Brenda Nordlund, administrator of the Motor Vehicle Division within the Montana Department of Justice, on Friday announced that her division is implementing new regulations adopted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Beginning May 9, the new rules require all state driver licensing agencies to add two items to the driver’s record maintained in the national Commercial Driver’s License Information System:
· self-certification status (the type of business the driver operates in), and
· all the information from the medical examiner’s certificate (MEC, formerly known as a DOT card).
The changes affect only new commercial driver license applicants and existing CDL holders who are renewing their licenses. Under the new regulations, commercial drivers still need to provide medical certification, but the state is now responsible for recording and tracking the expiration date of the medical certification. Commercial drivers also must determine the specific type of business they operate in and indicate that type of commercial operation on their license application.
While the requirement of carrying and providing the MEC is not new to Montana CDL holders, tracking the expiration date is new. Driver License Bureau Chief Kristine Thatcher reminds commercial drivers that they need to make sure their medical examiner’s certificate has been completely filled out by their medical professional before leaving the office.
“Part of this new federal requirement is that MVD retains a copy of the MEC, so incomplete certificates cannot be accepted,” Thatcher emphasized.
At this time, commercial drivers do not need to submit this information if they are not new applicants or are not renewing an existing CDL.
“If your CDL is not up for renewal, and if you’re not a brand-new CDL applicant, you don’t need to do anything right now,” Thatcher said. “Just be aware that when you do go in to renew or get a CDL for the first time, you’ll need to provide your MEC and complete a self-certification form indicating the type of business you operate in.”
Commercial drivers can find more information by going to the Department of Justice web site, www.doj.mt.gov/driving, and clicking on Commercial Driver Licensing. Applicants can click Appointment Scheduling to see their options for scheduling a testing appointment.