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DMV waits for commercial drivers to show compliance with health rules

Patty Murray, Wisconsin Public Radio

Wisconsin's Division of Motor Vehicles still needs to hear from 20,000 commercial drivers license holders who need to show they're in compliance with federal rules.

In order to drive a commercial vehicle – things like semi-trucks, buses, and other trucks – a person must have a commercial drivers license (CDL)

Drivers who go between states, or cross-country, need to pass a physical and get what's called a “Fed Med” card.

Alison Lebwohl, the chief of driver qualification for Wisconsin's Division of Motor Vehicles, says the federal government isn't changing any rules regarding CDLs or the Fed Med card. Instead, the government wants to know where drivers are going – whether they drive within one state or go between states or cross -country.

“For those folks who are traveling interstate and who are required to carry a Fed Med card, they're asking to keep a current copy at the DMV,” says Lebwohl.

Lebwohl says the government is asking CDL holders to register their Fed Meds for safety reasons: The cards ensure drivers don't have medical conditions that are dangerous when behind the wheel. “They want to make sure that everybody who's carrying one of those cards has it legitimately and that it does indeed certify what it claims to certify,” says Lebwohl.

There are 200,000 Wisconsin drivers with CDLs; the DMV still needs to hear from 20,000 of them before the end of January. There's no cost to register, and Lebwohl says it can be done online.