On December 26, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced proposed rules that would significantly increase mandatory training for new recipients of Commercial Drivers Licenses (CDL). Under current rules, in order to obtain a CDL, an applicant must complete certain training that does not include behind-the-wheel experience. FMCSA proposes to implement a nationwide driver curriculum, combining classroom instruction with driver training. Only those applicants who receive training from an accredited instructor would be eligible to receive a CDL.
The new rules would not take effect for three years after they are finalized. Current CDL holders, or those who obtain a CDL prior to the effective date would not have to be retrained. The new rules appear focused on tractor trailer and bus operations, and do not address different training standards for utility or other vehicles. DOT is accepting comments on the proposed rules through March 25, 2008.