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National Registry Driver Examination Forms Frequently Asked Questions

1. When are Medical Examiners (MEs) required to use the newly revised driver examination forms (i.e., Medical Examination Report (MER) Form, MCSA-5875 and Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC), Form MCSA-5876)?
2. Where can the newly revised driver examination forms be found/where can copies of the forms be purchased?
3. Are the newly revised driver examination forms available as a one page document? Are MEs allowed to make changes to the newly revised driver examination forms?
4. How have the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver examination forms, including the CMV Driver Medical Examination Results Form, MCSA-5850, changed?
5. Are MEs required to complete the CMV Driver Medical Examination Results Form, MCSA-5850 as it appears in the sample, or is the sample a representation of what the form looks like on the National Registry website when reporting CMV driver examination results?
6. How will MEs know which data entry screen to use in the National Registry system to submit CMV driver examination results to FMCSA?
7. Does the ME always have to complete the CMV Driver Examination Results Form, MCSA-5850?
8. When is it required for the ME to submit information to the National Registry system that no examinations have been completed for the month?
9. What happens if a ME does not report the information?
10. Why is the examination date not on the CMV Driver Medical Examination Results Form, MCSA-5850 or the MEC Form, MCSA-5876?
11. What do the revision and expiration dates on the top of the driver examination forms mean? Should the forms be used if a later version is present on the FMCSA website?
12. On the MER Form, MCSA-5875, is a medical record number required? If not, are MEs allowed to use that space to record driver identification numbers or social security numbers if that is how the MEs office tracks patient records?
13. Does the driver’s address on the driver examination forms need to match the address on the driver’s license?
14. Does the driver’s address have to be a street address or is a P.O. Box acceptable?
15. What does the ME enter on page one of the MER Form, MCSA-5875 where it is labeled “Driver ID verified by**”?
16. In the State/Province area on the driver examination forms, why is "Province" an option?
17. Are MEs required to issue MECs to Canadian or Mexican CDL holders?
18. If the driver answers vital questions with “not sure” (e.g., seizure, methadone use), should the ME investigate and change the responses to “yes” and make appropriate medical decisions?
19. For the question on the MER Form, MCSA-5875 labeled “What surgery have you ever had,” is the driver required to record an inguinal hernia repair when they were 3 months old?
20. What is meant by “driving in an exempted intra-city zone” on the new driver examination forms?
21. On the determination page of the MER Form, MCSA 5875, it appears that corrective lenses, hearing aid, exemptions, etc. are related to the option for “Meets standards, but periodic monitoring required (specify reason)”, is this correct?
22. When selecting “does not meet standards” on the MER Form, MCSA-5875, how long is this in effect?
23. Is the ME required to complete the MEC, Form MCSA-5876 in addition to the MER Form, MCSA-5875, since the medical examiner determination (State or Federal) section of the MER Form, MCSA-5875 appears to include the same information as displayed on the MEC, Form MCSA-5876?
24. Is the box on the previous Medical Examiner’s Certificate titled “Medical Certificate Expiration Date” and the box on the revised MEC, Form MCSA-5876 titled “Medical Examiner’s Certificate Expiration Date” the same thing?
25. Should the ME use the end date of the current MEC, Form MCSA-5876 to calculate the new Medical Examiner’s Certificate expiration date?
26. If a driver has been issued a MEC, Form MCSA-5876 for three months, returns to the office just before the MEC, Form MCSA-5876 expires, and the ME completes another medical examination and issues the driver a two year MEC, Form MCSA-5876, is the date used to calculate the expiration date on the new MEC, Form MCSA-5876 the date of the second exam?
27. Are MEs still allowed to issue a one-time 3-month MEC, Form MCSA-5876?
28. If a ME disqualifies a driver or provides a short-term MEC, Form MCSA-5876, is the ME required to conduct a complete examination of the driver when they return?
29. If a driver is examined and issued a 3-month MEC, Form MCSA-5876 by one ME, can the driver be examined by a different ME the next time or do they need to go back to the same ME?
30. Can MEs print out the electronic form for the patient to complete and sign or does the patient need to complete an electronic signature as they complete their portion?
31. Once the examination is completed, is the ME required to provide the driver with a copy of the completed electronic form?
32. What is the definition of commercial learner's permit (CLP)?
33. What is the definition of commercial driver’s license (CDL)?
34. What is the definition of interstate commerce?
35. What is the definition of intrastate commerce?
36. Are both interstate and intrastate drivers required to be examined and certified by a ME listed on the National Registry?
37. Should MEs ask drivers if they plan to operate in interstate or intrastate commerce?
38. There are two different qualification selections on the revised driver examination forms (i.e., in accordance with the FMCSRs and in accordance with the FMCSRs with any applicable State variances), how are these to be used?
39. Should MEs attempt to certify drivers according to the FMCSRs and if they don’t qualify, then attempt to certify them according to the State regulations?
40. Are MEs expected to know what waivers are available for intrastate drivers?
41. For examinations performed in accordance with the FMCSRs with any applicable State variances (which will be valid for intrastate operations), are the only qualification options medically qualified and medically unqualified?
42. When should the determination pending qualification category be used?
43. How should MEs fill out the MER, MCSA-5875 and submit the results of the examination using the CMV Driver Medical Examination Results Form, MCSA-5850 when the determination pending qualification category is used?
44. When is a MER, MCSA-5875 allowed to be amended?
45. When should a ME use determination pending versus issuing a MEC, Form MCSA-5876 with a short qualification timeframe?
46. How should the ME address the fact that the driver may have to pay for more than one examination by using the determination pending category?
47. Is the ME required to use the determination pending if the driver’s MEC, Form MCSA-5876 expires in two days?
48. When “determination pending” is selected, does the ME issue a MEC, Form MCSA-5876 for up to or including 45 days?
49. Is a ME able to put a driver into a determination pending status consecutively?
50. When a driver receives a determination pending for further testing, does the driver have to return to the same certified ME?
51. When a driver is placed into a determination pending category, can the driver go to another certified ME for a second opinion?
52. If a driver can get a second opinion, does the driver need to reveal that to the second ME that another ME has placed them into a determination pending status?
53. Does a second medical examination need to be completed when the driver returns within the 45-day determination pending timeframe?
54. Can the ME provide a driver with a grace period in which the driver’s physical examination is placed on hold?
55. How should the incomplete examination result be used?
56. What are the repercussions to a driver who starts an examination with one ME, does not complete his/her examination, and then goes to a second ME for a second certification examination?
57. The standard for blood pressure is no longer on the MER Form, MCSA-5875. Has it changed, does the standard still apply? If the driver’s blood pressure is one or two points greater than 140/90, can the ME qualify the driver?
58. The Medical Advisory Criteria for Hypertension provides guidance that the MEC may be extended for 3 months when a driver’s blood pressure is less than 160/100. Can a MEC still be extended for 3 months?

1. When are Medical Examiners (MEs) required to use the newly revised driver examination forms (i.e., Medical Examination Report (MER) Form, MCSA-5875 and Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC), Form MCSA-5876)?
The Medical Examiner's Certification Integration final rule requires certified MEs to continue using the current driver examination forms found on the FMCSA website until December 22, 2015 and to use the newly revised driver examination forms discussed in the final rule beginning December 22, 2015.

However, as a result of the unexpected delays in posting the final versions of the newly revised driver examination forms and recognizing that MEs need to have access to the forms prior to the effective date for a number of reasons, FMCSA published a Federal Register notice on December 21, 2015 allowing MEs to use both the current and newly revised versions of the MER Form, MCSA-5875 and MEC, Form MCSA-5876 from December 22, 2015 until April 20, 2016 (80 FR 79273).

2. Where can the newly revised driver examination forms be found/where can copies of the forms be purchased?

Fillable PDF versions of the MER Form, MCSA-5875 and MEC, Form MCSA-5876 are available on the National Registry and FMCSA websites. These forms can be completed by typing into the electronic PDF form or by printing the form and handwriting information onto the hard copy. FMCSA does not provide the forms for purchase.

3. Are the newly revised driver examination forms available as a one page document? Are MEs allowed to make changes to the newly revised driver examination forms?

Prior to the Medical Examiner’s Certification Integration final rule, FMCSA allowed results of examinations performed to be recorded “substantially in accordance with” the examination forms provided in the regulation. As a result of the Medical Examiner’s Certification Integration final rule, use of the MER Form, MCSA-5875 and MEC, Form MCSA-5876 are required and results of examinations must be recorded on these specific forms. These forms have been approved by the Office of Management and Budget and in general must be used “as is.” However, there are a few minor changes that are permissible (see below).

Permissible changes include the following:
  1. A bar code may be added to the MER Form, MCSA-5875 for purposes of forms management in the ME’s office, as long as it does not obscure any of the content of the MER Form, MCSA-5875.
  2. The instructions may be resized, as long as they are readable.
  3. The instructions can be made available to the driver and the ME separately from the MER Form, MCSA-5875.
  4. The MER Form, MCSA-5875 can be filed/stored without the instructions.
  5. The MEC, Form MCSA-5876 can be reduced in size, as long as all the content is readable.
  6. The MER Form, MCSA-5875 and MEC, Form MCSA-5876 may be printed in black and white.

Prohibited changes include, but are not limited to, the following:
  1. Do not alter, add to, or change the content, or change the location of the content on the MER Form, MCSA-5875, the instructions, or the MEC, Form MCSA-5876.
  2. Do not add a company logo to the forms.

4. How have the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver examination forms, including the CMV Driver Medical Examination Results Form, MCSA-5850, changed?
Specific details regarding changes to all of the driver examination forms are included in the sample forms that are located in the Resource Center of the National Registry website. The sample forms posted in the Resource Center, highlight in yellow, all changes made to the driver examination forms as a result of the Medical Examiner’s Certification Integration final rule. These changes include the collection of additional driver information, new qualification categories, and the ability to input results from examinations performed in accordance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) with any applicable State variances (which will be valid for intrastate operations).

5. Are MEs required to complete the CMV Driver Medical Examination Results Form, MCSA-5850 as it appears in the sample, or is the sample a representation of what the form looks like on the National Registry website when reporting CMV driver examination results?
The sample located on the National Registry website is a representation of the information being collected. The data entry screen for entering CMV driver examination results will look different, but will ask for the same information.

6. How will MEs know which data entry screen to use in the National Registry system to submit CMV driver examination results to FMCSA?
After the ME logs into his/her National Registry account and hovers over “CMV Driver Exams” in the blue bar at the top of the screen, they have the option to choose to Submit CMV Driver Exams Reported on MER Form or to Submit CMV Driver Exams Reported on MER Form, MCSA-5875.

If the ME chooses the link entitled “Submit CMV Driver Exams Reported on MER Form”, he/she is presented with the current CMV Driver Medical Examination Results Form, MCSA-5850 entry screen.

If the ME chooses the link entitled “Submit CMV Driver Exams Reported on MER Form, MCSA-5875”, he/she is presented with the new CMV Driver Medical Examination Results Form, MCSA-5850 data entry screen.

7. Does the ME always have to complete the CMV Driver Examination Results Form, MCSA-5850?
Yes, completing the CMV Driver Examination Results Form, MCSA-5850 is a requirement for all certified MEs listed on the National Registry for each interstate CMV driver examination completed.

8. When is it required for the ME to submit information to the National Registry system that no examinations have been completed for the month?
Beginning on June 22, 2015, if the ME does not perform a medical examination of any driver who is required to be examined by a ME listed on the National Registry during any calendar month, the ME must report that fact to FMCSA, via the National Registry website, by the close of business on the last day of such month.

9. What happens if a ME does not report the information?
If the ME does not report that no examinations have been completed for the month, the ME is in violation of the FMCSRs which is grounds for removal from the National Registry.

10. Why is the examination date not on the CMV Driver Medical Examination Results Form, MCSA-5850 or the MEC Form, MCSA-5876?
The examination date is on the data collection screen of the CMV Driver Medical Examination Results Form, MCSA-5850. The date of the examination is not on the MEC, Form MCSA-5876, nor has it ever been, because it is not needed. The purpose of the MEC, Form MCSA-5876 is to indicate the date in which the medical qualification of the driver expires.

11. What do the revision and expiration dates on the top of the driver examination forms mean? Should the forms be used if a later version is present on the FMCSA website?
The revision date on top of the driver examination forms indicates the date in which the form was last updated and the expiration date indicates the date the information collection approval for the form expires with the Office of Management and Budget. Because the revision date indicates that changes were made to a previous version, MEs should use the version with the latest date that is present on the FMCSA and National Registry websites.

12. On the MER Form, MCSA-5875, is a medical record number required? If not, are MEs allowed to use that space to record driver identification numbers or social security numbers if that is how the MEs office tracks patient records?
No, the medical record number is not required. This space may be left blank or used by the MEs office to record whatever medical record number that is used by their clinic, employee ID, driver ID, or otherwise.

13. Does the driver’s address on the driver examination forms need to match the address on the driver’s license?
The driver’s address listed on the driver examination forms must be the driver’s current address which may be different from the address on the driver’s license. The driver’s current address is needed in case FMCSA needs to contact the driver.

14. Does the driver’s address have to be a street address or is a P.O. Box acceptable?
A P.O. Box is acceptable if it is the driver’s address of record.

15. What does the ME enter on page one of the MER Form, MCSA-5875 where it is labeled “Driver ID verified by**”?
The ME enters the type of photo ID that the ME used to verify the driver’s identity, such as CDL, driver’s license, or passport.

16. In the State/Province area on the driver examination forms, why is "Province" an option?
The State/Province field was expanded to include Canadian Provinces to allow MEs to report examinations conducted on non-CDL drivers from Canada. FMCSA’s reciprocity agreement with Canada allows CDL drivers to operate a CMV in the United States without being examined and certified by a ME listed on the National Registry because they are medically examined as part of obtaining a CDL in Canada. Non-CDL drivers in Canada are not required to complete a medical examination. Therefore, in order for non-CDL drivers from Canada to legally operate a CMV in the United States in interstate commerce, they must be examined by a ME on the National Registry and meet the qualified standard standards outlined in the FMCSRs.

17. Are MEs required to issue MECs to Canadian or Mexican CDL holders?
MEs are not required to issue MECs to Canadian or Mexican CDL holders because they receive their medical examinations as part of the process of obtaining a CDL in Canada and Mexico.

18. If the driver answers vital questions with “not sure” (e.g., seizure, methadone use), should the ME investigate and change the responses to “yes” and make appropriate medical decisions?
No, the ME may not change a driver’s answer on the form because the driver certifies that the information is accurate and complete. The ME should however, request any additional tests or records that the ME deems necessary to determine whether the driver is medically qualified. The ME may add information related to “not sure” responses in the comment section located in Section 2, under the Driver Health History Review.

19. For the question on the MER Form, MCSA-5875 labeled “What surgery have you ever had,” is the driver required to record an inguinal hernia repair when they were 3 months old?
The driver is required to fully disclose their medical history and report conditions that the certified ME should be aware of, and consider, in making the individual determination whether to issue a MEC, Form MCSA-5876 to a driver. A complete history provides the ME the opportunity to identify potential issues that may require further assessment or consultation with the treating medical professional before rendering a qualification decision. It is left to the discretion of the ME to identify and comment on the responses that may affect the driver’s safe operation of a CMV under the Driver Health History Review.

20. What is meant by “driving in an exempted intra-city zone” on the new driver examination forms?
“Driving in an exempted intra-city zone” is not a new item on the driver examination forms. An exempt intracity zone is the geographic area of a municipality or the commercial zone of that municipality. For purposes of §391.62, a driver may be considered to operate a CMV wholly within an exempt intracity zone notwithstanding any common control, management, or arrangement for a continuous carriage or shipment to or from a point without such zone.

21. On the determination page of the MER Form, MCSA 5875, it appears that corrective lenses, hearing aid, exemptions, etc. are related to the option for “Meets standards, but periodic monitoring required (specify reason)”, is this correct?
No, the restrictions and variances apply when the driver is medically qualified.

22. When selecting “does not meet standards” on the MER Form, MCSA-5875, how long is this in effect?
“Does not meet standards” means the driver is not medically qualified at the time of the examination. Until a certified ME makes a determination that the driver is medically qualified the driver is not able to operate a CMV in interstate commerce. If the driver returns for a physical examination in the future, the ME is responsible for determining whether or not the driver is qualified.

23. Is the ME required to complete the MEC, Form MCSA-5876 in addition to the MER Form, MCSA-5875, since the medical examiner determination (State or Federal) section of the MER Form, MCSA-5875 appears to include the same information as displayed on the MEC, Form MCSA-5876?
Yes, MEs must complete a MER Form, MCSA-5875 for each driver they examine. ME’s must also complete and issue the original MEC, Form MCSA-5876, to each qualified driver. The MEC, Form MCSA-5876 is not the same as the medical examiner determination (State or Federal) section on the MER, MCSA-5875.

24. Is the box on the previous Medical Examiner’s Certificate titled “Medical Certificate Expiration Date” and the box on the revised MEC, Form MCSA-5876 titled “Medical Examiner’s Certificate Expiration Date” the same thing?
Yes, they are the same. On all forms, this box is intended to capture the expiration date of the Medical Examiner’s Certificate that is being issued to the driver. The title on the MEC, Form MCSA-5876 was changed by adding the word “examiner” to make it consistent with the title of the form, which is the “Medical Examiner’s Certificate.”

25. Should the ME use the end date of the current MEC, Form MCSA-5876 to calculate the new Medical Examiner’s Certificate expiration date?
No, the ME should use the date of issuance of the new MEC, Form MCSA-5876 to calculate the Medical Examiner’s Certificate expiration date.

26. If a driver has been issued a MEC, Form MCSA-5876 for three months, returns to the office just before the MEC, Form MCSA-5876 expires, and the ME completes another medical examination and issues the driver a two year MEC, Form MCSA-5876, is the date used to calculate the expiration date on the new MEC, Form MCSA-5876 the date of the second exam?
Yes. The new examination decision supersedes the previous examination.

27. Are MEs still allowed to issue a one-time 3-month MEC, Form MCSA-5876?
Yes, the duration of every MEC, Form MCSA-5876 issued is up to the discretion of the ME. Therefore, sequential 3-month MEC, Form MCSA-5876 can be issued if the ME determines it necessary.

28. If a ME disqualifies a driver or provides a short-term MEC, Form MCSA-5876, is the ME required to conduct a complete examination of the driver when they return?
Yes, each time the ME is making a new qualification determination and issuing a MEC, Form MCSA-5876, a new medical examination is required.

29. If a driver is examined and issued a 3-month MEC, Form MCSA-5876 by one ME, can the driver be examined by a different ME the next time or do they need to go back to the same ME?
The driver is able to visit any ME listed on the National Registry for their medical examination.

30. Can MEs print out the electronic form for the patient to complete and sign or does the patient need to complete an electronic signature as they complete their portion?
Either is acceptable. The driver examination forms must be completed and signed, either electronically or by hand.

31. Once the examination is completed, is the ME required to provide the driver with a copy of the completed electronic form?
The ME must provide the driver with the original paper MEC, Form MCSA-5876 (printed or handwritten).

32. What is the definition of commercial learner's permit (CLP)?
49 CFR 383.5 defines CLP as a permit issued to an individual by a State or other jurisdiction of domicile which, when carried with a valid driver's license issued by the same State or jurisdiction, authorizes the individual to operate a class of a commercial motor vehicle when accompanied by a holder of a valid CDL for purposes of behind-the-wheel training.

33. What is the definition of commercial driver’s license (CDL)?
49 CFR 383.5 defines CDL as a license issued by a State or the District of Columbia which authorizes the individual to operate a class of a CMV. A CMV that requires a CDL is one that:
  1. has a gross combination weight rating or gross combination weight of 26,001 pounds or more inclusive of a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or gross vehicle weight (GVW) of more than 10,000 pounds; or
  2. has a GVWR or GVW of 26,001 pounds or more; or
  3. is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or
  4. is used to transport either hazardous materials requiring hazardous materials placards on the vehicle or any quantity of a select agent or toxin.

34. What is the definition of interstate commerce?
49 CFR 390.5 defines interstate commerce as trade, traffic, or transportation in the United States -
  1. Between a place in a State and a place outside of such State (including a place outside of the United States);
  2. Between two places in a State through another State or a place outside of the United States; or
  3. Between two places in a State as part of trade, traffic, or transportation originating or terminating outside the State or the United States.

35. What is the definition of intrastate commerce?
49 CFR 390.5 defines intrastate commerce as any trade, traffic, or transportation in any State which is not described in the term “interstate commerce.”

36. Are both interstate and intrastate drivers required to be examined and certified by a ME listed on the National Registry?
All interstate CMV drivers are required to be examined and certified by a ME listed on the National Registry. Each individual State makes the determination as to whether or not intrastate drivers must be examined by a certified ME listed on the National Registry.

37. Should MEs ask drivers if they plan to operate in interstate or intrastate commerce?
Yes, the ME conducting the examination should ask the driver what type of qualification they require to determine which standards they need to be examined in accordance with. The driver is required to self-certify with the State Driver’s Licensing Agencies (SDLAs) in accordance with 49 CFR 383.71(b)(1) if they are operating in intrastate-only and are subject to the State standards, therefore, they should be able to easily answer this question.

38. There are two different qualification selections on the revised driver examination forms (i.e., in accordance with the FMCSRs and in accordance with the FMCSRs with any applicable State variances), how are these to be used?
Certified MEs are trained and certified to conduct examinations and make qualification determinations of CMV drivers according to the interstate physical qualification standards listed in the FMCSRs and should use the qualification selection of “in accordance with the FMCSRs.”

MEs that choose to conduct examinations of intrastate only drivers from States that require intrastate drivers to be qualified to a set of standards that also include applicable State variances from the interstate physical qualification standards listed in the FMCSRs, should use the qualification selection of “in accordance with the FMCSRs with any applicable State variances.”

It is the responsibility of the ME to determine which standards they are examining and certifying the driver in accordance with. If the ME is willing to conduct examinations for intrastate only drivers, it is the responsibility of the ME to understand the standards for that particular State which may be different from the Federal physical qualification standards.

39. Should MEs attempt to certify drivers according to the FMCSRs and if they don’t qualify, then attempt to certify them according to the State regulations?
The ME should conduct the examination based on the type of qualification the driver requires. If the ME is willing, and understands the standards for that particular State, they may perform an examination based on the State regulations.

40. Are MEs expected to know what waivers are available for intrastate drivers?
Certified ME’s listed on the National Registry are trained and certified in performing examinations on interstate CMV drivers according to the FMCSRs. However, MEs who choose to perform driver examinations for intrastate only drivers who are licensed in States that have variances from the FMCSRs are required to comply with State regulations and statutes for performing those examinations, to include being knowledgeable of State waivers. If examinations for intrastate only drivers are not conducted according to the State requirements, the SDLA may not accept the MEC, Form MCSA-5876 issued and may require the driver to return to the ME or to get another examination.

41. For examinations performed in accordance with the FMCSRs with any applicable State variances (which will be valid for intrastate operations), are the only qualification options medically qualified and medically unqualified?
Yes.

42. When should the determination pending qualification category be used?
Determination Pending is used when a ME examines a driver and needs more information to make a qualification decision. Using this category provides the ME with up to 45 days to collect the information needed to make a qualification decision.

43. How should MEs fill out the MER, MCSA-5875 and submit the results of the examination using the CMV Driver Medical Examination Results Form, MCSA-5850 when the determination pending qualification category is used?
FMCSA has provided the following scenario and directions describing how to fill out the MER, MCSA-5875 and submit the results of the examination using the CMV Driver Medical Examination Results Form, MCSA-5850 when the determination pending qualification category is used:

On 1/1/16, a ME examined a driver and decided that they need more information before they can determine whether or not the driver is medically qualified. On the MER, MCSA-5875, page 4 for the “Medical Examiner Determination”, on the top right corner, the ME enters 1/1/16 as the examination date. The ME selects “determination pending” and specifies the reason. For example, “need additional information regarding specific condition.” The ME also selects the box for “return to medical exam office for follow-up on.” The driver must return within 45 days. The ME must tell the driver that they are in a determination pending status and that unless the ME receives the additional information and/or sees the driver back in their office on or before the 45th day to make a qualification determination, the exam will no longer be valid and a new exam must be conducted. The ME may enter a date for the driver to return to their office (follow-up appointment) if that information is available or they may wait until the driver returns to their office and add the date at that time. On the CMV Driver Medical Examination Results Form, MCSA-5850, the ME selects “determination pending” and enters the date of the examination as the 1/1/16 date from the top right corner of the MER, MCSA-5875.

On 1/15/16, the driver returns to the MEs office and the ME evaluates the information received and/or performs an examination of the driver if the ME determines it is necessary. The ME now has all the information needed to make a qualification determination. On the MER, MCSA-5875, the ME selects the appropriate qualification determination. The ME also selects “medical examination report amended” and specifies the specific amendment(s) that are being made. The ME signs and dates the MER, MCSA-5875 with the 1/15/16 date; this is the date that the ME is amending the MER, MCSA-5875, the date in which the driver has returned to the ME’s office. If the ME has made the determination that the driver is qualified, the “Medical Examiner’s Certificate Expiration Date” is calculated from the 1/15/16 date, the date that the ME actually signs/issues the MEC, Form MCSA-5876. On the CMV Driver Medical Examination Results Form, MCSA-5850, the ME enters the 1/15/16 date for the date the MEC, Form MCSA-5876 is signed/issued if medically qualified or enters the 1/15/16 date for the date of examination/determination if medically unqualified. This submission of the driver’s examination results takes precedence over the initial examination that placed the driver in a determination pending status.

If the driver does not return on or before the 45-day expiration date and the disposition of determination pending is not updated via the National Registry on or before the 45-day expiration date, the examination is no longer valid. FMCSA will notify the ME and the driver in writing and the driver is required to get a new examination, and in this case, the ME must update the MER, MCSA-5875 for this driver by selecting incomplete examination, specifying the reason, and filing the MER, MCSA-5875 in the driver’s record. The ME does not need to submit another CMV Driver Medical Examination Results Form, MCSA-5850 into the National Registry system.

44. When is a MER, MCSA-5875 allowed to be amended?
A MER, MCSA-5875 is only allowed to be amended when a driver is in a determination pending status for situations where new information (e.g., test results, etc.) has been received or there has been a change in the driver's medical status since the initial examination, but prior to a final qualification determination. When “MER amended” is selected, the ME must provide the reason for the amendment (e.g., received test results), sign and date the MER, MCSA-5875. A MER, MCSA-5875 cannot be amended after an examination has been in determination pending status for more than 45 days or after a final qualification determination has been made. The driver is required to obtain a new medical examination, and a new MER, MCSA-5875 must be completed.

45. When should a ME use determination pending versus issuing a MEC, Form MCSA-5876 with a short qualification timeframe?
The decision whether to use determination pending versus issuing a MEC, Form MCSA-5876 with a short qualification timeframe is up to the discretion of the ME.

46. How should the ME address the fact that the driver may have to pay for more than one examination by using the determination pending category?
It is the responsibility of the driver to be examined by a certified ME listed on the National Registry for a determination to be made as to whether or not the driver is physically qualified to operate a CMV in interstate commerce. A second examination for determination pending is no different from a driver needing a second examination because he/she was medically unqualified or received a MEC, Form, MCSA-5876 that is only valid for a short period of time such as a 3-month MEC, Form MCSA-5876. In those instances, the driver would still need to go back to the ME for a qualification determination.

47. Is the ME required to use the determination pending if the driver’s MEC, Form MCSA-5876 expires in two days?
The ME is never required to use the determination pending category. Use of this category is discretionary. If a ME chooses to use the determination pending category and the driver has time left on his/her current MEC, Form MCSA-5876, the driver may continue driving until the driver’s MEC, Form MCSA-5876 expires, the ME makes a final qualification determination, or the 45 days in determination pending status expires.

If the ME examines the driver and the condition is something that the ME feels is disqualifying, the ME should not use the determination pending category. Instead, the ME should disqualify the driver.

If the ME determines the driver is safe to operate a CMV based on the initial examination and the driver’s MEC, Form MCSA-5876 will expire shortly after the initial examination, the ME may issue a short-term MEC, Form MCSA-5876 rather than using the determination pending category.

48. When “determination pending” is selected, does the ME issue a MEC, Form MCSA-5876 for up to or including 45 days?
No, the determination pending category is only to be used while waiting for additional information to make a qualification determination. If the driver has a current MEC, Form MCSA-5876, the driver may continue to operate; if not, the driver is not authorized to operate a CMV in interstate commerce.

49. Is a ME able to put a driver into a determination pending status consecutively?
The FMCSRs do not prohibit the ME from using determination pending more than once. However, if the disposition of determination pending is not updated with a qualification decision via the National Registry on or before the 45-day initial pending determination expiration date, the initial examination is no longer valid and the driver is required to get a new medical examination. Therefore, a driver can be placed into a second pending determination status as the result of a new examination.

50. When a driver receives a determination pending for further testing, does the driver have to return to the same certified ME?
No, the driver may return to the same ME or another certified ME in the same office.

51. When a driver is placed into a determination pending category, can the driver go to another certified ME for a second opinion?
Yes, a driver always has the option of getting a second opinion.

52. If a driver can get a second opinion, does the driver need to reveal that to the second ME that another ME has placed them into a determination pending status?
Federal regulations do not require the driver to reveal it. However, the driver must report a complete and accurate health history.

53. Does a second medical examination need to be completed when the driver returns within the 45-day determination pending timeframe?
The decision as to whether or not to conduct a second medical examination when the driver returns within the 45-day determination pending timeframe is up to the discretion of the ME and would depend on whether or not another examination is needed.

54. Can the ME provide a driver with a grace period in which the driver’s physical examination is placed on hold?
No, the regulations do not allow for a grace period. However, the determination pending category may be used if the ME examines a driver and needs more information to make a qualification decision. Using this category provides the ME with up to 45 days to collect the information needed to make a qualification decision.

55. How should the incomplete examination result be used?
Incomplete Examination allows the ME to submit examination results for a driver whose medical evaluation was not completed. This includes a driver that may have decided during the examination that he/she did not want to continue the examination and leaves the MEs office. Submitting this type of examination result alerts FMCSA to the possibility of a driver visiting more than one ME to receive a specific desired examination result.

56. What are the repercussions to a driver who starts an examination with one ME, does not complete his/her examination, and then goes to a second ME for a second certification examination?
The National Registry will have the capability to flag such exams, identify missing or false information reported by the driver in the Driver Health History section of the MER Form, MCSA-5875, and make a determination to void the driver’s MEC, Form MCSA-5876, if appropriate.

57. The standard for blood pressure is no longer on the MER Form, MCSA-5875. Has it changed, does the standard still apply? If the driver’s blood pressure is one or two points greater than 140/90, can the ME qualify the driver?
The blood pressure guidelines, although previously part of the Medical Examination Report, are now part of the Medical Advisory Criteria. The blood pressure guidelines are not, nor have they ever been, regulatory in nature. FMCSA leaves blood pressure criteria decisions up to the discretion of the ME to determine driver qualification.

58. The Medical Advisory Criteria for Hypertension provides guidance that the MEC may be extended for 3 months when a driver’s blood pressure is less than 160/100. Can a MEC still be extended for 3 months?
The Medical Advisory Criteria is guidance and not regulation. The FMCSRs do not provide an option for an extension of the MEC, Form MCSA-5876. If a 3-month MEC, Form MCSA-5876 is issued, it is considered a short-term MEC, not an extension. The length of time that the MEC, Form MCSA-5876 is issued for is determined by the ME and may be issued for up to 2 years.


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