The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that revises commercial driver's license knowledge and skills testing standards and requires new federal minimum standards for states to issue commercial learner's permits.

Some of the proposed requirements include:
• successful completion of knowledge and skills testing prior to issuance of a commercial learner's permit
• all CDL applicants to have CLP for 30 days before applying for a CDL
• all CLP applicants be at least 18 years old before applying for a CLP
• increased documentation requirements for CDL and CLP applicants to demonstrate legal presence
• Disallowing the use of language interpreters for the knowledge and skills tests.

• a CLP holder meet virtually the same requirements as those for a CDL holder. This means that a driver holding a CLP would be subject to the same driver disqualification offenses as apply to a CDL holder.
• increased fraud prevention measures to be implemented by the state driver's licensing agencies
The NPRM notes that many of the program areas and issues dealt with in this NPRM are also addressed in the Department of Homeland Security's final rule implementing the REAL ID Act. FMCSA welcomes suggestions for clarifying both the commonalities between this rule and the REAL ID rule and the differences between them. The agency says it recognizes that further harmonization with the REAL ID rule may be needed before adopting a final rule.

Comments will be accepted for 60 days. Download a pdf of the notice at