Commercial Driver Medical Examination| Rules and Regulations

DOT Physical Exams And The Leap Year Blues!

O.K.  I realize that I may be talking to the wind here.  Then Maybe not.  There are over 6,000 certified DOT Medical Examiners already and more on the way every week.  Those of us who have been certified for a while now  are not exactly sitting around twirling our fingers.   Although we are not required to do so until May 21, 2014 a lot of us have actually been entering our DOT physical exam results online using the MCSA-5850 Form.  I actually find it to be a very useful way to keep track of  the examinations that I have performed.  The MCSA-5850 has also came in very handy the several times that I received a phone call from  a DOT inspector on the field inquiring about a driver’s Medical Examiner’s Certificate.  These inspectors have been conducting random checks on commercial drivers and calling the doctor’s office listed on their DOT card for verification.  So, if you already have your drivers uploaded on the MCSA-5850 it’s just a matter of logging in and checking by date or alphabetically for the driver in question.  No need to look for the charts, and if you are not at your office just pull out the laptop to check.

So, as sometimes happens with all new things there can be some bumps along the way.  As I was entering some driver DOT physical exam results last weekend online on the 5850, it would not let me enter expiration dates with the same day of expiration as we usually do.  For example, a driver who got a 2 year card on let’s say today March 4, 2014-The MCSA 5850 will not let you enter the date of expiration as March 4, 2016 because February 2016 will fall on a *Leap Year.  So until this glitch is fixed in the system you will have to enter the date of expiration lets say as March 3, 2016 perhaps.  I  e-mailed  Pam Perry  (FMCSA Nurse Consultant ), and as it turns out this is something that was not accounted for in the MCSA-5850 and I was told that they will work to fix it prior to May 21, 2014.    Ok, if you are already entering your driver exam results online and suddenly got stuck like I did, well congrats on “Leaping” ahead and getting certified early, but please don’t get the Leap Year Blues.

*According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac the Leap Day occurs every 4 years when an extra day is added on February 29.  The actual length of a year (the time it takes for our planet to complete it’s revolution around the sun) is not exactly 365 days but more like 365.2422.  If we didn’t have a Leap Year the seasons would shift about a quarter of a day per year and after 100 years the seasons would be off by 25 days.  Look I’m no mathematician and if you say who cares I’m with you, but I also don’t really want to spend one extra day in February like weather.

What does all this have to do with DOT Physical exams? Well other than the fact that the government will have to fix this glitch on the MCSA 5850, nothing really…