FMCSA officially pushes driver training rule start to February

June 29, 2021

Land Line Staff

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is finalizing its decision to extend the compliance date for its entry-level driver training rule until Feb. 7.

FMCSA is scheduled to publish a final rule regarding the extension in the Federal Register on Wednesday, June 30. The final rule will become effective 30 days after being published in the Federal Register.

“This action provides FMCSA additional time to complete development of the training provider registry and provides state driver licensing agencies time to modify their information technology systems and procedures, as necessary, to accommodate their receipt of driver-specific entry-level driver training data,” the agency wrote.

The wait for an entry-level driver training rule has been a long one.

The entry-level driver training rule was published on Dec. 7, 2016, giving the industry, state and federal agencies more than three years to comply as the rule was set to go into effect on Feb. 7, 2020. In January 2020, FMCSA officially delayed implementation for two years.

OOIDA opposed the delay, saying the decision was in direct contradiction to FMCSA’s mission to reduce crashes.

The entry-level driver training rule details the curriculum for individuals seeking Class A and Class B CDLs to drive trucks and/or buses. Additional curriculum segments are included for specialized niches, like hazardous materials. The final rule was later amended to ease the transition from Class B to Class A licenses in May, reducing some of the theory curriculum requirements.

The rule does not include a specified amount of time required for behind-the-wheel training for either the range or on-road training. Instead, the agency opted for a proficiency-based approach that will accommodate individuals who learn at different paces. The trainers will be required to check off on a list of skills as each is mastered.

Training provider registry

In May, FMCSA launched a training provider registry. According to the FMCSA website, the training provider registry “will help commercial driver’s license applicants connect with training providers who are self-certified to provide entry-level driver training.”

By entering an email address, truckers can sign up to receive information on entry-level driver requirements, requirements for training providers, registering as a training provider, training requirements and curricula, state driver’s license agency requirements, and website enhancements or new resources.

You can sign up for the updates here. LL

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