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Planning for the New Year — Mandate, Medical Cards, and More

Here are the top regulatory events that should be on your radar in 2021, and how to prepare.

author

Kathy Close - DOT Editor - J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

December 04 , 2020

As 2020 is left to the history books, you're probably looking forward to what 2021 holds.

From a regulatory standpoint, several items should be on your radar in 2021, including the following:

First Annual Clearinghouse Queries

For drivers who were in your Part 382 testing program on January 6, 2020, the Clearinghouse's first annual limited query is due no later than January 5, 2021. For drivers hired since January 6, 2020, the first annual query must be requested within a year of the pre-employment query.

Changes to the CDL Medical Card Process

For all driver physicals performed on or after June 22, 2021, the medical examiner (ME) will provide the results directly to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) via the ME's portal account in the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME). In turn, FMCSA will transmit the exam results for CDL holders to CDLIS. State driver's licensing agencies will receive the CDLIS information to include on the driver's motor vehicle record (MVR). As a result of this automated process, procedures for CDL driver exams will be affected.

Non-excepted interstate CDL drivers:

  • Will not be issued a med card from the ME; and
  • Are no longer required to carry a copy of the med card for 15 days following an exam.

A motor carrier's administrative processes will change substantially. It no longer:

  • Collects a copy of the med card as temporary proof of medical qualification;
  • Creates a note that they verified the ME appears on the NRCME; and
  • Has 30 days to request an MVR showing the medical status. It must be requested within a few days of the exam.

Note that the process of issuing and retaining a med card and verifying the NRCME remains intact for non-CDL commercial motor vehicle drivers.

Canadian ELD Mandate

Canada's ELD mandate is effective June 12, 2021, for all federally regulated carriers.

The hours-of-service regulation adopts by reference the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrator's (CCMTA) Technical Standard for Electronic Logging Devices, October 27, 2020, which includes the technical, operational standards and requirements for ELDs used in Canada.

Exemptions for using ELDs apply to:

  • Drivers who are driving under a permit or statutory exemption;
  • Drivers of vehicles subject to rental agreements for a term of 30 days or less;
  • Commercial vehicles that were manufactured before the year 2000; and
  • Drivers who operate within 160 km of the home terminal.

International Roadcheck

2021 International Roadcheck is scheduled for May 4-6, 2021. The roadside inspection blitz will take place throughout North America. This coming year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will emphasize tires, wheels, and rims during vehicle inspections.

Get Ready for 2021

With 2020 nearing an end, it's a good time to reflect on your accomplishments and what you'd like to see change in 2021. Talk to one of our compliance specialists if you're looking for more ways to improve safety, reduce risk, and boost efficiency. They've got great ideas.


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