A year ago, January 30th 2014, was the deadline for all commercial drivers to have submitted a copy of their current medical card and self-certification affidavit to their State Drivers License Agency.
Each State has its own process for collecting this information and getting it into the Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS). The goal is that all information would be online, and commercial drivers would no longer need to carry a paper copy of their medical card.
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration had hoped that this goal would be achieved by January 30, 2014, but many SDLAs were not yet ready, and the date was extended to January 30, 2015.
Since May 21, 2014, medical examiners have been updating the National Registry electronic system with medical certificate information. But commercial drivers are still personally responsible for getting this information to their State Agency.
Based on the update below, it would seem that the system between the National Registry and the State Agencies is still not complete. So drivers cannot rely on the CDLIS as proof of having a current medical card.
On January 20, 2015 FMCSA issued this important notice to all NRCME medical examiners:
Medical examiners must continue to issue paper copies of the medical certificate to drivers who pass the medical exam.
What this means to Commercial Drivers:
CONTINUE TO CARRY A PAPER COPY OF YOUR MEDICAL CARD!
Be Safe, Not Sorry!
Even if the systems were completely in place, it’s still not a guarantee that some information didn’t fall through the cracks. So the best way to protect yourself is to continue to carry a copy of your medical card at all times.