CDL Truck Drivers…. Changes to Medical Examinations

Are your commercial vehicle truck drivers interstate or intrastate?

The answer is a simple “yes” or “no” response to the following question:

Do your drivers ever leave the state of Michigan?

A “yes” answer classifies your driver as interstate while a “no” would classify as intrastate.  If your response is well most of time they drive in Michigan but once a year they make a trip to Indiana for servicing, then the answer is “yes” and they are considered interstate even if the truck is empty as it crosses the state line.

A driver must have interstate certification if their load crosses state lines at any point during a normal trip. They only need to be classified as intrastate if all of their driving is restricted within the borders of one state.

Properly knowing the correct classification of your drivers will ensure proper medical certification and card documentation.

All construction related CDL drivers are required to obtain medical examinations and cards.  However, depending on if they are interstate or intrastate, they may also need to officially provide a copy with the Secretary of State.

Intrastate Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Drivers

Let’s start with intrastate drivers.  These drivers, which only drive within the state of Michigan, must carry a valid medical examiner’s card or medical waiver card allowing them to operate a CMV.  This card must be within their possession every time they operate a CMV.

Note: Some of your intrastate commercial truck drivers, which have been with your company since 1984, may hold grandfather status thereby exempting them from the need of obtaining a medical card.  On December 31, 2014 this changes as all grandfathered requirements expire.  Therefore, all intrastate drivers that have held grandfathered status will be required to carry a medical card on January 1, 2015.

Interstate Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Drivers

It gets a little more involved with interstate drivers.

Beginning January 30, 2014, all interstate drivers are required to register a valid medical card with the Secretary of State and keep a current medical card on file.  The expiration date of their CDL is not tied to the expiration date of their DOT medical card.  However, if the medical card on file expires, the driver will be notified within 10 days and the CDL will be downgraded to an operator’s license after 60 days.

Medical cards are valid for a 2-year period and can be used up until the point they become expired.  However, beginning May 21, 2014 physical examinations and a medical examiner’s certificates obtained after this date must be performed by a certified medical examiner listed on the National Registry to be valid.  Note: Even after the May 21, 2014, existing medical cards are valid until they expire.

All CMV drivers can find certified medical examiners in their area, or anywhere in the country, on the National Registry website.  Drivers will still receive a medical certificate from the medical examiner after passing their examination; however, medical certificates will now need to include the certified medical examiner’s National Registry Number.  For more information about the National Registry visit the following website

Make sure to inform your CMV drivers about the upcoming changes and ensure that they obtain the proper medical examination prior to renewing their CDL.

If you have any questions or comments contact Glenn Bukoski at or Doug Needham at or call them at the MITA office at 517-347-8336.