The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has requested that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration extend the registration deadline for certified medical examiners, claiming there is a shortage of medical examiners that have been accepted into the new national registry.

Approximately 25% of the goal of 40,000 medical examiners has been reached with only six weeks to go before the enforcement deadline, OOIDA says.

In May 2012, FMCSA established a National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners and set the number at 40,000 medical examiners to be registered by the compliance date of May 21, 2014.

OOIDA says it is concerned that some truck drivers will not be able to become recertified before their current certification expires.

“Those who are able to find an examiner on the national registry and schedule an appointment to be certified may face much greater costs and burdens,” the group said in a statement. “The artificial shortage of examiners could mean that many drivers will have to drive a few hundred miles out of their way to complete their certification. Fewer examiners could also lead to longer wait times for drivers and no opportunities for walk-ins.”

OOIDA filed a petition asking that in the interim, drivers be permitted to obtain medical certification from persons who are certified under the new rules or qualified under the current rules.

The National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners requires drivers to receive medical certification from medical professionals who are part of the registry. Official examiners will be trained on FMCSA’s regulations and the physical standards of the truck driving industry.

OOIDA represents about 150,000 small business trucking professionals including both company drivers and independent contractors.

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