredited training program such as ours and pass the in-person national NRCME certification examination.

Call (941) 600-8411 for a single-provider discount.