Story by Kay Shipman, Illinois Farm Bureau
Illinois drivers with commercial drivers licenses (CDLs) last week received mailed notices from the Illinois secretary of state about a new program aimed at enforcing the medical card requirement. This is the first time the medical card will be linked to the CDL, according to Kevin Rund, Illinois Farm Bureau senior director of local government.
Within a two-year period that starts Jan. 30, 2012, all CDL holders will have to visit a CDL driver’s licensing facility in person to declare whether the medical card requirement applies to them.
According to Rund, CDL holders will have to travel to one of the 47 offices in Illinois that accommodate CDL drivers.
If a farmer’s CDL expires within that two-year period, he or she may make the required visit at the time the license is renewed. However if the CDL will expire after Jan. 30, 2014, that driver must make a special trip before Jan. 30, 2014.
According to Rund, Virtually any farmer who operates a combination vehicle, such as semis or a pickup and gooseneck trailer, must have the medical card. This is because the farmer exemption from the medical card applies only when driving single-unit vehicles, not combinations.
When farmers with CDLs visit driver’s licensing facilities, they will have to declare whether they operate as an “interstate” driver or as “intrastate”.
They also need to declare whether they are eligible for the exemption from the medical card requirement that is found in federal regulation 49 CFR 391.45, he said.