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FMCSA proposes return of Medical Examiner’s Handbook


Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is requesting comment on its plan to revise and restore the agency’s Medical Examiner’s Handbook, which guides personnel who complete physical exams for commercial motor vehicle drivers.

According to a notice of proposed regulatory guidance published in the Aug. 16 Federal Register, FMCSA withdrew the handbook in 2015 because “some of the information was obsolete” or “prescriptive in nature.” Medical examiners and training organizations were told that the document, first published in 2008, should no longer be construed as agency guidance.


The proposed revision and reinstatement of the handbook, which offers regulatory requirements and guidance to medical examiners, reflects the work of the FMCSA Medical Review Board. Members of the board were appointed by the transportation secretary to “provide FMCSA with medical advice and recommendations on medical standards and guidelines for the physical qualifications of CMV operators, ME education and medical research.”

Examiners have consulted federal regulations on drivers’ physical qualifications on a case-by-case basis since the handbook was withdrawn.

Comments are due Oct. 31.

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