[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 220 (Tuesday, November 15, 2011)]
[Rules and Regulations]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [http://www.gpo.gov/]
[FR Doc No: 2011-29481]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
49 CFR Part 391
[Docket No. FMCSA-1997-2210]
Medical Certification Requirements as Part of the Commercial
Driver's License (CDL); Extension of Certificate Retention Requirements
AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.
ACTION: Final rule.
SUMMARY: The FMCSA amends its regulations to keep in effect until
January 30, 2014, the requirement that interstate drivers subject to
the commercial driver's license (CDL) regulations and the Federal
physical qualification requirements must retain paper copies of their
medical examiner's certificate. Interstate motor carriers are also
required to retain copies of their drivers' medical certificates in
their driver qualification files. This action is being taken to ensure
the medical qualification of CDL holders until all States are able to
post the medical self-certification and medical examiner's certificate
data on the Commercial Driver's License Information System (CDLIS)
driver record. This rule does not, however, extend the compliance dates
for States to collect and to post to the CDLIS driver record data from
a CDL holder's medical self-certification and medical examiner's
DATES: This rule is effective December 15, 2011.
ADDRESSES: You may search background documents or comments to the
docket for this rule, identified by docket number FMCSA-1997-2210, by
Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov/.
Follow the online instructions for reviewing documents and comments.
Regulations.gov is available electronically 24 hours each day, 365 days
a year; or
DOT Docket Management Facility (M-30): U.S. Department of
Transportation (DOT), 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground
Floor, Room 12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all
comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's
Privacy Act System of Records Notice for the DOT Federal Docket
Management System published in the Federal Register on January 17,
2008, (73 FR 3316) or you may visit http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-785.pdf.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Robert Redmond, Senior
Transportation Specialist, Office of Safety Programs, Commercial
Driver's License Division (MC-ESL), Federal Motor Carrier Safety
Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590;
telephone (202) 366-5014.
Medical Certification Requirements as Part of the CDL
The legal basis of the final rule titled ``Medical Certification
Requirements as Part of the Commercial Driver's License,'' published on
December 1, 2008, (2008 final rule) (73 FR 73096-73097), is also
applicable to this rule.
On December 1, 2008, FMCSA published a final rule (73 FR 73096)
adopting regulations to implement section 215 of the Motor Carrier
Safety Improvement Act of 1999 (MCSIA) (Pub. L. 106-159, 113 Stat.
1767, Dec. 9, 1999). Section 215 directed initiation of a rule to
provide for a Federal medical qualification certificate to be made a
part of commercial driver's licenses. The 2008 final rule requires any
CDL holder subject to the physical qualification requirements of the
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to provide a current
original or copy of his or her medical examiner's certificate to the
issuing State Driver Licensing Agency (SDLA). The final rule requires
the SDLA to post in the CDLIS driver record the self-certification that
CDL holders are required to make regarding applicability of the Federal
physical qualification requirements and, for drivers subject to those
requirements, the medical certification information specified in the
regulations. The final
rule also implemented other conforming requirements for both SDLAs and
employers (73 FR 73096-73128). These requirements, for the most part,
have a compliance date of January 30, 2012. On May 21, 2010, the Agency
published several technical amendments to the 2008 final rule to make
certain corrections and to address certain petitions for
reconsideration of that final rule (75 FR 28499-28502).
Several SDLAs have recently advised the Agency that they may not
have the capability by January 30, 2012, to receive the required
medical certification and medical examiner's certificate information
provided by a non-excepted, interstate CDL holder, and then manually
post it to the CDLIS driver record. An SDLA's inability to receive and
post the required material would render both the CDL holder and his or
her employer unable to demonstrate or verify, respectively, that the
driver is medically certified in compliance with the FMCSRs.
The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
On June 14, 2011, FMCSA published a notice (76 FR 34635) proposing
to maintain in effect, until January 30, 2014, the requirement for an
interstate CDL holder subject to the Federal physical qualification
standards to carry a paper copy of his or her medical examiner's
certificate. Until January 30, 2014, a CDL holder would continue to
carry on his or her person the medical examiner's certificate specified
at Sec. 391.43(h), or a copy, as valid proof of medical certification.
Also, an interstate motor carrier that employs CDL holders would
continue to obtain and file a copy of the CDL holder's medical
examiner's certificate in its driver qualification files, as specified
at Sec. 391.51(b)(7)(i), if the motor carrier is unable to obtain that
information from the SDLA issuing the CDL due to the SDLA's inability
to post the medical certificate data. In this way, the Agency could
ensure the medical qualification of CDL holders until all States are
able to post the medical self-certification and medical examiner's
certificate data on the CDLIS driver record.
The FMCSA did not propose to change the compliance dates it
established in the 2008 final rule for SDLAs. SDLAs are still expected
to meet the January 30, 2012, date specified in 49 CFR 383.73 to start
collecting information from CDL applicants and posting and retaining
this data on the CDLIS driver record. In addition, SDLAs are expected
to collect and post the same data from all existing CDL holders by the
January 30, 2014, compliance date. The Agency believes that extending
the requirement that both interstate CDL holders and motor carriers
retain the copy of the medical examiner's certificate for 2 years,
however, will provide sufficient overlap with the requirement that all
SDLAs obtain the medical status and medical examiner's certificate
information and post it on the driver's CDLIS driver record.
Response to Comments
Two State agencies, the Michigan Department of State and the
Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT), submitted comments to
the June 14, 2011, proposal. Both agencies support the proposal to
extend certain compliance dates for interstate CDL drivers and the
motor carriers that employ them. But the Michigan Department of State
urged the Agency to also extend, until January 2014, the compliance
dates established for States in the 2008 final rule.
The MoDOT noted that the Agency was silent regarding whether the
deferred implementation date also applies to intrastate drivers and the
intrastate employers. According to this commenter,
This omission creates uncertainty and ambiguity regarding the
intended scope and meaning of these requirements. When the States
attempt to enforce these safety regulations against intrastate
drivers and motor carriers, this kind of uncertainty and ambiguity
may be susceptible to exploitation by alleged offenders or their
defense attorneys, and could potentially frustrate or even to [sic]
thwart the State's ability to prosecute apparent violations of these
requirements by intrastate drivers and motor carriers.
FMCSA Response: The FMCSA acknowledges Michigan's concerns.
However, the Agency believes it is necessary for the States to continue
working towards the January 2012 deadline. This is especially the case
given that Michigan provided no justification in its comment for this
request. As provided in 49 CFR 384.301(d), Michigan, like all the other
States issuing CDLs, will have had 3 years (from the effective date of
the final rule on January 30, 2009) to comply, and most States will be
in compliance. If Michigan or any other State is unable to achieve
substantial compliance with the requirements of 49 CFR 384.225, as
adopted in December 2008, then the compliance review standards and
procedures of 49 CFR part 384, subparts C and D will be implemented.
The FMCSA will continue to work with the States by providing technical
assistance, as resources permit, in achieving compliance.
Regarding MoDOT's request for FMCSA to make the provisions of this
final rule applicable to intrastate CDL drivers and intrastate-only
motor carriers, applicable statutes provide no authority for FMCSA to
do so. As explained in the preamble to the final rule, FMCSA's
authority to require CDL drivers to be physically-qualified and to
obtain a medical certificate is limited to drivers in interstate
commerce (49 U.S.C. 31305(a)(7)). Therefore, the requirement in the
2008 final rule that CDL drivers submit their medical certificates to
SDLAs only applies to drivers engaged in interstate transportation who
are not excepted from the requirement to be physically qualified (73 FR
73097, 49 CFR 383.71 and 383.73). Because the 2008 final rule does not
apply to intrastate-only CDL drivers in the first place, FMCSA cannot
take any action regarding the need for such drivers to carry paper
copies of any medical certificates and for their employers to obtain
copies for their driver qualification files.
The Final Rule
The Agency adopts the proposed rule as final without any changes.
Rulemaking Analyses and Notices
Executive Order 12866 (Regulatory Planning and Review) and DOT
Regulatory Policies and Procedures
The FMCSA has determined that this final rule is not a significant
regulatory action within the meaning of Executive Order (E.O.) 12866,
as supplemented by E.O. 13563, 76 FR 3821 (Jan. 21, 2011), or within
the meaning of the Department of Transportation regulatory policies and
procedures. Therefore, the Agency was not required to submit this rule
to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The changes made in this
final rule will have minimal costs and a full regulatory evaluation is
Regulatory Flexibility Act
In compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act (5 U.S.C. 601-
612), FMCSA has evaluated the effects of this rule on small entities.
The rule extends, until January 30, 2014, the existing requirement for
interstate CDL holders subject to Federal physical qualifications
requirements and their employers to retain a copy of a medical
examiner's certificate. Because extending the current requirement will
not materially impact small entities, I certify that this final rule
will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of
Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995
The Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (2 U.S.C. 1531-1538)
requires Federal agencies to assess the effects of their discretionary
regulatory actions. In particular, the Act addresses actions that may
result in the expenditure by State, local, and Tribal governments, in
the aggregate, or by the private sector, of $143.1 million (which is
the value in 2010 of $100 million after adjusting for inflation) or
more in any 1 year. The FMCSA has determined that the impact of this
rulemaking will not reach this threshold.
Executive Order 12988 (Civil Justice Reform)
This action meets applicable standards in sections 3(a) and 3(b)(2)
of Executive Order 12988, Civil Justice Reform, to minimize litigation,
eliminate ambiguity, and reduce burden.
Executive Order 13045 (Protection of Children)
The FMCSA analyzed this rule under Executive Order 13045,
Protection of Children From Environmental Health Risks and Safety
Risks. The Agency determined that this final rule does not concern an
environmental risk to health or safety that may disproportionately
Executive Order 12630 (Taking of Private Property)
This final rule does not affect a taking of private property or
otherwise have taking implications under Executive Order 12630,
Governmental Actions and Interference With Constitutionally Protected
Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)
The FMCSA analyzed this final rule in accordance with the
principles and criteria contained in Executive Order 13132. Although
the 2008 final rule had Federalism implications, FMCSA determined that
it did not create a substantial direct effect on the States, on the
relationship between the national government and the States, or on the
distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of
government. Today's final rule does not change that determination in
Executive Order 12372 (Intergovernmental Review)
The regulations implementing Executive Order 12372 regarding
intergovernmental consultation on Federal programs and activities do
not apply to this final rule.
Paperwork Reduction Act
The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507(d)) requires
that FMCSA consider the impact of paperwork and other information
collection burdens imposed on the public. FMCSA has determined that no
new information collection requirements are associated with the
requirements in this final rule.
National Environmental Policy Act
The FMCSA analyzed this final rule for the purpose of the National
Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321 et seq.) and
determined under our environmental procedures Order 5610.1, published
March 1, 2004, (69 FR 9680) that this final rule does not have any
significant impact on the environment. In addition, the actions in this
rule are categorically excluded from further analysis and documentation
as per paragraph 6.b of Appendix 2 of FMCSA's Order 5610.1. The FMCSA
also analyzed this final rule under the Clean Air Act, as amended
(CAA), section 176(c) (42 U.S.C. 7401 et seq.), and implementing
regulations promulgated by the Environmental Protection Agency. This
final rule is exempt from the CAA's general conformity requirement
since the action results in no increase in emissions.
Executive Order 13211 (Energy Effects)
The FMCSA analyzed this final rule under Executive Order 13211,
Actions Concerning Regulations That Significantly Affect Energy Supply,
Distribution, or Use. The Agency determined that it is not a
``significant energy action'' under that Executive Order because it is
not economically significant and is not likely to have an adverse
effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy.
List of Subjects in 49 CFR Part 391
Motor carriers, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Safety.
In consideration of the foregoing, FMCSA amends title 49, Code of
Federal Regulations, Chapter III as follows:
PART 391--QUALIFICATIONS OF DRIVERS AND LONGER COMBINATION VEHICLE
(LCV) DRIVER INSTRUCTORS
1. The authority citation for part 391 continues to read as follows:
Authority: 49 U.S.C. 322, 504, 508, 31133, 31136, and 31502;
sec. 4007(b) of Pub. L. 102-240, 105 Stat. 2152; sec. 114 of Pub. L.
103-311, 108 Stat. 1673, 1677; sec. 215 of Pub. L. 106-159, 113
Stat. 1767; and 49 CFR 1.73.
2. Amend Sec. 391.23 by revising paragraphs (m)(2) introductory text,
(m)(2)(i) introductory text, and (m)(2)(ii) to read as follows:
Sec. 391.23 Investigation and inquiries.
* * * * *
(m) * * *
(2) Exception. For drivers required to have a commercial driver's
license under part 383 of this chapter:
(i) Beginning January 30, 2014, using the CDLIS motor vehicle
record obtained from the current licensing State, the motor carrier
must verify and document in the driver qualification file the following
information before allowing the driver to operate a CMV:
* * * * *
(ii) Until January 30, 2014, if a driver operating in non-excepted,
interstate commerce has no medical certification status information on
the CDLIS MVR obtained from the current State driver licensing agency,
the employing motor carrier may accept a medical examiner's certificate
issued to that driver, and place a copy of it in the driver
qualification file before allowing the driver to operate a CMV in
3. Revise Sec. 391.41(a)(2)(i) to read as follows:
Sec. 391.41 Physical qualifications for drivers.
(a) * * *
(2) * * *
(i) Beginning January 30, 2014, a driver required to have a
commercial driver's license under part 383 of this chapter, and who
submitted a current medical examiner's certificate to the State in
accordance with Sec. 383.71(h) of this chapter documenting that he or
she meets the physical qualification requirements of this part, no
longer needs to carry on his or her person the medical examiner's
certificate specified at Sec. 391.43(h), or a copy for more than 15
days after the date it was issued as valid proof of medical
* * * * *
Issued on: October 28, 2011.
Anne S. Ferro,
[FR Doc. 2011-29481 Filed 11-14-11; 8:45 am]
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