CDL Self Certification Policy

Overview of 2012 Self-Certification Mandate

By April 30, 2014 all CDL drivers are required under Federal regulation to inform the RMV of the type of commerce they plan to operate within (interstate or intrastate) and whether or not they are required to hold a medical certificate. This notification is called self-certification. It is called self-certification because the driver alone needs to determine the self-certification category he/she falls into based on his/her driving information.

 

Beginning August 15, 2012 customers who wish to obtain, or who currently hold a Commercial Driver's License that is being renewed, upgraded, or transferred from another State, will be required to complete their CDL Self-Certification. The CDL Self-Certification Form and a copy of the medical certificate, if applicable, must be presented at the time of the transaction. Click here for the CDL Self-Certification Form.

 

CDL drivers that will not be completing a transaction with the RMV prior to April 30, 2014 may self-certify by one of the following methods:

§ Online at www.massrmv.com - The CDL Self-Certification Transaction may be accessed by selecting the Online Services tab.  A link to the CDL Self-Certification is listed in the “Other” category on the bottom right of the page. If you are required to have a medical certificate, you will be prompted to upload a copy, as a pdf or jpg file, in order to complete the transaction.

 

§ By Mail:

MassDOT, RMV Division

Driver Licensing

PO Box 55889

Boston, MA 02205

 

§ In-person at an RMV Service Center. Locations can be found by visiting www.massrmv.com.

 

Individuals initially applying for a Commercial Learner's Permit must present their medical certificate prior to being issued a Commercial Learner's Permit, unless they have an intrastate medical waiver or are in an excepted category. The exemption from carrying a medical certificate applies to federal, state, or municipal employees only when operating a federal, state, or municipal vehicle in the course of their employment and who plan to take their road test in a federal, state, or municipal vehicle.

 

Existing Commercial Driver's License or permit holders who are required to carry a medical certificate must bring a copy when going to a service center to:

• Apply for a CDL;

• Renew a CDL;

• Upgrade a CDL or

• Transfer a CDL from another State

 

If a driver's medical examiner's certificate is only valid with a vision, diabetes, or skills performance evaluation variance letter granted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the driver will also need to provide this documentation to the RMV.

 

The medical certificate is a document that most CDL drivers are currently required to carry. The new regulation simply requires drivers to provide the Registry with a copy as part of their self-certification. See Federal regulations 49 CFR §383.71 and §391 on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Website.

 

All drivers must self-certify and provide their medical certificate, if applicable, by April 30, 2014.

 

Drivers are required to continue to carry a physical copy of their medical certificate through April 30, 2014. Commercial drivers with a federal medical variance, Skill Performance Evaluation, or state issued medical waiver are required to carry this documentation indefinitely.

 

A driver's self-certification category and medical certificate information will be become part of the CDLIS driver record for use by law enforcement.

 

Self-Certification Categories

There are four self-certification categories. A driver must self-certify to one of these four categories. The category a driver should choose depends on whether he/she operates in interstate or intrastate commerce and whether or not he/she is required to have a medical certificate or is exempt:

§ Non-Excepted Interstate (NI) – Driver is engaged in Interstate commerce and must meet the federal DOT medical card requirements

§ Excepted Interstate (EI) – Driver is engaged in Interstate commerce and does not have to meet the DOT medical card requirements

§ Non-Excepted Intrastate (NA) – Driver is engaged in Intrastate commerce and must meet state driver qualification requirements

§ Excepted Intrastate (EA) - Driver is engaged in intrastate commerce and does not have to meet the DOT medical card requirements

 

The medical documentation that a driver is required to provide is dependent on the category of self-certification selected. In Massachusetts, drivers that self-certify in the NI or NA category are required to provide the RMV with a copy of their current medical certificate, with the exception of NA drivers that have been issued an Intrastate Medical Waiver and, as a result, have a W restriction on their license. If a driver's medical examiner's certificate is only valid with a vision, diabetes, or a skills performance evaluation variance granted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the driver will also need to provide this documentation to the RMV.

 

Category Descriptions

§ Non-excepted Interstate (NI) –

All Class A, Class B, or Class C privately or self-employed commercial drivers who operate or expect to operate in interstate commerce, and are subject to meet the federal medical standard and therefore are required to obtain a medical examiner's certificate.

All Class A, B, or C drivers who do not fall under any other category or who have been granted a federal vision or diabetes exemption or a Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE). See Federal regulations 49 CFR § 391.49.

§ Excepted Interstate (EI) –

Drivers who operate or expect to operate in interstate commerce but engage exclusively in transportation or operations and are not required to meet all or parts of the federal qualification requirements, and are therefore not required to obtain a medical examiner's certificate.

Examples of EI Drivers include:

§ City, municipal, or state employed Commercial Driver's License holders

§ Beekeepers

§ All school bus operators as defined in §390.5 except for the prohibition of texting provisions of §391.15(e) and §392.80

§ Individuals who occasionally transport personal property not for compensation or in the furtherance of a commercial enterprise

§ Transporters of human corpses or sick and injured persons

§ Fire truck and rescue vehicle operators while involved in emergency and related operations

§ Operators of commercial motor vehicles designed or used to transport between nine and 15 passengers (including the driver), not for direct compensation, provided the vehicle does not otherwise meet the definition of a commercial motor vehicle except for the texting provisions of §391.15(e) and §392.80, and except that motor carriers operating such vehicles are required to comply with §390.15, §390.19, and §390.21 (a) and (b)(2)

§ Drivers of commercial motor vehicles used primarily in the transportation of propane winter heating fuel or drivers of motor vehicles used to respond to a pipeline emergency, if such regulations would prevent the driver from responding to an emergency condition requiring immediate response as defined in § 390.5

§ Drivers engaged in custom-harvesting operations as defined in §391.1

§ Farm vehicle drivers, except a farm vehicle driver who drives an articulated (combination) commercial motor vehicle

§ Private motor carriers of passengers (nonbusiness) and their drivers

§ Drivers who transport migrant workers (a doctor's certificate is required instead)

§ Non-excepted Intrastate (NA) –

All Class A, B, or C privately employed or self-employed commercial drivers who only operate in intrastate commerce and are subject to state driver qualification requirements

Examples of NA Drivers include:

§ Drivers 18-21 years of age with a K Restriction associated with their license to operate

§ Drivers 21 and over with a W restriction associated with their license to operate

§ Excepted Intrastate (EA) –

Drivers who operate in intrastate commerce, but engage exclusively in transportation or operations that are not required to meet all or parts of the state driver qualification requirements, and are therefore not required to obtain a medical examiner's certificate

Examples of EA Drivers include:

§ City, municipal, or state employed Commercial Driver's License holders

§ Beekeepers

§ All school bus operators as defined in §390.5 except for the prohibition of texting provisions of §391.15(e) and §392.80

§ Individuals who occasionally transport personal property not for compensation or in the furtherance of a commercial enterprise

§ Transporters of human corpses or sick and injured persons

§ Fire truck and rescue vehicle operators while involved in emergency and related operations

§ Operators of commercial motor vehicles designed or used to transport between nine and 15 passengers (including the driver), not for direct compensation, provided the vehicle does not otherwise meet the definition of a commercial motor vehicle except for the texting provisions of §391.15(e) and §392.80, and except that motor carriers operating such vehicles are required to comply with §390.15, §390.19, and §390.21 (a) and (b)(2)

§ Drivers of commercial motor vehicles used primarily in the transportation of propane winter heating fuel or drivers of motor vehicles used to respond to a pipeline emergency, if such regulations would prevent the driver from responding to an emergency condition requiring immediate response as defined in § 390.5

§ Drivers engaged in custom-harvesting operations as defined in §391.1

§ Farm vehicle drivers, except a farm vehicle driver who drives an articulated (combination) commercial motor vehicle

§ Private motor carriers of passengers (nonbusiness) and their drivers

§ Drivers who transport migrant workers (a doctor's certificate is required instead)

 

Guidance for Selecting a Self-Certification Category

A driver should self-certify at the highest standard for which he/she qualifies so as not to limit work opportunities. Non-excepted Interstate (NI) is the broadest category and the one a driver should select if he/she meets the criteria, even if he/she currently does not consider himself/herself an interstate driver.

 

Interstate Commerce versus Intrastate Commerce

When making a decision about what type of commerce a driver operates or expects to operate within, consider the following definitions:

 

Interstate commerce is trade, traffic, or transportation involving the crossing of a state boundary. Either the vehicle, its passengers, or cargo must cross a state boundary, or there must be the intent to cross a state boundary to be considered an interstate carrier.

 

Intrastate commerce is trade, traffic, or transportation within a single state.

For additional information on interstate and intrastate commerce, please refer to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Website.

 

Medical Examiner's Certificates

To qualify for a Commercial Driver's License in Massachusetts, a driver must undergo a US Department of Transportation (DOT) medical examination. For information about the medical examination and to obtain a Medical Examination Report, see the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Website. If the driver passes the medical examination, he/she will obtain a medical examiner's certificate. Medical examiner's certificates are valid for up to, but not more than, two years.

 

Most city, municipal, and state employed commercial drivers are not required to obtain a medical certificate. A more complete list of exempted drivers can be found in the Self-Certification Category section of this document or within the federal regulations.

 

Non-excepted interstate and non-excepted intrastate drivers who are required to have a US Department of Transportation medical certificate, will need to provide the Registry of Motor Vehicles with a copy of their medical certificate, with the exception of NA drivers that have been issued an Intrastate Medical Waiver. A driver however is required to continue to carry the medical certificate with him/her until April 30, 2014.

 

An out-of-state customer seeking to convert his/her Commercial Driver's License must provide his/her current, valid medical certificate to the Registry.

 

A medical certificate which is expiring less than ninety days from the current date will not be accepted and the customer will need to acquire a new medical certificate before self-certifying.

 

Compliance Requirements

Downgrade for Non-Compliance

Failure to initially provide self-certification information and a copy of a medical certificate, if a driver requires one, by April 30, 2014 will result in the downgrade of the driver’s Commercial Driver's License to a Class D license.

 

Class A, B, or C Learner's Permits are not subject to a downgrade. A Commercial Driver's Learner's Permit will be deleted upon the expiration or self-certification expiration, whichever comes first.

 

Re-Certification - Submission Cycle

For NI and NA categorized drivers, self-certification is tied to the expiration date of the medical certificate, variance or waiver. Therefore, drivers will need to self-certify at least every two years.

An NI or NA driver will receive notice from the Registry of Motor Vehicles notifying him/her of the self-certification expiration date. NI and NA categorized drivers that do not re-certify by the expiration date will no longer be authorized to operate a vehicle requiring a commercial driver's license. The following will occur for a driver that does not re-certify within sixty days from the expiration date:

1.  The Registry will downgrade the driver to a Class D license which will be mailed to him/her

2.  A $25.00 license amendment fee will be posted on the customer's record to be collected at the time of his/her next license transaction

 

EI and EA drivers will need to re-certify every five years at the time of license renewal.

A driver may also need to re-certify prior to an expiration date if the type of driving that is conducted has changed.

 

Restoring a Downgraded License to a Commercial Driver's License

To restore a Commercial Driver's License within 365 days of the downgrade, the customer must go to an RMV Service Center and request a restoration. The customer must submit all required paperwork. If eligible, the system will allow the customer to restore and/or renew. If the restored Commercial Driver's License is not renewed, the expiration date will continue from the pre-downgrade date. The customer must pay all required fees.

 

To restore a Commercial Driver's License after 365 days of the downgrade, the customer must go to a service center and request a restoration. The customer must retake the Commercial Driver's License learner's permit exam and road test and submit all required paperwork. If the customer passes both tests, he/she will be issued a new, five-year license. The customer must pay all required fees.