The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) recent announcement that commercial drivers are required to possess medical certificates for another year, does NOT apply to commercial drivers’ licences issued by Canadian provinces, CTA has confirmed.
The news that FMCSA will require drivers to possess their medical certificates for another year has caused some confusion for Canadian fleets and insurers.
CTA has since clarified with FMCSA that this announcement does not impact the holders of commercial drivers’ licences, issued by Canadian jurisdictions.
Commercial drivers’ licences issued by Canadian jurisdictions are already proof of medical fitness as per the Canada-US Medical Reciprocity Agreement, negating the need for drivers to carry a separate medical certificate in addition to their licence. In other words, Canadian jurisdictions do not issue commercial licences until drivers have submitted their medical information and it is verified by the licensing issuing authority in each Canadian jurisdiction.
The details of this agreement are spelled out in Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation 391.41 (a)(1)(i) and have been in place since March 30, 1999. (Click here for full regulation).
Commercial drivers with Canadian issued drivers licences who are not medically qualified to operate in the US will have a code “W” indicator on their licence and abstracts.
The announcement by FMCSA is only applicable to holders of State-issued commercial drivers’ licences. States were originally given until January 30, 2014 by FMCSA to adopt essentially the same model as that followed by Canadian jurisdictions for vetting medical information before issuing driver’s licences, however many have fallen behind schedule – hence the extension until January 30, 2015, announced by FMCSA.