FMCSA is proposing to remove over 15,000 medical examiners from its National Registry of Medical Examiners, according to a notice to be published in the Federal Register soon.
In its notice, the FMCSA explains these examiners have not set up accounts through login.gov, the government-run multi-factor authentication site, and therefore are unable to "fulfill regulatory requirements such as reporting results of physical qualification examinations performed on commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers, receiving FMCSA communications, and completing required training."
The agency first notified examiners back in 2018 about the new account security requirements. The notice has also been posted on the National Registry website since that time, and the agency sent out individual emails to each registered examiner. According to the notice, the agency received bounce-back emails from the 15,000+ email accounts that are now the subject of this proposal. This suggests that the examiners are either no longer active or have since changed their contact information.
Once the notice is published, these examiners will have 30 days to (1) create a login.gov account using the same email address as their National Registry account or sign into the National Registry with an existing login.gov account using the same email address as their National Registry account, through the National Registry website at https://nationalregistry.fmcsa.dot.gov (Select “Login”); and (2) once logged in, correct all outdated contact information in their National Registry profile. Examiners who fail to complete these actions will be removed from the National Registry.
This action could have a ripple effect throughout the industry, particularly for commercial drivers who have been examined by one of these targeted examiners. Under the driver qualification rules in Part 390 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, regulated drivers must be examined by a medical examiner that is listed on the National Registry, and the carriers that employ those drivers must verify this fact each time the drivers present a new medical card. It's unclear whether the threatened examiner removals would render existing med cards invalid.
The FMCSA notes that there are currently 92,625 certified examiners in the Registry, and, therefore, the agency "does not anticipate any concerns that there are too few MEs to meet the demand for physical qualification examinations."
We will continue to monitor and report on the situation.
About Trucksafe Consulting, LLC: Trucksafe Consulting is a full-service DOT regulatory compliance consulting and training service. We help carriers develop, implement, and improve their safety programs, through personalized services, industry-leading training, and a library of educational content. Trucksafe also hosts a livestream podcast on its various social media channels called Trucksafe LIVE! to discuss hot-button issues impacting highway transportation. Trucksafe is owned and operated by Brandon Wiseman and Jerad Childress, transportation attorneys who've assisted some of the nation’s leading fleets to develop and maintain cutting-edge safety programs. You can learn more about Trucksafe online at www.trucksafe.com and by following Trucksafe on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Or subscribe to Trucksafe's newsletter for the latest highway transportation news & analysis.