Stevens Transport seeks exemption for permit holders

June 16, 2022

Mark Schremmer


Stevens Transport would like an exemption for its commercial learner’s permit drivers that has already been granted to Werner Enterprises, CR England, CRST and others.

The Dallas-based carrier wants FMCSA to let its permit holders run team with a commercial driver’s license holder.

Current regulations require a CDL holder with the proper class and endorsements to be seated in the front while a commercial learner’s permit holder is driving on public roads or highways. The exemption would allow student drivers who passed the skills test but have not yet received the CDL document to drive a Stevens Transport commercial motor vehicle accompanied by a CDL holder “who is not necessarily in the passenger seat.”

Stevens Transport’s exemption request published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, June 14.

The company said the current regulations create an inefficient supply chain.

According to the notice, Stevens is unable to employ new drivers until their home states issue a CDL and must choose either to wait for the driver to obtain a CDL from their home state before starting on-duty freight operations or send the driver home in an “unproductive nondriving capacity.” Stevens said it leads to a “lost employment opportunity” for the driver.

“In addition, as states may take weeks to properly document and update the status of a new driver’s license after passing the CDL skills test, Stevens is again not able to employ the driver without requiring a second driver in the front seat of the commercial motor vehicle,” the notice stated.

FMCSA has granted similar exemptions to several companies, including CRST.

The agency will accept comments through July 14. Comments can be made here or by going to the website and entering Document No. FMCSA-2022-0103. LL


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 more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.