10 Things Drivers Need to Know about the New DOT Regulations

By Lauryn Page | 07/26/2016
In April, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) made some changes to the regulations for the Department of Transportation (DOT) and DOT physicals. Some of these changes may have a big impact on drivers and how you work, so it’s important to stay informed and learn about them if you haven’t already. Here’s a list of 10 things you need to know about the new regulations—and what the changes mean for you. 

1. The forms have changed

These include the (Medical Examination Report), MEC (Medical Examiner’s Certificate), and the CMV Driver Medical Examination Results. The new forms include a new privacy statement and new health history questions. They’ll also ask about your driving territory (whether you drive all over the country or just in your state) and if you’re a CDL or CLP applicant.  

2. Everyone has to use new forms

As of April 30, 2016, everyone is required to use the new forms. This includes the driver, your medical examiner, and your employer. Using any other forms—including old versions—is prohibited by the FMCSA.

3. You can’t change the forms at all

In the past, your employer might have added their logo to the form or put in additional sections for you to fill out—but not anymore. The FMCSA no longer lets you add anything to the forms or change anything on them. 

4. In July 2018, you won’t have to carry a medical card anymore 

This one’s coming up, but it’s a big one! Starting in July 2018, drivers will no longer be required to carry a medical card or submit it to the state for licensing. The electronic registry will verify certification.

5. If you don’t pass one of the non-discretionary criteria, you’ll be disqualified

“Non-discretionary criteria” include things like the vision or hearing test. If you don’t pass these, you’ll be disqualified. 

6. You won’t be able to extend your exams anymore

For example, if you receive a certificate that’s only valid for three months due to high blood pressure, you have to go back for a whole new exam in three months. It’s no longer acceptable to just go back for a blood pressure check and extend your exam for the rest of the year.

7. You’ll have to take the test again if you forget your glasses

This one can tie into the non-discretionary criteria above. For example, if you forget to bring your contacts, glasses, or hearing aids to your exam, you’ll be disqualified and need to come back to take a new exam with your glasses, contacts, or hearing aid.

8. Old or modified medical cards aren’t compliant

If you submit an old or modified version of the medical card, you’ll lose your certification. 

9. The new forms are safer 

They’re harder for people to forge, so there’s less of a risk of unqualified drivers. The new questions the FMCSA added are also designed to keep you as safe as possible on the road.  

10. Your medical examiner must send your results to the national registry within 24 hours

The FMCSA made this a rule so that you’ll be able to get your results quickly, with minimal downtime. 

For more details on the changes and what’s coming up, visit the FMCSA’s website