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FMCSA proposal would accelerate the CDL process

Puts the brakes on delays without compromising safety

Posted February 2, 2024

Enhancing the flexibility and efficiency of the commercial driver’s license (CDL) program, without compromising safety, is the goal of a recently released proposal by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The proposed changes would:

  • Expand an applicant’s ability to take a CDL skills test in a state other than the applicant’s state of domicile;
  • Allow a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holder who has passed the CDL skills test to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) on public roads without having a qualified CDL holder in the passenger seat;
  • Eliminate the requirement that an applicant wait at least 14 days to take the CDL skills test following initial issuance of the CLP;
  • Remove the requirement that CMV drivers have a passenger endorsement to transport CMVs designed to carry passengers, including school buses, when the vehicle is being transported in a driveaway-towaway operation and the vehicle is not carrying any passengers; and
  • Require that third-party knowledge examiners be subject to the training, certification, and record check standards currently applicable to state knowledge examiners and be subject to the auditing and monitoring requirements now applicable to third-party skills.

Three of the five proposed changes are based on CDL-related waivers that were issued during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The proposal is expected to be published in the Federal Register in the next few days. Once published, FMCSA will accept comments on the proposal for 60 days.

This article was written by Lucero Truszkowski of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

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