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FMCSA proposes new CDL requirements

April 9, 2008
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a proposal

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a proposal to revise the commercial driver's license (CDL) knowledge and skills testing standards, and to require new federal minimum standards for states to issue commercial learner's permits (CLPs).

The agency also is proposing that a CLP holder meet virtually the same requirements as those for a CDL holder, according to information published in the Federal Register April 9.

The revisions in the proposal (49 CFR Parts 383, 384, and 385) would require successful completion of the knowledge test, currently a prerequisite for the CDL, before issuance of the CLP. The proposal calls for incorporation by reference the latest American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators' (AAMVA) Model Test package for knowledge and skill standards. It also would include a prohibition on use of foreign language interpreters in the administration of the knowledge and skills tests.

In addition, the proposal specifically requires that each applicant obtain a CLP and hold it for a minimum of 30 days before applying for a CDL. It would establish a minimum age of 18 for issuance of a CLP. The CLP would have to be a separate document from the CDL or non-commercial driver's license.

If the proposal becomes a final rule, it would mean that a driver holding a CLP also would be subject to the same driver disqualification offenses as apply to a CDL holder.

The deadline for submitting comments is June 9, 2008. To see the proposal in its entirety, go to the online Federal Register.