Communication from the NRCME:

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has learned that some Medical Examiners (MEs) listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (National Registry) are completing the driver’s Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC) incorrectly. To correct any misunderstandings, FMCSA is providing the examples of completed MECs below.

1) Drivers physically qualified: The MEC for a driver who has no physical conditions that limit his/her ability to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle is certified for two years. The MEC must include:
a. all of the driver’s pertinent information.
b. all of the ME’s pertinent information.
c. the date of the examination and the date the MEC expires.
d. the signature of the certified ME that performed the medical examination and is listed on the National Registry.
e. the certified ME’s National Registry number must be entered on the MEC in the space provided. See completed example below.

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2) Drivers who need an exemption from the regulation (e.g., Diabetes, Vision, hearing or seizure): Some drivers who do not meet the physical qualification standards may qualify for an exemption from the regulation. FMCSA may, on a case by case basis, grant a medical exemption from a physical qualification standard set forth in 49 CFR § 391.41, if the Agency determines the exemption is in the interest of the public and would likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved by complying with the regulation. MEs are required to complete the entire medical examination. MEs must also complete and issue a MEC to the driver, if upon examination the ME discovers that the driver is otherwise physically qualified but needs an exemption because of:
a. Insulin use, or
b. Does not meet the vision requirements in one eye, or
c. Does not meet the hearing requirements, or
d. Has a history of a seizure disorder, etc.
The MEC must be completed in the same way as for the physically qualified driver. However, the following must also be completed.
a. The box that says “accompanied by a ______________ waivers/exemption” must be checked.
b. The blank with the type of exemption required (e.g., diabetes, hearing, seizure, or vision) must be filled in. See completed example below.
Please note: The MEC is only valid when accompanied by an exemption issued by FMCSA.

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c. Drivers who need a Skills Performance Evaluation (SPE): The SPE Certificate Program is an alternative regulation for drivers who have limb impairments or amputations. Not all drivers who have limb impairments or amputations need a SPE. For example, a driver who has a couple of digits amputated but has grasp and prehension does not need to be referred for a SPE (see 49 CFR 391.49 for complete information regarding the SPE Certificate Program).
MEs are required to complete the entire medical examination. MEs must also complete and issue a MEC to the driver, if upon examination the ME discovers that the driver is otherwise physically qualified but needs a SPE because the driver wears prostheses or has a limb impairment. Some drivers may already have a SPE Certificate and may bring it to the exam. Others may never have been issued a SPE Certificate. In either case, you must complete the MEC.
The MEC must be completed in the same way as for the physically qualified driver. However, the following must also be completed.
a. Check the box that says “accompanied by a ______________ SPE Certificate.”
FMCSA cannot conduct a SPE without the completed MEC. See completed example below.

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Note: Items on the MEC that are highlighted are entries that were added to the MEC as a result of the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners Final Rule that took effect on May 21, 2012.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Website: www.fmcsa.dot.govMedical Review Board Website: mrb.fmcsa.dot.govNational Registry of Certified Medical Examiners Website: nrcme.fmcsa.dot.gov
Please do not respond to this email. If you have questions or comments about FMCSA, the MRB, or the National Registry, please send an email to fmcsamedical@dot.gov.

 

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