By January 30, 2014, all CDL (commercial driver’s license) holders must tell their respective state licensing agency:
- the type of driving they perform; AND
- the status of their medical examiner’s certificate
Truck drivers likely are receiving letters from their state licensing agencies asking specifically about the type of driving they do and also asking for copy of their updated medical card. Some truckers have been confused by this request but it is indeed mandatory pursuant to the this new law.
What does “type of driving” even mean? Well, the truck drivers are required to indicate whether their driving falls into one of the four following categories:
- excepted interstate;
- non-excepted interstate;
- excepted intrastate; or
- non-excepted intrastate
The requirement is one of self-certification meaning the truck driver can do the reporting on his/her own. Each state has its own specific form for this self-reporting requirement. The reporting will be required each time the driver gets a new medical card. Also, the self-reporting regarding the type of driving must be completed each time the driver:
- renews a CDL;
- applies for a CDL;
- applies for a new endorsement on a CDL;
- applies for a higher class of CDL; or
- transfers a CDL from another state
If the driver simply fails to comply with this new requirement, the state will downgrade the truck driver’s license to “non-CDL” and all commercial driver’s license privileges will be removed.
As a personal injury attorney representing those injured in tractor trailer crashes, it likely isn’t surprising that I think this new law is a good one. It is important for the licensing agencies to know they type of driving the truck driver is engaged in. Also, I have seen many truck crashes caused by a truck driver’s claimed medical condition. I have seen situations where the truck driver reported cardiac difficulty while driving, causing a crash. I have seen situations where the truck driver reported a fainting or dizzy spell just before impact. Sometimes, the trucking company (the truck driver’s employer) doesn’t even know about the driver’s medical conditions and certainly some conditions could and should render the trucker unfit to drive. By requiring an updated copy of the truck driver’s medical card, the state and employer can better evaluate the truck drivers before a truck accident occurs.
Lindsay Rakers, 2013 ©