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Instructor Bulletin 12-39


February 1, 2012

New Medical Certification Requirements: A Guide for Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Holders

Starting January 30, 2012, and no later than January 30, 2014 all Commercial Driver's License (CDL) holders must provide information to the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) regarding the type of commercial motor vehicle operation they drive or expect to drive with their CDL. Drivers operating in certain types of commerce will be required to submit a current medical examiner's certificate to the DMV to obtain a "certified" medical status as part of their driving record. CDE holders required to have a "certified" medical status who fail to provide and keep up-to-date their medical examiner's certificate with DMV will become "not-certified" and they may lose their CDL.

What is changing? State driver licensing agencies, such as California's DMV will be adding your medical certification status and information on your medical examiner's certificate to your Commercial Driver's License System (CDLIS) record).

When does this change start? This change started on January 30, 2012.

What is not changing? The driver physical qualification requirements are not changing and drivers are still required to carry their DL-51a card during their course of employment.

What are CDL holders required to do?

Drivers must determine what type of commerce you operate in. Drivers must certify to the DMV one of the two types of commerce they are expected to operate.

  1. Interstate non-excepted: The driver is an interstate non-excepted driver and must meet the Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) medical requirements.
  2. Intrastate non-excepted: The driver is an intrastate non-excepted driver and must meet the medical requirements of California.

Upon renewal of a CDL medical examination, drivers are required to use the DL-51 form dated no earlier than January 2012 and the driver will need to mark one of the driving types listed above. If you have any questions regarding this Information Bulletin, please call our office at 916-375-7100.

Questions:   Anna Borges | aborges@cde.ca.gov | 916-375-7100
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