FMCSA chief predicts medical examiner registry website back in a ‘matter of months’

May 23, 2018

Mark Schremmer


During a House Transportation Committee hearing on May 22, FMCSA Administrator Ray Martinez said it will be a “matter of months” before the agency’s National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners website returns to full functionality.

It was the first time FMCSA publicly provided any timeline regarding the website’s return since it was taken down after a security breach on Dec. 1.

Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., inquired about the incident and asked Martinez when the site will be up and running.

“There was an unauthorized attempt to access the national registry,” Martinez said. “The way it was described to me was that somebody attempted to get in the front door. They were able to get in the screen door, but they weren’t able to get into the system itself so they weren’t able to access any personal identifiable information. But nevertheless, that was a clear sign for us that we have to be careful.

“Unfortunately, there is an active community of hackers out there, and you don’t know exactly what they’re going for. But personal identifiable information is something that is a primary target.”

The national registry website provides commercial motor vehicle drivers with a list of certified medical examiners who can conduct Department of Transportation physicals. The agency added a search tool, but there still have been complications for certified medical examiners. Although they have been able to conduct DOT physicals, the nearly six-month outage has created an enormous backlog of examination results that are waiting to be uploaded.

Based on the number of DOT physicals conducted in previous years, the backlog is estimated to be approaching 1.75 million.

Martinez said the website’s current workaround isn’t ideal.

“And I know it’s not ideal, because when I went to see my doctor (who is a certified medical examiner), she complained to me just last week that it’s a little bit cumbersome. I promised her as I will promise you, we want to get this up and running and fully functional as quickly as possible.”

Martinez said the agency is working with its information technology department and outside vendors to assure the new website will be safe from cyber attacks.

“It will be a matter of months,” Martinez said. “We are making progress and receiving updates every day.”

Davis asked the agency to work as fast as possible.

“I would encourage you to make it a smaller amount of months than a few extra months,” Davis said.

Truck drivers looking for a certified medical examiner can also use the OOIDA website to read reviews on medical practices offering DOT physicals.


Below, you can watch or listen to the whole hearing.