The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced a proposed rule to reduce burdens and costs for commercial driver’s license applications by allowing applicants to take general and specialized knowledge tests in a state other than the applicant’s state of residence.
The proposal should increase flexibility for driver applicants by reducing time and travel expenditures without having a detrimental impact on safety.
Under the proposed rule, a state would not be required to offer the knowledge tests to out of state applicants but if it elects to offer the tests, the results would be transferred to an applicant’s home state, which would be required to accept the results.
“Reducing burdens and expenses on CDL applicants has the potential to increase the number of available drivers,” said Raymond Martinez, FMCSA administrator. “With the American economy continuing to grow at record pace, the need for more commercial drivers is critical. This proposal offers commonsense regulatory changes that will help CDL applicants, without compromising safety.”
Of late, FMCSA has been focused on reducing barriers for CDL applicants. In March 2019, the agency authored a final rule that streamlined the process and reduced costs to upgrade from a Class B to Class A CDL. In June, it also published a proposal to streamline and simplify the process by which states are currently required to conduct skill tests for CDL applicants.
The recently proposed rule will have a 60-day public comment period. A copy of the proposal, which includes information on submitting comments to the Federal Register Docket, is available here.