WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced a final rule to streamline the process for men and women interested in entering the trucking industry. The new rule will allow states to permit a third-party skills test examiner to administer the commercial driver’s license (CDL) skills test to applicants for whom the examiner also provided skills training.
“During the COVID-19 public health emergency truckers have been American heroes — and the department is committed to helping our economy by reducing unnecessary barriers for those interested in obtaining jobs in the trucking industry,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.
Federal rules previously prohibited a third-party CDL skills instructor who is also authorized by the state to administer the CDL skills test from performing both the instruction and the qualifying testing for the same CDL applicant. The final rule, announced Dec. 17, eliminates that restriction and permits states, at their discretion, to allow qualified third-party skills trainers to also conduct the skills testing for the same individual. This new rule is designed to alleviate testing delays and eliminate needless inconvenience and expense to the CDL applicant without compromising safety.
“Under Secretary Chao’s leadership, the Trump administration has continued to examine ways to provide common-sense regulatory reform and help individuals seeking to enter the commercial driver industry. This new rule will provide states more flexibility during the ongoing public health emergency to test CDL applicants and allow more drivers to safely enter the industry,” said FMCSA Deputy Administrator Wiley Deck.
The rule change is effective 60 days from publication in the Federal Register. To view a copy of the final rule, click here.