The FMCSA has proposed to amend its regulations to extend the compliance date for the National Registry from June 22, 2021 to June 23, 2025, for several provisions of the April 23, 2015 Medical Examiner’s Certification Integration final rule. The extension is needed to provide the FMCSA more time to complete IT requirements in the development of the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (National Registry) and to provide State Driver’s Licensing Agencies (SDLAs) more time to make the required programming changes after the new National Registry system becomes available.
The FMCSA proposes to postpone the following four provisions:
- FMCSA to electronically transmit, from the National Registry to the SDLAs, driver identification information, examination results, and restriction information from examinations performed for holders of commercial learner’s permits (CLPs) or commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) (interstate and intrastate).
- FMCSA to electronically transmit to the SDLAs medical variance information for all commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers.
- SDLAs to post on the Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS) driver record the driver identification, examination results, and restriction information received electronically from FMCSA.
- Motor carriers to no longer be required to verify that CLP/CDL drivers were certified by a certified Medical Examiner (ME) listed on the National Registry.
One of the original ideas behind the NRCME was the concept that the process would create a "seamless" transition from the Medical Examiner determination, uploaded to the federal database, which would then connect to the state's DMV databases. That way there would be no need for a driver to carry a medical certificate. Worthy goal or not, the government was not able to deliver on its initial promise, then the computer glitch happened that lasted 2 years, and now they are hoping the program will be fully functional by 2025.
Presently, certified Medical Examiners are still waiting for the 5-year refresher training, now 2 years overdue, and waiting on direction regarding the 10-year recertification process, which starts in 2024 for thousands of providers.