The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is to question states about their progress in complying with federal regulations regarding commercial driver's license (CDL) programs.
A federal law known as the 2012 Highway Funding Act MAP-21 requires states to report actions they plan to take to address any deficiencies in their commercial driver's license program directly to the Department of Transportation (DOT). The DOT periodically audits the state's programs to ensure they are in compliance with federal law.
The FMCSA says that the MAP-21 stipulations are aimed at state agencies' notifications and recordkeeping of testing, licensing, violations, convictions, and disqualifications.
As a part of the interrogatories, the FMCSA plans to send state agencies a document requesting specific information about their CDL programs to ensure they are in compliance. Additionally, states that were alerted of deficiencies in their program in the last DOT audit will be required to list those deficiencies and provide a detailed plan on how they intend to correct them. States will be required to complete the information request and submit their plans to the FMCSA by September 30, 2015.
The FMCSA will send its request for authority to the White House's Office of Management and Budget for approval after a 60 day period allowing for public comment on the request.
About Commercial Driver's Licenses
All commercial truck drivers are required to carry a commercial driver's license in order to operate the vehicle. In order to obtain a commercial driver's license, you must first receive specialized training in how to operate a commercial vehicle. CDL holders also must pass a Skills Test and submit the proper documentation to the state agency.
There are three different types of commercial driver's licenses:
- Class A licenses are needed to drive trucks that weigh over 26,000 pounds or to tow a vehicle that is at least 10,000 pounds.
- Class B licenses are needed to drive that weight over 26,000 pounds but can only tow vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds.
- Class C licenses are for vehicles that do not fit into either of those two categories. An example might be a large passenger vehicle such as a bus or airport shuttle.
To read more about commercial driver's licenses and other federal trucking regulations, click here.