WASHINGTON — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a temporary waiver to help ensure holders of commercial learner’s permits (CLPs) can complete their skills testing and earn their commercial driver’s license (CDL) in a timely manner during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Because of the public health emergency many state’s drivers licensing agencies are operating with a reduced staff or have closed in response to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), making it more difficult for truck drivers to complete their CDL licensing requirements.
Under the waiver, effective from April 9 until June 30 or until the president’s proclamation of a national emergency is revoked, state driver licensing agencies are “not required to provide third-party CDL skills test examiners with formal in-person or online training in administering the CDL knowledge tests. However, the state must provide these examiners with access to written training instructional materials for the knowledge-test training referenced in 49 CFR 384.228(c)(3) regarding the general and specialized knowledge tests, administration of the knowledge test and the selection of the appropriate tests and test forms.”
The waiver applies to third-party CDL test examiners who previously completed a CDL skills-test-examiners training course that meets the requirements of 49 CFR 384.228(d) and have maintained a valid CDL test examiner certification. The waiver does not apply to third-party CDL test examiners who have not maintained their CDL test examiner certification or who did not complete a CDL skills test examiners training course that meets the requirements of 49 CFR 384.228(d) before April 9, 2020.
FMCSA states in the waiver that the action “is in the public interest because CDL and CLP holders play a critical role in delivering necessary passengers and property, including shipments of essential supplies, in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency.” The waiver allows state driver licensing agencies to use third-party CDL test examiners to administer knowledge tests while the agencies are closed, operating with a reduced staff or are unable to administer testing due to the COVID-19 national emergency.
“Due to an overlap in training topics, such examiners would have already taken a CDL skills test examiner training course that complies with 49 CFR 384.228(d) and would have already received training on two of the three required units of instruction for the CDL knowledge test examiner training. The only unit required under 49 CFR 384.338(c) not covered by that training is the knowledge test unit,” the waiver states, specifying that states must provide third-party examiners with access to writing training and instructional materials for the knowledge test. This information may be supplied in either electronic or written means.
The remaining requirements for CDL test examiners remain unchanged. To view the waiver, click here.