Motor coaches will be subject to stiffer entry requirements, and more frequent spot checks throughout the summer.By Truckinginfo Staff
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is tightening its standards for commercial driver’s license testing, and creating a new commercial learner’s permit. In a rule published in today’s Federal Register, the agency completes a three-year effort to correct shortcomings in the driver testing and licensing system.
The rule, scheduled to take effect in July, requires states to issue a learner’s permit to would-be truck drivers. Applicants will have to pass federally approved CDL knowledge and skills tests, clear a check of their driving record, and hold the learner’s permit for at least two weeks before they apply for a CDL. The minimum age for a learner’s permit is 18.
The rule also strengthens the standards of proof for legal residence in the U.S. Only U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents can get a license. State agencies will be required to verify an applicant’s social security number. An initial learner’s permit will be valid for 180 days but can be renewed for an additional 180 days before the applicant must take the CDL skill exam. The maximum period for an initial and a renewed CDL will still be eight years, although each state has the authority to set a lesser period.
Other aspects of the rule address state licensing practices. The agencies will have to keep a digitized photo of the driver, and give only supervisors the ability to override computer systems. All test examiners will have to undergo background checks and formal training, and be subject to oversight systems. And applicants will not be able to use language interpreters when taking the knowledge and skills tests.
The 191-page rule has been posted on the FMCSA website.
Printer Friendly Version
Email This Story
Government/Regulations: Related News
5/6/2011 – FMCSA Toughens Driver Licensing Rules
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is tightening its standards for commercial driver’s license testing, and creating a new commercial learner’s permit. In a rule published in today’s Federal Register, the agency completes a three-year effort to correct shortcomings in the driver testing and licensing system….
5/3/2011 – Committee Urges FMCSA to Seek Jurisdiction Over Shippers
The Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee recommended the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration seek jurisdiction over shippers, receivers and brokers who ‘unduly detain’ drivers….
4/29/2011 – ATA, CTA Call to on Government to Abandon Proposed Tanker Wetline Regulation
The American Trucking Associations and the Canadian Trucking Alliance called on the U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to abandon proposed wetline regulations….
4/28/2011 – FMCSA Advisory Committee to Make Recommendations on Sleep Apnea
The next step in the federal effort to address sleep apnea in truck drivers will come this summer, when the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will ask a panel of advisers for recommendations on how it should proceed….
4/26/2011 – Obama Introduces Oil Speculation Task Force
Last week, President Obama announced the creation of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, a working group designed to root out illegal speculation oil markets. The announcement came one week after Goldman Sachs estimated that speculation may account for up to one-fifth of oil prices….
4/25/2011 – NY Truckers Prevail in DERA Battle
Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that contractors engaged in state sponsored work are not required to abide by the requirements of that state’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act regulations….
4/25/2011 – John Hill Talks About Life at the FMCSA
When John Hill went to Washington to serve on the still-relatively-new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in 2006, he says, “I thought I would have a lot of say in truck safety in this country.” But, he now says, he discovered that decisions in Washington are politically driven in most cases….
4/21/2011 – New Jersey Idling Ban to Start May 1
A ban on idling in New Jersey will go into effect on May 1 for pre-2007 model year trucks, despite local truckers’ efforts to get the law modified….
4/20/2011 – Former FMCSA Chief Speaks out on HOS, EOBRs
Former Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator John Hill believes it’s going to take Congressional action to put an end to the never-ending cycle of hours of service litigation and rewrites….
4/18/2011 – Trucking Groups Oppose DC Parking Tax
The American Trucking Associations and three other groups filed comments with the District of Columbia against proposed regulations that would impose a parking tax on the operators of commercial vehicles loading or unloading in the city….
4/18/2011 – Obama Signs Repeal of 1099 Provision of Healthcare Reform
President Obama signed into law a bill last Thursday repealing the healthcare reform law’s 1099 tax reporting requirement, relieving small businesses of future paperwork burdens….
4/14/2011 – California DMV Enrolls in Motor Carrier Insurance Database
The California Department of Motor Vehicles recently enrolled with the National Online Registries to electronically receive insurance information for trucking companies that use subscribing insurance companies….
4/14/2011 – ATA Leaders Call on FMCSA to Retain HOS Rules in Face of New Data
Officials from the American Trucking Associations again called on the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, to abandon their proposed changes to the hours-of-service rules following the release of new data showing significant declines in truck-related crashes….
4/13/2011 – FMCSA Proposes Details of Mexico Trucking Pilot Program
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposed its plan for a three-year pilot program in which Mexican and U.S. carriers could offer long-distance service into each country.
The program is the result of an agreement between President Obama and President Calderón of Mexico to resolve the long-standing dispute over cross-border trucking. FMCSA will publish the details of the program in the Federal Register on Thursday and will take comments for 30 days….
4/13/2011 – FMCSA Seeks Comments on EOBRs and Driver Harassment
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is asking for additional comments on whether its proposed mandate for electronic onboard recorders sets up the possibility of driver harassment.
The agency believes its proposal would ensure that EOBRs are not used to harass drivers, but in reaction to a recent suit challenging its treatment of harassment in an earlier EOBR rule, it wants to be sure that everyone has a chance to comment on the issue….
4/13/2011 – ATA Chairman Windsor Calls for Sensible Hazmat Regulations
American Trucking Associations Chairman Barbara Windsor, president and CEO of Hahn Transportation, told a House panel that changes are needed to the regulations governing hazmat shipments to improve efficiency and relieve unnecessary regulatory burdens….
4/12/2011 – Right to Repair Act Introduced in Congress
Representatives Todd Platts, R-Pa., and Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., have introduced the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair Act, HR 1449, into the 112th Congress….
4/11/2011 – WIT Meets With NTSB Chair
National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman spent nearly four days recently immersed in activities to help her better understand the trucking industry….
4/11/2011 – Senate Bill Would Create Clearinghouse for Drug and Alcohol Test Results
The Senate last week opened another front in the long-running effort to establish a national clearinghouse for truck driver drug and alcohol test results.
The Safe Roads Act of 2011, introduced by Sens. Mark Pryor and John Boozman, both Republicans from Arkansas, would give the Department of Transportation two years after passage to establish the clearinghouse…
4/8/2011 – Bill Would Allow States to Raise Truck Weight Limits
A bill was introduced in the Senate Thursday that would put an end to the federal freeze on changes in truck sizes and weights, allowing states to allow 97,000-pound, six-axle rigs on their highways….
4/7/2011 – CARB Offers Special Compliance Option for California On-Road Fleets
The California Air Resources Board announced an early action compliance credit for trucking fleets that install a particulate filter by July 1, 2011, or that make a commitment to purchase a particulate filter by May 1, 2011….
4/7/2011 – 2011 NAT GAS Act Introduced
The New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions of 2011, or NAT GAS, Act, was introduced Wednesday to provide incentives for the use of natural gas as a vehicle fuel, the purchase of natural-gas-fueled vehicles, and the installation of natural gas vehicle refueling infrastructure….
4/6/2011 – ATA Points Out Outdated Rules to DOT
Responding to President Obama’s call to help reduce the regulatory burden on U.S. businesses, the American Trucking Associations highlighted nine outdated, obsolete or onerous rules that the Department of Transportation should reconsider….
4/6/2011 – CARB Makes Over $100 Million Available For Truck Clean-Up
The California Air Resources Board in coordination with six local air districts is offering $106 million in grant funding to help qualified diesel truck owners upgrade or replace their vehicles….
4/5/2011 – EPA Streamlines Aftermarket Natural Gas Conversion
The federal government just made it easier to convert cars and trucks to run on natural gas….
4/4/2011 – EOBR Mandate Reintroduced in Senate
Two senators have restarted last year’s effort to pass a bill that would mandate electronic onboard recorders on most trucks.
Sens. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., reintroduced the Commercial Driver Compliance Improvement Act, a bill they offered last September but that expired at the end of the congressional session….
4/1/2011 – CVSA: Cutting Funding Will Weaken Commercial Vehicle Enforcement
As Congress looks for ways to cut the federal budget and deficit, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance warned a Congressional committee that funding commercial motor vehicle safety programs at lower than current levels would weaken state enforcement efforts. As a result, enforcement would be unable to maintain the progress that has been made and large truck-related injuries and deaths could tick upwards….
3/23/2011 – FHWA Launches New Bridge Safety Initiative
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced a new bridge oversight initiative that will let the Federal Highway Administration more closely monitor how states are performing their bridge inspections and maintenance….