United States Code
USC most recently checked for updates: Feb 24, 2024
The Secretary of Transportation shall establish a Medical Review Board to provide the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration with medical advice and recommendations on medical standards and guidelines for the physical qualifications of operators of commercial motor vehicles, medical examiner education, and medical research.
The Medical Review Board shall be appointed by the Secretary and shall consist of 5 members selected from medical institutions and private practice. The membership shall reflect expertise in a variety of medical specialties relevant to the driver fitness requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
The Secretary shall appoint a chief medical examiner who shall be an employee of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and who shall hold a position under section 3104 of title 5, United States Code, relating to employment of specially qualified scientific and professional personnel, and shall be paid under section 5376 of title 5, United States Code, relating to pay for certain senior-level positions.
The Secretary, with the advice of the Medical Review Board and the chief medical examiner, shall—
establish, review, and revise—
medical standards for operators of commercial motor vehicles that will ensure that the physical condition of operators of commercial motor vehicles is adequate to enable them to operate the vehicles safely; and
requirements for periodic physical examinations of such operators performed by medical examiners who have, at a minimum, self-certified that they have completed training in physical and medical examination standards and are listed on a national registry maintained by the Department of Transportation;
require each such operator to have a current valid medical certificate;
conduct periodic reviews of a select number of medical examiners on the national registry to ensure that proper examinations of such operators are being conducted;
the completion of specific courses and materials;
certification, including, at a minimum, self-certification, if the Secretary determines that self-certification is necessary for sufficient participation in the national registry, to verify that a medical examiner completed specific training, including refresher courses, that the Secretary determines necessary to be listed in the national registry;
an examination that requires a passing grade; and
demonstration of a medical examiner’s willingness to meet the reporting requirements established by the Secretary;
require medical examiners to transmit electronically, on a monthly basis, the name of the applicant, a numerical identifier, and additional information contained on the medical examiner’s certificate for any completed medical examination report required under section 391.43 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, to the chief medical examiner;
periodically review a representative sample of the medical examination reports associated with the name and numerical identifiers of applicants transmitted under subparagraph (E) for errors, omissions, or other indications of improper certification; and
annually review the implementation of commercial driver’s license requirements by not fewer than 10 States to assess the accuracy, validity, and timeliness of—
the submission of physical examination reports and medical certificates to State licensing agencies; and
the processing of the submissions by State licensing agencies.
The Secretary shall investigate patterns of errors or improper certification by a medical examiner. If the Secretary finds that a medical examiner has issued a medical certificate to an operator of a commercial motor vehicle who fails to meet the applicable standards at the time of the examination or that a medical examiner has falsely claimed to have completed training in physical and medical examination standards as required by this section, the Secretary may remove such medical examiner from the registry and may void the medical certificate of the applicant or holder.
The Secretary, acting through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration—
shall establish and maintain a current national registry of medical examiners who are qualified to perform examinations and issue medical certificates;
shall remove from the registry the name of any medical examiner that fails to meet or maintain the qualifications established by the Secretary for being listed in the registry or otherwise does not meet the requirements of this section or regulation issued under this section;
shall accept as valid only medical certificates issued by persons on the national registry of medical examiners; and
may make participation of medical examiners in the national registry voluntary if such a change will enhance the safety of operators of commercial motor vehicles.
The Secretary shall issue such regulations as may be necessary to carry out this section.
cite as: 49 USC 31149