FAQ
Commercial Drivers - Self and Medical Certification
What must I do to comply with the new requirements to make my medical certification part of my CDL driving record?

You are required to self-certify to a single type of commercial driving on your driver's license application form when you:

  • Apply for a CDL;
  • Renew a CDL;
  • Apply for a higher class of CDL;
  • Apply for a new endorsement on a CDL; or
  • Transfer a CDL from another state.

You may need to provide a valid medical examiner's certificate and show any medical variance documents you have when renewing your CDL or obtaining an original one. You can provide this to the Michigan Secretary of State by visiting any office, faxing it to 517-636-4359 or sending it online at www.Michigan.gov/CDL.

The SOS will be unable to process any of these forms if they are incomplete or illegible, and will return them to you.
 

 

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How do I determine which type of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operation I should self-certify to?

To comply with the new medical certification requirements, you must first determine which type of commercial driving you do. Please follow the three steps below.

Step 1:

Is your CDL used to operate a commercial motor vehicle in interstate or intrastate commerce?

Interstate commerce is when you drive:

  • From one state to another state or to a foreign country;
  • Between two places within a state, but the route takes the vehicle through another state or foreign country; or
  • Between two places within a state, but your cargo came from or will be delivered to another state or foreign country.
     

Intrastate commerce is when you drive a commercial motor vehicle only within one state and you do not meet any of the descriptions above for interstate commerce.

NOTE: If you operate in both intrastate commerce and interstate commerce, you must choose interstate commerce.

Step 2:

Once you have determined whether you operate in interstate commerce or intrastate commerce, you must decide whether your status is non-excepted or excepted status.

Interstate Commerce -- Excepted or Non-excepted:

If the only type of commercial driving you do is one of the following excepted activities, then you operate in excepted interstate commerce and do not need to submit a federal medical examiner's certificate.

  • Transporting school children and/or school staff between home and school;
  • Transporting human corpses, or sick or injured persons;
  • Operating a fire truck or rescue vehicle during emergencies and other related activities;
  • Primarily transporting propane winter heating fuel when responding to an emergency condition requiring immediate response such as damage to a propane gas system after a storm or flooding;
  • Responding to a pipeline emergency condition requiring immediate response such as a pipeline leak or rupture;
  • Working in custom harvesting on a farm or to transport farm machinery and supplies used in the custom harvesting operation to and from a farm or to transport custom harvested crops to storage or market;
  • Working as a beekeeper in the seasonal transportation of bees;
  • Operating a vehicle controlled and operated by a farmer, but not a combination vehicle (power unit and towed unit), that is used to transport agricultural products, farm machinery or farm supplies, but not placardable hazardous materials, to and from a farm and within 150 air miles of the farm;
  • Driving as a private motor carrier of passengers for nonbusiness purposes; or
  • Transporting migrant workers.

If your commercial driving does not include any of the activities listed above, then you operate in non-excepted interstate commerce and are required to provide a current medical examiner's certificate (49 CFR 391.45), commonly referred to as a medical certificate or DOT card.

Most commercial drivers operating in interstate commerce are non-excepted interstate commerce drivers.

If you operate in both excepted interstate commerce and non-excepted interstate commerce, you must choose non-excepted interstate commerce.

Intrastate Commerce -- Excepted or Non-excepted:

You operate in excepted intrastate commerce when you drive a commercial motor vehicle only in intrastate commerce activities that your state of licensure has determined do not require you to meet the state's medical certification requirements.

You operate in non-excepted intrastate commerce when you drive a commercial motor vehicle only in intrastate commerce and are required to meet your state of licensure's medical certification requirements.

If you operate in both excepted intrastate commerce and non-excepted intrastate commerce, you must choose non-excepted intrastate commerce.

Step 3:

Provide the Secretary of State's Office with your self-certification of your operating status. If you self-certify to non-excepted interstate you must provide the Secretary of State's Office with an original or a copy of your current medical examiner's certificate.

To complete the federal medical certification requirements, bring your documents to any Michigan Secretary of State, fax them to 517-636-4359 or submit them online at www.Michigan.gov/CDL.

Medical examiner's certificates that are valid only with a waiver exemption or skills performance evaluation certificates must be submitted in person at any Secretary of State office. You can find a list of Secretary of State office locations from the Branch Office Locator.
 


 

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After I provide the Secretary of State's Office with my unexpired medical examiner's certificate, do I still have to carry it with me when operating a commercial motor vehicle?

Beginning on January 30, 2015, the paper copy of the medical examiner's certificate is valid for fifteen (15) days after it is issued. The driver should continue to carry the certificate with him or her until the expiration of the 15-day period. 49 C.F.R. § 391.41(2). Thereafter, the driving record contained on the CDLIS becomes the only method of validating the medical certification

 

 

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What if I am required to have a medical variance document along with my medical examiner's certificate?

A medical variance document and the medical examiner's certificate must be submitted at a Secretary of State office in person. Use the Branch Office Locator to find the office nearest to you.

The Secretary of State's Office will record the medical variance on your driving record and send you a new driver's license that will show, "V-CDL Variance" as a reference.

 

 

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If my commercial motor vehicle operation changes to other than non-excepted interstate, what should I do?


If you will no longer operate a commercial motor vehicle for non-excepted interstate purposes, you should report the change in the type of commercial operation with the Secretary of State's Office. The change must be reported before the current medical certification expires.

If a new medical certification is not received, the Secretary of State's Office will downgrade your driver's license and you will lose your privilege to operate a commercial motor vehicle.

 


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Must I visit a Secretary of State office to report a change to my type of commercial motor vehicle operation certification?

Yes, if you are changing to either of the intrastate options you must be issued a new driver’s license with the “K”  CDL Intrastate Only restriction. 

 


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What should I do when my medical certificate or medical variance is about to expire?

You must obtain a new medical certificate and, if required, medical variance, and submit them to the Secretary of State's Office before the earliest expiration date is reached. You also are responsible for applying to FMCSA for a renewal of your variance.
 


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What happens if my medical examiner's certificate or variance expires before I provide the Secretary of State's Office with a new one?

The Secretary of State's Office will notify you that you are no longer medically certified to operate a commercial motor vehicle in non-excepted interstate commerce. The Secretary of State's Office will then remove all your CDL privileges from your license.
 


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What is the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners and how do I find out more information about it?

The National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (National Registry) is a Federal program that establishes requirements for healthcare professionals that perform physical qualification examinations for truck and bus drivers. To become a certified medical examiner (ME) and be listed on the National Registry, healthcare professionals must complete training and testing on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) physical qualifications standards and guidelines. The National Registry web site is accessible to carriers, drivers, enforcement officials, and the general public.

All healthcare professionals whose scope of practice authorizes them to perform physical examinations, as defined by the state in which they practice, and who intend to perform physical examinations and issue medical certificates for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers to meet the requirements of Section 391.41 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) must be certified and listed on FMCSA's National Registry by May 21, 2014.

Follow this link to go to a PDF document that contains several other frequently asked questions about the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.
 


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