The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

FMCSA Proposes to Strengthen CDL Licensing Requirements

August 20, 2001

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has proposed changes to strengthen licensing and sanctioning requirements for drivers of large trucks and buses. Among the proposed requirements include establishing a new school bus endorsement for commercial driver’s license (CDL) drivers, expanding driver records check for CDL applicants to include all states where the driver was previously licensed to drive any type of vehicle, and disallowing hardship licenses for CDL drivers who lose driving privileges. The proposed regulation would add three new serious traffic violations to those that require the disqualification of CDL drivers convicted of a second or subsequent offense: driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) without obtaining a CDL, driving without having a CDL in their possession, and not meeting the minimum testing standards for the specific-class CMV being operated or for the type of cargo being transported. The proposal also calls for drivers to be disqualified after their first conviction of driving while suspended, driving while disqualified, or causing a fatality. The proposed regulation would require states to send traffic violation information, when violations result in loss of driving privileges, to a driver’s home state, and to put the information in the driver’s record. States also are required to maintain a record of all violations committed by CDL drivers or drivers illegally operating a CMV. According to the proposal, FMCSA would be authorized to withhold Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) funding from states that don’t comply with the CDL requirements, and also to de-certify a state’s ability to issue, transfer, or renew CDLs. FMCSA also would be authorized to disqualify, on an emergency basis, CDL drivers whose history shows they are most likely to get involved in crashes.
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