Proposed rule would streamline the testing process for prospective CDL holders.

Proposed rule would streamline the testing process for prospective CDL holders.

Photo: FMCSA

Billed as a “deregulatory action,” a proposed rule announced on June 27 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration would streamline the testing process for prospective CDL holders by allowing the same person to perform both training and testing.

The proposal aims to give states greater flexibility in conducting skill tests for individuals seeking a CDL. “The proposal would alleviate testing delays and eliminate needless inconvenience and expense to the CDL applicant— without compromising safety,” the agency stated in a press release.

According to FMCSA, federal rules currently do not permit a CDL skills instructor who is also authorized by the state to administer the CDL skills test to perform both the instruction and the qualifying testing for the same CDL applicant. The proposed rule would eliminate that restriction. Instead, states would be permitted the discretion to allow “qualified third-party skills trainers” to also conduct the skills testing for the same individual.

“We continue to examine opportunities to provide common-sense regulatory relief to states and to individuals seeking to obtain a CDL,” said FMCSA Administrator Ray Martinez in a news release. “This proposal will provide states more flexibility, while maintaining safety on our roadways. I encourage all interested parties to review the proposal and to offer their comments to the docket.”

As soon as the proposed rule is published in the Federal Register, a 60-day public comment period on the proposal will begin.

FMCSA has posted online the proposed rule, including information on how to submit comments about it.

This proposed rule is apart from the major— and long-awaited – final rule on national minimum training standards for entry-level applicants seeking to obtain a CDL or certain endorsements that was announced back in December. The final minimum training standards rule is slated to go into effect in February.

About the author
David Cullen

David Cullen

[Former] Business/Washington Contributing Editor

David Cullen comments on the positive and negative factors impacting trucking – from the latest government regulations and policy initiatives coming out of Washington DC to the array of business and societal pressures that also determine what truck-fleet managers must do to ensure their operations keep on driving ahead.

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