Senate confirms Martinez as FMCSA administrator
February 14, 2018
•Land Line Staff
Ray Martinez, the former head of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, is now the latest director of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Martinez’s appointment to become the sixth director in the agency’s history was confirmed via voice vote by the Senate on Feb. 13. He previously received unanimous approval from the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation.
Last October, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, questioned Martinez extensively during his confirmation hearing about the impending ELD mandate.
Martinez said the ELDs were legally required but he was open to hearing the downside of the regulation.
“If confirmed, I would look forward to working with industry and all stakeholders – safety, advocates and particularly impacted sectors of commerce. I have heard this rule could cause serious hardship to some small, independent truck drivers, particularly those working in the agricultural sector, so I would want to meet with those involved in those areas who are opposed to the rule to learn more about their concerns.”
The Senate committee held Martinez’s confirmation vote Tuesday morning in an executive session. His nomination was approved unanimously.
“We’re pleased an administrator is in place and look forward to working with Mr. Martinez and his staff,” said Collin Long, OOIDA’s senior director of legislative affairs. “We’re hopeful the administrator will prioritize engaging with OOIDA to better understand and address the needs of real truckers.”
Martinez previously served in a variety of government- and transportation-related roles, including as the chairman and chief administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission and a member of the New Jersey State Planning Commission.
Martinez brings with him a wealth of motor vehicle administration experience, having served 2000-05 as commissioner for the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles. During this time, Martinez also was chairman of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee, administering federal funding for state and local highway safety projects. While commissioner, Martinez was also a member of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators and was president of its Region I Board and a member of its International Board in 2005.
Before his nomination by then-Gov. Chris Christie to lead the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, Martinez was most recently the deputy U.S. chief of protocol and diplomatic affairs for the U.S. Department of State and the White House. He was responsible for managing five operational divisions: diplomatic affairs, foreign visits, ceremonial events, Blair House, and administration.
Martinez received his bachelor of arts degree from Long Island University/C.W. Post College, in Brookville, N.Y., and is a graduate of St. John’s University School of Law. He lives in Monmouth County, N.J.