The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced Friday that 8,000 more health professionals have been added to the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners since the new system for U.S. DOT medical examinations launched last month with 22,000 providers.
Another 22,500 medical professionals have also initiated the process for gaining their certification, according to the agency.
All interstate commercial truck and bus drivers must pass a U.S. DOT medical examination at least once every two years in order to obtain a valid medical certificate and maintain their commercial driver’s license.
As required by federal regulation, effective May 21, 2014, all new USDOT medical examinations for interstate truck and bus drivers, both CDL and non-CDL drivers, are required to be performed by a medical examiner who has completed the required training and passed a certification test.
Some trucking groups called for a delay in the start of the medical registry requirement claiming there would be a shortage of certified medical examiners.
The U.S.DOT medical examination looks at a range of conditions to assess a driver’s ability to safely operate a commercial vehicle, including cardiovascular disease, respiratory and muscular functions, vision, and hearing.
Most drivers will not need a new physical exam right away. Certificates are valid until the expiration date on a driver's medical card.
To meet the needs of professional drivers throughout the country, FMCSA said there are certified examiners in every state, and dozens or hundreds in most cities.
A listing of medical providers in the registry is available on the FMCSA website.