FMCSA grants waiver to permit third-party CDL test examiners

April 9, 2020

Mark Schremmer

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The FMCSA is granting a waiver that will allow states to use third-party CDL test examiners while state driver licensing agencies are closed, the agency announced on Thursday, April 9.

“This waiver allows third-party CDL test examiners previously authorized by the state to administer the CDL skills test to also administer the CDL knowledge test without completing a CDL knowledge test training course,” FMCSA wrote in its notice of the waiver.

The waiver will remain in effect until June 30 or when President Donald Trump’s declaration of national emergency ends.

“This waiver is in response to COVID-19 outbreaks and the immediate risk they present to public health, safety, and welfare,” FMCSA wrote. “A number of states are experiencing greater than normal employee absences or have closed offices of their state driver licensing agencies …

“Given the public health emergency, there is a public need for immediate transportation of essential supplies, equipment and persons, which requires an adequate and sustained supply of drivers trained to operate a commercial motor vehicle. This waiver provides needed relief from the specified Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for states and state driver licensing agencies.”

The agency said that the continued availability of CDL knowledge testing will help maintain an adequate number of commercial motor vehicle drivers to deliver essential supplies across the country.

The waiver does not apply to third-party CDL test examiners who have not maintained their certification nor to those who had not completed a CDL test examiners training course before April 9.

FMCSA said the waiver will not negatively impact safety because those who had taken a CDL skills test examiner training course would have already received training on two of the three required units of instruction.

“In addition, this waiver will not negatively impact safety, because the CDL knowledge tests are easier to administer than the skills tests,” FMCSA wrote. “The CDL knowledge test examiner has minimal direct involvement in administering the tests. The knowledge tests require the administration of written multiple-choice tests and approximately four hours of CDL test examiner training.”

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Mark Schremmer

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and nearly two decades of journalism experience to our staff.