The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is amending its 2011 final rule on the issuance of commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) in response to certain petitions for reconsideration. The FMCSA had received 34 petitions for reconsideration regarding the 2011 final rule that covered a wide range of issues. The FMCSA has decided to grant certain petitions that will result in changes to the CDL process. These adjustments mainly affect procedures for handling the CDL process that were considered too restrictive.
The changes will include the following:
- Two state license agency employees will no longer need to verify an applicant’s documents.
- Training schools will now be able to skills-test the applicants they have trained, as long as their trainer is not the one who does it.
- Third-party CDL testers that are governmental entities will no longer need to maintain bonds to cover re-testing of drivers if fraud is uncovered.
- States will be able to use a digital color image or a black and white laser engraved photo of the driver on the learner’s permit.
- Background checks on test examiners will be required only when the examiner is hired.
The new rule takes effect April 24. All of the changes can be found in the Federal Register.