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Medical Certification Requirements as Part of the Commercial Driver's License (CDL); Extension of Certificate Retention Requirements

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Trucking Topics:  Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Medical Certification Requirements as Part of the Commercial Driver's License (CDL); Extension of Certificate Retention Requirements

Anne S. Ferro
Federal Register
June 14, 2011


[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 114 (Tuesday, June 14, 2011)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 34635-34638]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-14653]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 391

[Docket No. FMCSA-1997-2210]
RIN 2126-AB39


Medical Certification Requirements as Part of the Commercial 
Driver's License (CDL); Extension of Certificate Retention Requirements

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM).

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SUMMARY: The FMCSA proposes to keep in effect until January 30, 2014, 
the requirement that interstate drivers subject to the commercial 
driver's license (CDL) regulations and the Federal physical 
qualification requirements must retain a paper copy of the medical 
examiner's certificate. Interstate motor carriers would also be

[[Page 34636]]

required to retain a copy of the medical certificate in the driver 
qualification files. This action is being taken to ensure the medical 
qualification of CDL holders until all States are able to post the 
medical self-certification and medical examiner's certificate data on 
the Commercial Driver's License Information System (CDLIS) driver 
record. This proposed rule would not, however, extend the mandatory 
dates for States to comply with the requirement to collect and to post 
to the CDLIS driver record data from a CDL holder's medical self-
certification and medical examiner's certificate.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before June 29, 2011.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Docket Number FMCSA-
1997-2210 using any one of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, (M-30), U.S. Department 
of Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., West Building, 
Ground Floor, Room 12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. 
and 5 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The 
telephone number is 202-366-9329.
    To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. 
All submissions must include the Agency name and docket number for this 
notice. See the ``Public Participation'' heading below for instructions 
on submitting comments and additional information.
    Note that all comments received, including any personal information 
provided, will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov. 
Please see the ``Privacy Act'' heading below.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or 
comments received, go to http://www.regulations.gov at any time or to 
Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the DOT Headquarters Building at 
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all 
comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's 
Privacy Act System of Records Notice for the DOT Federal Docket 
Management System published in the Federal Register on January 17, 
2008, (73 FR 3316) or you may visit http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-785.pdf.
    Public Participation: The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is 
generally available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. You can get 
electronic submission and retrieval help and guidelines under the 
``help'' section of the http://www.regulations.gov Web site. Comments 
received after the comment closing date will be included in the docket, 
and will be considered to the extent practicable.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Robert Redmond, Senior 
Transportation Specialist, Office of Safety Programs, Commercial 
Driver's License Division (MC-ESL), Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590; 
telephone (202) 366-5014.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Legal Basis

Medical Certification Requirements as Part of the CDL

    The legal basis of the final rule titled ``Medical Certification 
Requirements as Part of the Commercial Driver's License,'' issued on 
December 1, 2008, (73 FR 73096-73097) is also applicable to this rule.

Background

    On December 1, 2008, FMCSA published a final rule adopting 
regulations to implement section 215 of the Motor Carrier Safety 
Improvement Act of 1999 (Pub. L. 106-159, 113 Stat. 1767 (Dec. 9, 
1999)) (MCSIA). The 2008 final rule requires any CDL holder subject to 
the physical qualification requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier 
Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to provide a current original or copy of 
his or her medical examiner's certificate to the issuing State Driver 
Licensing Agency (SDLA). The Agency also requires the SDLA to post in 
the CDLIS driver record the self-certification that CDL holders are 
required to make regarding applicability of the Federal physical 
qualification requirements and, for drivers subject to those 
requirements, the medical certification information specified in the 
regulations. Other conforming requirements for both SDLAs and employers 
also were implemented (73 FR 73096-73128). These requirements, for the 
most part, have a compliance date of January 30, 2012. On May 21, 2010, 
the Agency published several technical amendments to the 2008 final 
rule to make certain corrections and to address certain petitions for 
reconsideration of the same final rule (75 FR 28499-28502).
    Several SDLAs have recently advised the Agency that they may not 
have the capability by January 30, 2012, to receive the required 
medical certification and medical examiner's certificate information 
provided by a non-excepted, interstate CDL holder, and then manually 
post it to the CDLIS driver record. Inability of an SDLA to receive the 
required material would render both the CDL holder and his or her 
employer unable to demonstrate or verify, respectively, that the driver 
is medically certified in compliance with the FMCSRs.

Discussion of the Proposed Rule

    The FMCSA proposes to maintain in effect until January 30, 2014, 
the requirement for an interstate CDL holder subject to the Federal 
physical qualification standards to carry a paper copy of the driver's 
medical examiner's certificate. Until January 30, 2014, a CDL holder 
would continue to carry on his or her person the medical examiner's 
certificate specified at Sec.  391.43(h), or a copy, as valid proof of 
medical certification. Also, interstate motor carriers that employ CDL 
holders would need to continue to obtain and file a copy of the CDL 
holder's medical examiner's certificate in its driver qualification 
files, as specified at Sec.  391.51(b)(7), if the motor carrier is 
unable to obtain that information from the SDLA issuing the CDL to the 
driver. This action is being proposed to ensure the medical 
qualification of CDL holders until all States are able to post the 
medical self-certification and medical examiner's certificate data on 
the CDLIS driver record.
    There is no change in the compliance dates for SDLAs established in 
the 2008 final rule. SDLAs are expected to meet the January 30, 2012, 
date to start collecting from CDL applicants and posting and retaining 
this data on the CDLIS driver record and, in addition, to collect and 
post the same data from all existing CDL holders by the January 30, 
2014, compliance date. The Agency believes that extending the 
requirement to retain the paper copy of the medical examiner's 
certificate by both the interstate CDL holder and the motor carriers 
for 2 years will provide sufficient time for them to be sure that all 
SDLAs will be obtaining the medical status and medical examiner's 
certificate information and posting it on the driver's CDLIS driver 
record.

[[Page 34637]]

Rulemaking Analyses and Notices

Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and DOT 
Regulatory Policies and Procedures

    The FMCSA has determined that this proposed action is not a 
significant regulatory action within the meaning of Executive Order 
(E.O.) 12866, as supplemented by E.O. 13563, 76 FR 3821 (Jan. 21, 
2011), or within the meaning of the Department of Transportation 
regulatory policies and procedures. Therefore, the Agency was not 
required to submit this regulatory action to the Office of Management 
and Budget (OMB). The changes proposed in this NPRM would have minimal 
costs; therefore, a full regulatory evaluation is unnecessary.

Regulatory Flexibility Act

    In compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-
612), FMCSA has evaluated the effects of this rule on small entities. 
The rule extends until January 30, 2014, the existing requirement for 
interstate CDL holders subject to Federal physical qualifications 
requirements and their employers to retain a copy of the medical 
examiner's certificate. Because extending the current requirement would 
not materially impact small entities more than the current regulations, 
FMCSA certifies that this proposed action would not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.

Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995

    The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538) 
requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary 
regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may 
result in the expenditure by State, local, and Tribal governments, in 
the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $141.3 million (which is 
the value in 2011 of $100 million after adjusting for inflation) or 
more in any 1 year. The FMCSA has determined that the impact of this 
proposed rulemaking will not reach this threshold.

Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)

    This action meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2) 
of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation, 
eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.

Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children)

    The FMCSA analyzed this action under Executive Order 13045, 
Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety 
Risks. We determined that this proposed rulemaking does not concern an 
environmental risk to health or safety that may disproportionately 
affect children.

Executive Order 12630 (Taking of Private Property)

    This proposed rulemaking does not affect a taking of private 
property or otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 
12630, Governmental Actions and Interference With Constitutionally 
Protected Property Rights.

Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    The FMCSA analyzed this proposed rule in accordance with the 
principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 13132. Although 
the 2008 final rule had Federalism implications, FMCSA determined that 
it did not create a substantial direct effect on the States, on the 
relationship between the national government and the States, or on the 
distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of 
government. This proposed rulemaking does not change that determination 
in any way.

Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review)

    The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding 
intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities do 
not apply to this action.

Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) requires 
that FMCSA consider the impact of paperwork and other information 
collection burdens imposed on the public. We have determined that no 
new information collection requirements are associated with the 
proposed amendments in this NPRM.

National Environmental Policy Act

    The FMCSA analyzed this proposed rule for the purpose of the 
National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and 
determined under our environmental procedures Order 5610.1, published 
March 1, 2004, (69 FR 9680) that this proposed action does not have any 
significant impact on the environment. In addition, the proposed 
actions in this NPRM are categorically excluded from further analysis 
and documentation as per paragraph 6.b of Appendix 2 of FMCSA's Order 
5610.1. The FMCSA also analyzed this proposed rule under the Clean Air 
Act, as amended (CAA), section 176(c) (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.), and 
implementing regulations promulgated by the Environmental Protection 
Agency. This action is exempt from the CAA's general conformity 
requirement since the action results in no increase in emissions.

Executive Order 13211 (Energy Effects)

    The FMCSA analyzed this proposed action under Executive Order 
13211, Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy 
Supply, Distribution, or Use. We determined that it is not a 
``significant energy action'' under that Executive Order because it is 
not economically significant and is not likely to have an adverse 
effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy.

List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 391

    Motor carriers, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Safety.

    In consideration of the foregoing, FMCSA proposes to amend title 
49, Code of Federal Regulations, Chapter III as follows:

PART 391--QUALIFICATIONS OF DRIVERS AND LONGER COMBINATION VEHICLE 
(LCV) DRIVER INSTRUCTORS

    1. The authority citation for part 391 continues to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 322, 504, 508, 31133, 31136, and 31502; 
sec. 4007(b) of Pub. L. 102-240, 105 Stat. 2152; sec. 114 of Pub. L. 
103-311, 108 Stat. 1673, 1677; sec. 215 of Pub. L. 106-159, 113 
Stat. 1767; and 49 CFR 1.73.

    2. Amend Sec.  391.23 by revising (m)(2) introductory text, 
(m)(2)(i) to read as follows:


Sec.  391.23  Investigation and inquiries.

* * * * *
    (m) * * *
    (2) Exception. For drivers required to have a commercial driver's 
license under part 383 of this chapter:
    (i) Beginning January 30, 2014, using the CDLIS motor vehicle 
record obtained from the current licensing State, the motor carrier 
must verify and document in the driver qualification file the following 
information before allowing the driver to operate a CMV:
* * * * *
    (ii) Until January 30, 2014, if a driver operating in non-excepted, 
interstate commerce has no medical certification status information on 
the CDLIS MVR obtained from the current State driver licensing agency, 
the employing motor carrier may accept a medical examiner's certificate 
issued to that driver, and

[[Page 34638]]

place a copy of it in the driver qualification file before allowing the 
driver to operate a CMV in interstate commerce.
    3. Revise Sec.  391.41(a)(2)(i) to read as follows:


Sec.  391.41  Physical qualifications for drivers.

    (a) * * *
    (2) * * *
    (i) Beginning January 30, 2014, a driver required to have a 
commercial driver's license under part 383 of this chapter, and who 
submitted a current medical examiner's certificate to the State in 
accordance with Sec.  383.71(h) of this chapter documenting that he or 
she meets the physical qualification requirements of this part, no 
longer needs to carry on his or her person the medical examiner's 
certificate specified at Sec.  391.43(h), or a copy for more than 15 
days after the date it was issued as valid proof of medical 
certification.
* * * * *

    Issued on: June 8, 2011.
Anne S. Ferro,
Administrator, Federal Motor, Carrier Safety Administration.
[FR Doc. 2011-14653 Filed 6-13-11; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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