Management & Operations

FMSCA proposes tougher CDL

Posted on July 1, 2001

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a proposed ruling that would strengthen CDL licensing requirements and toughen sanctions for violations. Published July 27, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is designed to address weaknesses in the CDL program identified during an effectiveness study begun in 1994 and presented to Congress in 1999. Among other things, the proposed rule would create two new disqualifying offenses: driving a commercial vehicle with a canceled, revoked or suspended CDL and causing a fatality through negligent or criminal operation. The NPRM also adds three new offenses to the definition of serious traffic violations: driving a commercial vehicle when the driver has not obtained a CDL, driving a commercial vehicle without a CDL in possession and driving a commercial vehicle without the proper type of CDL. An expanded driver record check is another feature of the NPRM. It proposes to take into account previously held licenses in all states. This screening is intended to prevent drivers who lose their CDL in one state to successfully reapply for a CDL in another state. The proposed regulation would also empower the FMCSA to authorize emergency grants for states that need help complying with the new requirements. To view the proposed rule, go to and type “CDL” in the “Search Terms” box near the bottom of the page. Written comments on this proposed rulemaking should be submitted by Oct. 25. Comments may be submitted electronically at You’ll need to click on “Search” and type in “9709” as the docket number.

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