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Truck Driver Training Rules Become Law

In 2012, Congress mandated the establishment of national training standard changes for the operators of commercial motor vehicles as part of a highway bill. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a new rule on December 8, 2016. After a 5-month delay for regulatory reviews, the rule setting new national training standards has become law as of June 5, 2017. There is a 3-year compliance window. Carriers, trainers, and others will have until February, 2020 to comply with the new law. The rule applies only to Commercial Drivers' License (CDL) applicants who receive CDLs on or after February 7, 2020.

There are 3 key changes. First, a core curriculum has been established. CDL applicants will be required to show proficiency in specific areas to receive a CDL. Second, "behind the wheel" training is required. Although the original proposal calling for a minimum of 30 hours of behind the wheel training was ultimately removed, the new law requires trainees to show competence with all elements of the curriculum on both a driving range and public road. Finally, the new law creates a registry of FMCSA-approved driver trainers that must provide the training to CDL applicants. Trainers must meet certain criteria to become certified. Carriers with their own training facilities must utilize certified trainers.

For more information on the new national training standards, please see:

FMCSA Finally Releases Entry-Level Driver Training Rule ;

DOT establishes driver training standards for entry-level truckers, adds registry of approved trainers ;

FMCSA rule setting training standards for new truck drivers takes effect ; and

Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators

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