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Agency Information Collection Activities; Revision of an Approved Information Collection Request: Commercial Driver Licensing and Test Standards

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Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.


Notice and request for information.


In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, FMCSA announces its plan to submit the Information Collection Request (ICR) described below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for its review and approval and invites public comment. The FMCSA requests approval to revise and renew an ICR titled, “Commercial Driver Licensing and Test Standards,” due to an increase in the number of commercial driver's license records and the addition of one information collection item: “Driver completion of knowledge and skills tests 49 CFR 384.201.” This ICR is needed to ensure that drivers, motor carriers and the States are complying with notification and recordkeeping requirements for information related to testing, licensing, violations, convictions and disqualifications and that the information is accurate, complete and transmitted and recorded within certain time periods as required by the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 (CMVSA), as amended.


We must receive your comments on or before October 9, 2018.


You may submit comments identified by Federal Docket Management System (FDMS) Docket Number FMCSA-2126-0011 using any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
  • Fax: 202-493-2251.
  • Mail: Docket Operations; U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building, Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • Hand Delivery or Courier: West building, Ground Floor, Room 12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC, between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and docket number. For detailed instructions on submitting comments, see the Public Participation heading below. Note that all comments received will be posted without change to, including any personal information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.

Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to and follow the online instructions for accessing the dockets, or go to the street address listed above.

Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement for the Federal Docket Management System published in the Federal Register on January 17, 2008 (73 FR 3316), or you may visit​2008/​pdfE8-794.pdf.

Public Participation: The Federal eRulemaking Portal is available 24 hours each day, 365 days each year. You can obtain electronic submission and retrieval help and guidelines under the “help” section of the Federal eRulemaking Portal website. If you want us to notify you that we received your comments, please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope or postcard, or print the acknowledgement page that appears after submitting comments online. Comments received after the comment closing date will be included in the docket and will be considered to the extent practicable.

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Mr. Selden Fritschner, Office of Safety Programs, Commercial Driver's License Division (MC-ESL), Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, West Building 6th Floor, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001. Telephone: 202-366-0677; email:

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Background: The licensed drivers in the United States deserve reasonable assurance that their fellow motorists are properly qualified to drive the vehicles they operate. Before the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 (CMVSA or the Act) Public Law 99-570, Title XII, 100 Stat. 3207-170, codified at 49 U.S.C. chapter 313) was signed by the President on October 27, 1986, 18 States and the District of Columbia authorized any person licensed to drive an automobile to also legally drive a Start Printed Page 39497large truck or bus. No special training or special license was required to drive these vehicles, even though it was widely recognized that operation of certain types of vehicles called for special skills, knowledge and training. Even in the 32 States that had a classified driver licensing system in place, only 12 of these States required an applicant to take a skills test in a representative vehicle. Equally serious was the problem of drivers possessing multiple driver licenses. By spreading their convictions among several States, CMV drivers could avoid punishment for their infringements, and stay behind the wheel.

The CMVSA addressed these problems. Section 12002 of the Act makes it illegal for a CMV operator to have more than one driver's license. Section 12003 requires the CMV driver conducting operations in commerce to notify both the designated State of licensure official and the driver's employer of any convictions of State or local laws relating to traffic control (except parking tickets). This section also required the promulgation of regulations to ensure each person who applies for employment as a CMV operator to notify prospective employers of all previous employment as a CMV operator for at least the previous 10 years.

In section 12005 of the Act, the Secretary of Transportation (Secretary) is required to develop minimum Federal standards for testing and licensing of operators of CMVs.

Section 12007 of the Act also directs the Secretary, in cooperation with the States, to develop a clearinghouse to aid the States in implementing the one driver, one license, and one driving record requirement. This clearinghouse is known as the Commercial Driver's License Information System (CDLIS).

The CMVSA further requires each person who has a CDL suspended, revoked or canceled by a State, or who is disqualified from operating a CMV for any period, to notify his or her employer of such actions. Drivers of CMVs must notify their employers within 1 business day of being notified of the license suspension, revocation, and cancellation, or of the lost right to operate or disqualification. These requirements are reflected in 49 CFR part 383, titled “Commercial Driver's License Standards; Requirements and Penalties.”

Specifically, section 383.21 prohibits a person from having more than one license; Section 383.31 requires notification of convictions for driver violations; section 383.33 requires notification of driver's license suspensions; section 383.35 requires notification of previous employment; and section 383.37 outlines employer responsibilities. Section 383.111 requires the passing of a knowledge test by the driver and section 383.113 requires the passing of a skills test by the driver; section 383.115 contains the requirement for the double/triple trailer endorsement, section 383.117 contains the requirement for the passenger endorsement, section 383.119 contains the requirement for the tank vehicle endorsement and section 383.121 contains the requirement for the hazardous materials endorsement.

Section 12011 of the CMVSA states that the Secretary shall withhold a portion of the Federal-aid highway funds apportioned to a State if the State does not substantially comply with the requirements in section 12009(a) of the Act. The information gathered during State compliance reviews is used to determine whether States are complying with these requirements.

A final rule was published on July 31, 2002 (67 FR 49742) implementing 15 of the 16 CDL related provisions of the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 (MCSIA) (Pub. L. 106-159, 113 Stat. 1748 (Dec. 9, 1999)) that were designed to enhance the safety of drivers on our nation's highways by ensuring that only safe drivers operate CMVs. These new requirements are contained in 49 CFR part 383 and include: Five new major and serious disqualifying offenses (section 383.51): Non-CMV disqualifying offenses by a CDL holder (section 383.51); disqualification of drivers determined to be an imminent hazard (section 383.52); a new school bus endorsement (section 383.123); a prohibition on issuing a hardship license to operate a CMV while under suspension (section 384.210); a prohibition on masking convictions (section 384.226); and various requirements for transmitting, posting and retaining driver convictions and disqualification records.

A Final Rule was published on December 1, 2008 (73 FR 73096) that implemented the 16th CDL related provision of MCSIA, the merging of the medical certification and CDL issuing processes.

An interim final rule (IFR) was published on May 5, 2003 (68 FR 23844) as a companion rule to the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA's) May 5, 2003 IFR implementing section 1012 of the USA PATRIOT Act (Pub. L. 107-56) on security threat assessments for drivers applying for or renewing a CDL with a hazardous materials endorsement. While TSA set the requirements in their rule; FMCSA has the responsibility as part of the CDL testing and issuance process to ensure that States are in compliance with the TSA requirements.

Section 4019 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), Public Law 105-178, 112 Stat. June 8, 1999, requires the Secretary of Transportation to review the procedures established and implemented by the States under 49 U.S.C. 31305 for CDL knowledge and skills testing to determine whether the current testing system is an accurate measure and reflection of an individual's knowledge and skills to operate a CMV. The results of this review were incorporated into the new “2005 CDL Test System.” A final rule was published on May 9, 2011, that requires the use of a State Testing System that is comparable to the 2005 CDL Test System.

Section 4122 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users, Public Law 109-59, August 10, 2005, requires the Department of Transportation (DOT) to prescribe regulations on minimum uniform standards for the issuance of commercial learner's permits (CLPs), as it has already done for CDLs [49 U.S.C. 31308]. More specifically, section 4122 provides that an applicant for a CLP must first pass a knowledge test which complies with minimum standards prescribed by the Secretary and may have only one CLP at a time; that the CLP document must have the same information and security features as the CDL; and that the data on each CLP holder must be added to the driver's record in CDLIS. The Final Rule published on May 9, 2011 also includes each of those requirements.

Section 703 of the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act of 2006 (SAFE Port Act), Public Law 109-347, October 13, 2006, requires the Secretary of Transportation to promulgate regulations implementing the recommendations in a memorandum issued by the DOT's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) on June 4, 2004, concerning verification of the legal status of commercial drivers, as well as the recommendations in a report issued by the OIG on February 7, 2006, titled “Oversight of the Commercial Driver's License Program” dealing with steps needed to improve anti-fraud measures in the CDL program. The specific recommendations include: The establishment of a legal presence requirement for CDL issuance; declaring a State out of substantial compliance with the CDL requirements if the State fails to impose adequate internal controls to detect and help prevent fraud in the CDL program or fails to take Start Printed Page 39498adequate corrective action when fraud is discovered; and imposed sanctions against States for noncompliance. This Final Rule published on May 9, 2011 includes all the OIG's recommendations. Many of the operational procedures suggested by the OIG for carrying out the recommendations have also been adopted.

This information collection supports the DOT Strategic Goal of Safety by requiring that drivers of CMVs are properly licensed according to all applicable Federal requirements.

The 10-year employment history information supplied by the CDL holder to the employer upon application for employment (49 CFR 383.35) is used to assist the employer in meeting his/her responsibilities to ensure that the applicant does not have a history of high safety risk behavior.

State officials use the information collected on the license application form (49 CFR 383.71), the medical certificate information that is posted to the driving record and the conviction and disqualification data posted to the driving record (49 CFR 383.73) to prevent unqualified and/or disqualified CDL holders from operating CMVs on the nation's highways. State officials are also required to administer knowledge and skills tests to CDL driver applicants (49 CFR 384.202). The driver applicant is required to correctly answer at least 80 percent of the questions on each knowledge test to achieve a passing score on that test. To achieve a passing score on the skills test, the driver applicant must demonstrate that he/she can successfully perform all the skills listed in the regulations. During State CDL compliance reviews, FMCSA officials review this information to ensure that the provisions of the regulations are being carried out.

Without the aforementioned requirements, there would be no uniform control over driver licensing practices to prevent unqualified and/or disqualified drivers from being issued a CDL and to prevent unsafe drivers from spreading their convictions among several licenses in several States and remaining behind the wheel of a CMV. Failure to collect this information would render the regulations unenforceable.

This request for renewed approval includes one additional information collection item: “Driver completion of knowledge and skills tests [49 CFR 384.201].” This section is added as a result of a new requirement for States to assure the testing of commercial learner's permits follow a standardized testing procedure.

Title: Commercial Driver Licensing and Test Standards.

OMB Number: 2126-0011.

Type of Request: Revision of a currently-approved information collection.

Respondents: Drivers with a commercial learner's permit (CLP) or commercial driver's license (CDL) and State driver licensing agencies.

Estimated Number of Respondents: 7,364,972 driver respondents and 4,746 State respondents.

Estimated Time per Response: Varies.

Expiration Date: October 31, 2018.

Frequency of Response: Varies.

Estimated Total Annual Burden: 2,825,503 hours, which is the total of four tasks for CDL drivers (2,403,248 hours), added to a total of eight tasks for State driver licensing agency CDL activities (422,255 hours).

Information collection tasks and associated burden hours are as follows:

IC-1.1 Driver Notification of Convictions/Disqualifications to Employer: 473,577 hours

IC-1.2 Driver Providing Previous Employment History to New Employer: 297,758 hours

IC-1.3 Driver Completion of the CDL Application Form: 40,719 hours

IC-1.4 Driver Completion of Knowledge and Skills Tests: 1,591,194 hours

IC-2.1 State Recording of Medical Examiner's Certificate Information: 80,344 hours

IC-2.2 State Recording of the Self Certification of Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Operation: 3,018 hours

IC-2.3 State Verification of Medical Certification Status: 3,180

IC-2.4 Annual State Certification of Compliance: 1,632 hours

IC-2.5 State Preparing for and Participating in Annual Program Review: 10,200 hours

IC-2.6 CDLIS/PDPS/State Recordkeeping: 214,548 hours

IC-2.7 Knowledge and Skills Test Recordkeeping: 82,034 hours

IC-2.8 Knowledge and Skills Test Examiner Certification: 27,299 hours

Definitions: Under 49 CFR 383.5:

Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) means a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle—

(1) Has a gross combination weight rating or gross combination weight of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more), whichever is greater, inclusive of a towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds), whichever is greater; or

(2) Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of 11,794 or more kilograms (26,001 pounds or more), whichever is greater; or

(3) Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or

(4) Is of any size and is used in the transportation of hazardous materials as defined in this section.

Hazardous materials means any material that has been designated as hazardous under 49 U.S.C. 5103 and is required to be placarded under subpart F of 49 CFR part 172 or any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR part 73.

Public Comments Invited: You are asked to comment on any aspect of this information collection, including: (1) Whether the proposed collection is necessary for the performance of FMCSA's functions; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways for FMCSA to enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the collected information; and (4) ways that the burden could be minimized without reducing the quality of the collected information. The agency will summarize or include your comments in the request for OMB's clearance of this information collection.

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Issued under the authority of 49 CFR 1.87 on: August 2, 2018.

Kelly Regal,

Associate Administrator, Office of Research and Information Technology.

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[FR Doc. 2018-17064 Filed 8-8-18; 8:45 am]