FMCSA seeks comment on partial extension of entry-level driver training deadline

July 17, 2019

Greg Grisolano

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration would like to extend the deadline for parts of long-awaited entry-level driver training rules. The agency seeks public input on whether or not to do so.

Two provisions in the rule – the date for training providers to upload entry-level training certification information into the Training Provider Registry and the date for state driver licensing agencies to receive driver-specific entry level driver training information – would be extended two years to Feb. 7, 2022.

According to the agency, these extensions would provide “additional time to complete development of the electronic interface” that will receive and store the entry-level driver training certification data and would also provide state agencies with time to modify their information technology systems to receive the data.

The agency is expected to publish a notice of the request for comments in the Federal Register later this week. The comment period is expected to last 30 days. FMCSA is not proposing any other substantive changes to the entry-level driver training final rule. The other portions of the rule will still go into effect Feb. 7, 2020.

The final entry-level driver training rule was published in December 2016 and included a significant phase-in period to ensure that systems were in place by the Feb. 7, 2020, deadline.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has long advocated for more robust driver training standards to improve safety.

“The trucking industry has waited long enough for national entry-level driver training standards,” said Jay Grimes, OOIDA’s director of federal affairs.

“The training provider registry will allow the Agency to measure the success of approved entry-level driver training programs and individual trainers. Delaying its implementation will diminish the expected safety benefits of the rule.”

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.