Medical Certification Guide for CDL Holders

The United States Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set up new requirements regarding medical certification, or Med Cert, for commercial driver’s license holders (CDL holders). Maryland is complying with these new regulations, meaning when you apply for a new, duplicate, or corrected CDL, or renew your CDL, you will have to provide the required documentation, including new Med Cert documentation. Here are answers to some questions you may have.

Why the New Rules?
Maryland’s new rules are intended to comply with new Federal regulations. This prevents any problems a CDL holder could run into outside of Maryland. If you were to move, work for a new company, or for some other reason need to renew your CDL, these requirements keep you up to date so that you can take your license and certification with you. Equally important is the health of drivers, who need to be fit to do the difficult work you do.

What Changes Are There?
To avoid your commercial and noncommercial license being canceled, you’ll need to do the following. The exception is if you have actively downgraded to a noncommercial license from your CDL:
·        Provide a self-certification status to the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, indicating the type of commerce you engage in
·        Provide updated medical certification if your current certification is not up-to-date already

What Documents Do You Need for Med Cert?
The documents you need for an updated medical certification, to prove you are qualified medically to operate a commercial vehicle are as follows:

·        Valid, unexpired Medical Examiner’s Certificate/DOT Physical Card
·        Federal Skills Performance Evaluation
 or
·        Maryland Waiver/Exemption, form DL-171

What is Self-Certification?

This is a self-reported status of the kind of driving for which you are qualified. This is only required when transferring a CDL, renewing a CDL, obtaining a new CDL, upgrading from a regular license to a CDL, changing status from interstate to intrastate, or vice versa.

The status will also indicate if you have a medical condition requiring an Intrastate Waiver, in which case you would certify that you will only drive with the State of Maryland. If you are unlimited, you would have to certify that you are physically fit to drive interstate.

What Happens if Your Med Cert Expires?

Without this proof, you cannot legally drive a commercial motor vehicle. You must immediately visit an MVA office if you opt out of examination or if you are not medically qualified for commercial driving to have your license downgraded. If you miss any deadlines indicated by the MVA regarding certification, your license will also be downgraded.

Summary
Staying on top of your medical certification is important to not only get an update on your health but to make sure you can continue to do your job. You can find more detailed information on the MVA website. If you’ve received any requests from the MVA regarding med cert, be sure to follow up on that request immediately, and don’t miss any related deadlines.

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