FMCSA proposes new CDL training rules

Jan. 7, 2008
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is proposing new training requirements for entry-level truck drivers required to have a commercial driver license (CDL).

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is proposing new training requirements for entry-level truck drivers required to have a commercial driver license (CDL), according to information published December 26 in the Federal Register.

After a certain date, persons applying for new or upgraded CDLs would be required to successfully complete specified minimum classroom and behind-the-wheel training from an accredited institution or program. The proposed rule (49 CFR Parts 380, 383, and 384) would not apply to drivers who currently possess a CDL or obtain a CDL before a date three years after a final rule goes into effect.

FMCSA said in a news release that for a Class A CDL (tractor-trailers), the proposed rule would require a minimum of 76 hours of classroom instruction and 44 hours of behind-the-wheel training for a total of 120 hours. For Class B (large box or van trucks) and Class C CDLs (hazardous materials or certain passenger-carrying vehicles), the proposed rule would require a minimum of 58 hours of classroom instruction and 32 hours behind-the-wheel training for a total of 90 hours. The training curriculum includes CDL safety regulations, vehicle operation, and safe operating practices.

The state driver-licensing agency would only issue a CDL if the applicant presented a valid driver training certificate obtained from an accredited institution or program.

FMCSA is seeking comments on the proposal with a deadline of March 25, 2008. More information is available online in the Federal Register.

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