Occupational Medicine

FAQs concerning National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME)

Preparing Drivers for the Road

What is the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners — NRCME?

The National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners is a federal program that establishes requirements for healthcare professionals that perform physical qualification examinations for truck and bus drivers. To become a certified medical examiner (ME) and be listed on the National Registry, healthcare professionals must complete training and testing on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) physical qualifications standards and guidelines. 

The National Registry website is accessible to carriers, drivers, enforcement officials and the general public. 

All healthcare professionals whose scope of practice authorizes them to perform physical examinations, as defined by the state in which they practice, and who intend to perform physical examinations and issue medical certificates for Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers to meet the requirements of Section 391.41 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) must be certified and listed on the National Registry by May 21, 2014.

Why is the National Registry necessary?

FMCSA developed the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners final rule as part of the agency’s commitment to enhancing the medical oversight of interstate drivers and preventing commercial vehicle-related crashes, injuries and fatalities. The final rule addresses four NTSB recommendations on a comprehensive medical oversight program for interstate drivers.

Who is impacted by this program?

The program impacts medical examiners who need to obtain certification in order to continue issuing medical certificates for truck and bus drivers, CMV drivers who need to obtain medical certificates from examiners on the National Registry, motor carriers who must ensure their interstate drivers have been medically certified by an examiner on the registry, and training and testing organizations that will deliver these aspects of the program.

CMV Drivers/Carriers

Is this program applicable to both interstate and intrastate CMV drivers?

No, this program applies to interstate drivers only. Intrastate drivers must follow state requirements concerning medical certification.

How is the driver medical certificate issued by a ME on the National Registry different from the current driver medical certificate?

The new driver medical certificate will contain the same medical information as the current driver medical certificate, but will now include the ME’s National Registry number.

Additionally, this rule assures that all healthcare professionals, who perform medical exams for interstate truck and bus drivers, are trained, tested and certified on the specific physical qualifications standards that affect a driver’s ability to safely operate the vehicle.

Will the ME inform the state driver licensing agency that I have passed the physical examination?

No, it is up to CMV drivers required to have a CDL to provide the medical certificate to the state agency issuing the license. Contact your state driver licensing agency for information about how to provide your medical certificate. 

As of May 21, 2014, states will be required to enter the National Registry Number from the medical examiner’s certificate into CDLIS for each non-excepted interstate CDL driver. A driver’s medical certificate is valid until it expires. If the expiration date is after May 21, 2014, the driver must obtain a medical certificate from a ME listed on the National Registry.

Will FMCSA transmit the medical certificate information for interstate CDL drivers to the state driver licensing agencies?

Not at this time. The final rule provides for reporting to FMCSA by the MEs of medical certificate information for all interstate CMV drivers. The agency is considering a new rule-making to require more frequent submission of medical certificate information by the MEs and for FMCSA to transmit to the SDLAs that information for interstate CDL drivers required to have a medical certificate.

How will an employer or enforcement personnel verify that a ME is on the National Registry?

They may visit the National Registry website at nrcme.fmcsa.dot.gov and search the registry for the ME who provided the driver’s medical certificate. They can search by ME name or National Registry number.

How will a driver/carrier find a ME?

ME candidates who pass the exam will be listed in an online registry located on the National Registry website. As of May 21, 2014, all interstate CMV drivers seeking a medical examination/certificate must use a ME listed on the National Registry.

To find a certified ME, visit the National Registry website at nrcme.fmcsa.dot.gov and conduct a basic or advanced search by:

  • City and state.
  • ZIP code.
  • Name of ME.
  • Business name.
  • Employer name.
  • Medical profession.
  • National Registry ID #.

Will the medical examination reports be entered into the National Registry?

No. The FMCSA will not routinely collect or store medical examination reports (i.e., the long form).

If I lose my medical card, can I get a replacement copy from the National Registry?

No. The National Registry is not intended to serve as a medical certificate database for drivers or carriers. To get a copy of your signed medical certificate you must contact the ME that issued it.

If a driver receives a medical certificate from a ME who is later removed from the National Registry for fraudulent activities, is the medical certificate still valid?

Yes. However, FMCSA may exercise its authority to review the ME’s report (long form) and discuss the matter with the individual driver to make an individual determination whether to void the certificate.

What happens to a ME who inappropriately or fraudulently certifies a driver?

Errors, omissions or other indications of improper certification by a ME of a driver in either the completed Medical Examination Reports or the medical certificates, may result in FMCSA initiating action to remove the ME from the National Registry. The final rule provides due process for addressing the removal of MEs from the National Registry.

I prefer going to my doctor for my CMV physical exam. Can I still go to him or her once this rule is implemented?

Yes, provided he or she is listed as a certified ME of the National Registry. If not, drivers will have to use a certified ME that is listed in the online registry.

For more information, call (706) 845-3075.