Comment periods open on ag definitions rulemaking, out-of-state CDL requirement

July 29, 2019

Greg Grisolano

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Comment periods for several trucking-related proposals at the federal level are now opened.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is seeking public comment on several proposals for the trucking industry, including whether or not the agency should revise its definitions of “agricultural commodity” or “livestock” in the hours of service regulations.

An advanced notice of proposed rulemaking was published in today’s edition of the Federal Register. Eleven questions are included in the advance notice. Among the questions are if FMCSA should consider adopting a list of specific agricultural commodities and if the list of animals in the current “livestock” definition is adequate.

Comments will be accepted until Sept. 27 and can be made at Regulations.gov by including Docket ID FMCSA-2018-0348. They can also be mailed to U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590.

The comment period is also open for a proposed rule that would allow commercial driver’s license applicants to take knowledge tests in a state other than their state of residence.

FMCSA says the aim is to “increase flexibility” for applicants by reducing time and travel expenditures.

The rule would apply to general and specialized knowledge tests.

States would not be required to offer the tests to out-of-state applicants. If a state does, however, it would be required to transmit the testing results to the driver’s home state. The driver’s home state would then be required to accept those results.

Comments on this proposal will also be accepted until Sept. 27 and can be made at Regulations.gov by including Docket ID FMCSA-2018-0332.

In addition to those proposals, FMCSA also published notice of a correction to a final rule published earlier this month that created a lifetime ban on operating commercial vehicles for any CDL holder convicted of human trafficking.

The rule stems from the passage of the No Human Trafficking on Our Roads Act, which was introduced by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D. It will prohibit an individual from operating a commercial motor vehicle for life if the individual uses a commercial motor vehicle in committing a felony involving a severe form of human trafficking.

The agency issued notice that the original final rule published on July 23 had an incorrect compliance date for states. The compliance date is September 23. The correction is scheduled to publish in the July 30 edition of the Federal Register.

Greg Grisolano

Greg Grisolano joined Land Line in 2013. He was formerly a reporter for the Joplin Globe. He brings business writing and photography skills to Land Line, and has a passion for finding and telling stories about the people who make up the trucking industry.

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