FMCSA Announces One-Year Extension of Paper Medical Certificate Requirement for Commercial Bus and Truck Drivers

The Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) announced on January 10, 2014 that it is extending by one year, until Jan. 30, 2015, a requirement that interstate commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders retain paper copies of their medical examiner’s certificate and continue to make the document available for review upon request at the roadside by federal and state commercial motor vehicle inspectors. In Dec. 2008, FMCSA issued a Final Rule modernizing, streamlining, and simplifying recordkeeping obligations for drivers, carriers and state governments by requiring that a driver’s medical certification record be merged with state-issued CDLs. States received support from FMCSA to implement the necessary IT system upgrades and merge the records into one, online database – the Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS). FMCSA announced the one-year extension to protect commercial drivers from being cited for violations because some states are not yet in full compliance with the new system. For a copy of the Federal Register announcement, see:


FMCSA has extended until 1/30/15 the requirement that drivers carry their medical card on them while driving.

Motor Carriers must retain a paper copy of the certificate in the DQ file.

Driver’s whose medical status shows on the MVR are still required to carry the paper copy of the medical certificate.  The extension is to protect commercial drivers from receiving violations due to state’s not being in full compliance with the new systems.

This extension does not change the requirement for the drivers to “self-certify” and send a copy of their medical certificate to the State BMV…nor does it extend the compliance date of 1/30/14 for State BMV’s to come into compliance with the regulation.