New versions of the Medical Examination Report Form and Medical Examiner’s Certificate were announced on April 23, 2015, and were to be used beginning December 22, 2015, for all commercial driver medical exams. On December 21, 2015, however, the FMCSA announced that examiners could continue to use existing forms for another 120 days beyond the original deadline. During this four-month grace period, medical examiners may use either the current or the newly revised versions of the forms. Beginning April 20, 2016, only the new versions of the forms may be used.
What are the new forms?
The new medical forms (identified by their “MCSA” number) are:
- The Medical Examination Report Form, MCSA-5875, which is the long medical exam form that the driver and examiner complete during the course of the exam.
- The Medical Examiner’s Certificate, MCSA-5876, also known as the “wallet card” or “fed med card” provided to drivers who are medically certified.
A third new form, the CMV Driver Medical Examination Results Form (MCSA-5850), is an online-only form that examiners complete through the National Registry website to report exam results to the FMCSA. There is no need for examiners or motor carriers to have paper copies of this form.
Why are the forms changing?
The new forms are part of a larger FMCSA effort to simplify the electronic transmission of medical certification information from medical examiners to the FMCSA and then from the FMCSA to the state driver licensing agencies. This new process will be put in place in June 2018. The medical exam itself is not changing.
What changed on the forms?
The new forms have a new look but are substantially the same as the old forms, with only a few significant changes, including the following:
- Both forms must appear exactly as shown in the regulations, although they can be enlarged or reduced in size. Previously, the forms only had to be “similar” to the forms shown in the regulations.
- The examiner must specify whether the driver is fully qualified for interstate commerce or is only qualified to drive in-state only. The driver will no longer have to answer the Yes/No question about whether he/she is an “intrastate only” driver.
- The examiner will have the option to make the exam result “pending” for up to 45 days, in order to wait for test results or get more information from the driver. During that time, the driver must rely on his/her existing medical card in order to drive. If the existing card expires, the driver would become disqualified.
- Examiners will not be able to issue an extension for an existing medical card. Whenever a new medical certificate is needed, a completely new exam must be performed; examiners cannot simply update a prior exam.
Until June 22, 2018, all commercial drivers will still need to be issued an original medical certificate (wallet card) after their exam, and the long exam form must be retained on file at the medical examiner’s office.
What happens in June 2018?
Drivers who hold a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or commercial learner’s permit (CLP) will no longer receive a paper medical card after June 22, 2018. Rather, the only official proof that a CDL/CLP driver is medically qualified as of that date will be their motor vehicle record from the state, not their medical card.
Also, motor carriers will no longer need to verify that their CDL/CLP drivers were examined by someone appearing on the National Registry. These changes will not be occurring for non-CDL drivers; they will still receive, and must carry, a paper medical card.