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What if my medical certificate expires before I give the SDLA a new one?

Oops. Your medical examiner’s certificate expired before you provided your SDLA a new one. What now? Here’s what you need to know about letting your truck medical certificate expire and how to quickly resolve the lapse in certification.

Attention! You are no longer licensed

First, it’s very important to know that if you have an expired medical examiner’s certificate, you’re no longer licensed to drive commercial vehicles regardless of what other documentation may state to the contrary. The state’s driver licensing agency (SDLA ) will notify you of this fact ASAP. But in the meantime, not knowing is not an excuse to continue operating commercial motor vehicles illegally. That’s the bad news. But we’ll share how to get back in the driver’s seat as quickly as possible.

How long is my medical examiner’s certificate good for?

Your medical examiner’s certificate is usually valid for 24 months, unless something changes your health status. But if you have a medical condition like hypertension (high blood pressure), a medical examiner may issue a certificate for less time than that to ensure that you’re getting regular medical care and continue to be able to drive safely.

What’s the easiest way to update your medical examiner’s certification?

No shame and no blame from us. We know that you’ve already taken responsibility for this expiration. That’s why you’re here to make it right. But we do need to state that, in the future, it’s always best and easiest to renew before the expiration date.  Let’s prevent this happening again, and threatening your livelihood. Find a place to keep all of your certification paperwork and notices. Consider adding reminders to your phone and/or calendar to avoid another lapse.

If you renew before the expiration, getting a new truck medical certificate may be as easy as contacting the licensed medical examiner who signed it before, getting it updated, and sending it off to SDLA.

How to renew your medical examiner’s certificate after it expires

Once the certificate has expired, however, you need to quickly schedule an appointment with a medical examiner licensed specifically by FMCSA to perform exams. You can locate the medical examiner that meets these qualifications near you by visiting the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. Depending on what your medical conditions may be, this may be any of the following, which is not all-inclusive:

  • Doctors of medicine (MD)
  • Doctors of osteopathy (DO)
  • Physician assistants (PA)
  • Advanced practice nurses (APN)
  • Doctors of chiropractic (DC)

Once the exam is complete, the examiner will give you a written accounting the results. If you’re taking any medications that disqualify you, this could prevent the medical examiner from signing the certificate.

If you pass the exam, you’ll receive a written certificate that states that they’ve determined that you’re healthy enough to drive safely.

Next, you’ll send this certificate to the State Driver Licensing Agency (SDLA). Although, you may want to make a copy for your own records first.

Get truck insurance quotes.

As a driver of commercial motor vehicles, it’s easy to forget things like updating your medical examiner certificate just as it’s easy to forget to check on your insurance coverage. Are you paying more than you have too? Do you have the right coverage? We make it easy to find out. Get a free quote by giving us a call, filling out our online quote form, or messaging us on LiveChat.

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