Federal Registry Requirements for DOT Physical Medical Providers
May 21, 2014 was the first day that DOT physicals for federally regulated commercial drivers were required to be completed by a medical professional that is registered with the FMCSA.
This significant change has reduced the number of medical professionals conducting "DOT physicals". It is also supposed to create more standardized testing procedures so that all drivers are looked at in a relatively similar manner for FMCSA medical requirements.
All fleets should:
1. Make sure that any driver getting a DOT physical today or in the future has it administered by a medical professional that is on the FMCSA register.
2. Have a mechanism in place to prove that the physical was performed by a registered medical professional. This can be a copy of their certificate, a screen print of the register, or some other electronic paperwork that the clinic/medical professional provides.
3. Ensure that their medical providers will communicate any change in status of the clinic or medical providers as to their registration with the FMCSA.
Commercial fleets should also communicate the following to their drivers:
1. DOT physicals are now required to be performed by medical providers that have been through the FMCSA certification process. Many of the providers that used to perform DOT physicals have chosen not to be certified.
2. If they are allowed to go to the medical provider of their choice, then they need to provide the compliance department with a mechanism to prove that the DOT physical was completed by a registered medical provider or the compliance department will need to take a screen shot of the registry.
3. The physical process has become more standardized than in the past. If there are medical issues that were either overlooked or looked at in a more positive light, drivers should have these issues addressed to the best of their abilities before their next physical. These issues could include apnea, blood pressure, hearing, etc. This is a very good time to begin a conversation about driver wellness if the subject has not been brought up in the past.
Additionally, the medical certificates will need to be turned into the states for CDL drivers by next January 30th or sooner depending on your state regulations.