Possession of a valid medical card is an important safety component for commercial drivers. Obviously, with so much time spent on the highway, it is important for the commercial driver, his passengers and other motorists on the road to be physically fit.
Commercial drivers in the past had to carry a DOT 51-A Medical Examiner’s Card along with their commercial driver’s licenses. Failure to have the card in the driver’s possession would deem the CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) invalid. In 2015, changes were made with respect to who can perform a DOT physical exam as well as the elimination of the need to carry the medical card except for the first 15 days following the filing of the exam results with DMV. The results of the exams are now computerized and available for law enforcement agencies to inspect online.
Make sure you know that whoever is performing your medical exam for driving a commercially registered vehicle is FMCSA certified.
Just who can perform your examination and the form to use has vastly changed. Your personal physician may not even be aware of them. Effective April 20, 2016, your examiner must be registered and approved by FMCSA. Medical examiners can be medical doctors, chiropractors, physician assistants, advanced practice nurses or osteopathy doctors, but they must be on the registry. The common form DL51 will become obsolete, and is replaced with a new form, MCSA5875. The form is available online to take to your examination. Check online to make sure your examiner is recognized as being qualified.
The website is: https://nationalregistry.fmcsa.dot.gov
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