Since this date, however many drivers are still holding on to their medical card and for good reason.
"You never know when you're gonna meet one of those old school officers who will demand to see it," said one driver I spoke to a couple of weeks ago.
"If you give it up and the change their mind, then it's gone and your screwed," said another driver.
Both are reasonably justified. When the law was supposed to be implemented at the end of January in 2014, many drivers who had already put their medical cards on file had thrown out the original copy only to be told that they needed to hold onto it for another year because of delays in setting up the system. These drivers, having lost their medical cards either had to get a copy from the company they work for, or that failing get a new medical card.
While, much of this took place within the last year, the most disturbing thing I've heard from a driver on the medical cards was yesterday, March 2nd, 2015. A full month after the FMCSA law went into effect.
"Yeah, you still need your medical card to get into many of the mines. I had chucked mine and gone to pick up at a mine and they had to have Prime fax a copy through. They won't let you on the mine without it."
Is this lawful?
These companies do have the right to require whichever documentation they want before allowing a driver onto their property regardless of what FMCSA and the federal government have ruled.
One of the issues facing drivers is that they are subject to the laws and rules of the land that their vehicle is parked or moving on. This includes public land, States, Indian land and private land. In this case once a driver moves their vehicle onto private land, they become subject to the rules set down by the owners of that land. For instance, drivers may carry a weapon in their truck, but not into most shippers and receivers. This same goes for passengers, pets, other various documents, etc. In this case drivers must carry a medical card in order to get into these shippers and receivers.
What can a driver do?
Always be prepared. Carry any documents (or at least copies) of anything you might need while out on the road. This includes medical cards.