For the past few years, medical card issues have been one of the most common violations during roadside inspections.
As we reported recently, the CVSA has announced that the focus of this year’s International Roadcheck safety event will be on Driver Violations.
To help you and your drivers prepare for this year’s Roadcheck, we’ll be running a series of articles to help you better understand what violations inspectors will be looking for – so that you and your drivers can ensure you’re operating compliantly. This week, we’ll be covering the Medical Card requirement.
Understanding DOT Medical Card Violations
All interstate drivers that operate a vehicle that weighs 10,001 pounds or more are required to have a current medical card. This card must be updated every two years (or more often depending on the health conditions of the driver).
Because some drivers must have this card updated more often than others, renewal dates can be difficult for fleets to keep track of – making it a common place for violations to occur. For the past few years, this has been one of the most common violations during roadside inspections.
Not having a valid medical certificate in the Driver Qualification File has also been a top violation during audits.
To Carry or Not to Carry?
Whether or not a driver is required to carry a copy of their medical card has created additional confusion – and is leading to even more medical card violations. Simply put, CDL drivers who are required to submit a copy of their medical cards to their state driver’s license agency are only required to carry a paper copy of their medical cards for the first 15 days after it was issued. Because this isn’t a requirement for non-CDL drivers, they are required to always have a copy of their medical cards on hand.
Making Sure You and Your Drivers are Compliant
In regards to the DOT medical card requirement, the best way to ensure that you and your drivers are compliant is to do the following:
- Make sure that all medical cards are valid. If expiration dates are coming up, drivers should have a DOT physical scheduled so that there won’t be a gap in compliance.
- Audit your driver files to make sure there is a valid medical card on file for you and/or every driver you employ.
The easiest way to manage this process is to use an electronic compliance solution (like the one we have at Foley) that tracks expiration dates and driver file issues so that you are always instantly aware of missing documents or expiring medical cards. To learn more about our automated solution, and how it can help you stay compliant through Roadcheck and beyond, click here.
About the Author
Lindsey Bergeron is Editor of the Foley blog. Serving as transportation guru, she keeps an eye on the industry and its day-to-day evolution and developments, specifically writing about the various lifestyle, business and regulatory topics that are most relevant to motor carriers. Holding a degree in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Connecticut, she ran a successful content marketing firm before joining Foley at its Hartford hub. Her current expertise in transportation writing is built upon an extensive background in editing, feature writing and content development.