Medical standards for class G drivers driving for commercial purposes in the USA
Starting April 1st, 2016, Canadian drivers with G licenses must meet new medical standards to operate commercial vehicles in the United States.
Effective April 1, 2016 US law will require drivers of:
- A vehicle defined as commercial with a Weight/Rating* of 4,536 kg (10,001 pounds) or more, to have completed a medical examination indicating they are physically qualified to safely operate a commercial vehicle.
* Gross Vehicle Weight Rating, Gross Combination Weight Rating, Gross Vehicle Weight or Gross Combination Weight
Full details of US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) definition of a commercial motor vehicle can be found at:
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations Section 390.5.
Canadian licensed commercial drivers are qualified to operate in the US if they meet all of the requirements to operate in Canada and do not have:
- Diabetes – insulin dependent;
- Hearing impairment;
- Epilepsy requiring anti-convulsant medication for control
Why this has changed
The Canada-US medical reciprocity agreement recognizes a Canadian commercial licence as proof that a medical has been completed.
The FMCSA has identified Canadian drivers operating commercial vehicles in the US with Class G driver’s licences (equivalent Class 5 licence in other Canadian jurisdictions) as needing to come into compliance with US law by April 1, 2016.
What affected drivers need to know
There are three options to obtain the appropriate medical confirmation in advance of April 1, 2016:
- Submit a completed FMCSA Medical Report form found at: http://www.forms.ssb.gov.on.ca/mbs/ssb/forms/ssbforms.nsf/GetFileAttach/5080E~1/$File/5080E.pdf. The form can be completed by a physician or nurse practitioner to confirm the national medical standards are met. Drivers can fax a full copy of the report to MTO at: 416-235-3400 or 1-800-304-7889.Drivers should clearly indicate on the fax cover sheet: “This request is for a Medical Confirmation Letter for a G class licence holder operating in the United States”. Drivers should keep a copy of the medical report and fax confirmation for their records in their possession when operating in the US.
- Upgrade existing G-class licence to a licence class whereby a medical report is required – for more information : (http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/medical-vision-hearing-standards.shtml) or;
- Seek the services of a certified medical examiner in the US and be issued a medical certificate – for more information: https://nationalregistry.fmcsa.dot.gov/NRPublicUI/home.seam
Drivers failing to obtain appropriate medical confirmation by April 1, 2016 may be subject to fines and/or the vehicle may be placed out-of-service by US enforcement. Note that the Medical Review Section commitment is to review medical reports and take appropriate action within 30 business days – it is recommended that drivers submit medical reports as soon as possible.
Once obtained, it is important to note that proof of medical confirmation must be in the driver’s possession when operating in the US after April 1, 2016.
Medical Report Review
Your ability to obtain a Medical Confirmation Letter depends on your medical report:
- Once your report is reviewed and if you meet the medical standards a confirmation letter will be sent to you;
- Failure to meet the medical standards may result in a request for additional medical information or driver’s licence suspension.
Reapplying for a Medical Confirmation Letter
You will be required to reapply for the medical confirmation letter every:
- 5 years for drivers 18 to 45 years of age;
- 3 years for drivers 46 to 65 years of age;
- 1 year for drivers 66 years of age or older
It is your responsibility to re-apply for a new Medical Confirmation Letter (as per the process outlined above) prior to the expiry of the medical confirmation. The expiry date is clearly indicated on the Medical Confirmation Letter from MTO.
If you have questions regarding the US FMCSA commercial-use vehicle requirements, please contact FMCSA at 1-202-366-4001.
Contact the ministry
Ministry of Transportation
Driver Improvement Office
Medical Review Section
77 Wellesley Street West, Box 589
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1N3
By phone: 416-235-1773 or 1-800-268-1481 (within Ontario)
By fax: 416-235-3400 or 1-800-304-7889
By email: [email protected]
Business hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday