CDL / Medical Cards


Regulation Impacts All CDL Holders

All CDL holders in Maine received a letter from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles around January 1, 2012.  (Click here for a copy of the letter)  The letter has prompted many calls to MMTA asking for clarification of the letter.  This article seeks to clarify the purpose of the letter and to inform CDL holders of the history behind the letter and what action is required by them.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration wants to link the medical card to the CDL license.  None of the actual medical requirements have or will be changing, but linking the medical card to the CDL license will eliminate the obligation for drivers who are required to have a medical card, to carry it on their person while driving a commercial motor vehicle.

The letter requires drivers to certify to the type of driving that they perform, and if required to hold a medical card, to provide a current copy of that medical card to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.  This action must occur between January 30, 2012 and January 30, 2014.

All CDL holders fall into one of four categories spelled out in the letter. The following more clearly explains the choices:

INTERSTATE NON-EXCEPTED:  You drive outside the borders of Maine or further interstate commerce in Maine and are therefore required to have a medical card.  Furthering interstate commerce would be transporting a load that came from outside the borders of Maine, was dropped in Maine and you are transporting the load to its final destination.

INTERSTATE EXCEPTED:  You drive outside the borders of Maine or further interstate commerce and are not required to have a medical card because you are exempt per part 390.3(f).  These exemptions are not typical of most interstate drivers and this category does not apply to most over the road truck drivers.

INTRASTATE NON-EXCEPTED:  You drive only within the borders of Maine but outside 100 air miles. You are therefore required to have a medical card.  This would also apply to transporting hazardous materials that require placards, in Maine.

INTRASTATE EXCEPTED:  You drive only within the borders of Maine and within 100 air miles of your normal work reporting location, thus you are not required by regulation to have a medical card.

CDL holders should certify to the most restrictive type of driving that they do and are qualified to perform.  For example, if you normally drive within Maine and within 100 air miles, but you have a medical card as you occasionally work for a Hazmat carrier on weekends, you would have to certify as INTRASTATE NON-EXCEPTED because of the requirement to have a medical card when you are transporting the placarded hazmat load.

If you hold a CDL but no longer intend to drive or hold a medical card, you can certify as INTRASTATE-EXCEPTED.

The bottom line is when you are stopped by the State Police, they will run your license and verify the type of driving that you certified you perform, and will check to see if you are medically certified to perform the type of driving you are engaged in.  If not properly certified, you will be in violation. This is no different than what occurs currently, except prior to this change you would have to carry your medical card with you while driving.

Although not available until after January 30, 2012, BMV will make the certification forms available by an additional mailing to all CDL holders, having forms at each BMV office, and providing a link on their homepage.  MMTA will link to that as well.

To Summarize:

  • No action can occur prior to 1/30/12 as BMV is not ready to receive the certifications.
  • None of the regulations have changed regarding medical cards.
  • This rule will link the medical card and CDL license and thus eliminate to carry the medical card in the future.
  • Between 1/30/12 and 1/30/14 all CDL drivers must self-certify to the type of driving they do and provide BMV with a copy of their current medical card if they are required to have one.
  • The self-certification can be done as CDL licenses are renewed or MED CARDS are renewed after 1/30/12 but before 1/30/14.
  • Going forward, copies of all new medical certificates will have to be sent to BMV as they are renewed.  This must be done prior to the expiration date of the current card.

Drivers should certify to the most regulatory restrictive driving they perform.  For example, if they go interstate only once a year and drive in Maine the rest of the time, they should certify as INTERSTATE NON-EXCEPTED.

Please feel free to contact the staff at MMTA should you require further assistance with this or any compliance issue.