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FMCSA delays driver training rule’s effective date to comply with Trump memo

FMCSA’s rule establishes a core curriculum for CDL applicants and establishes a register of certified driver trainers. The rule’s compliance date is more than three years out — February 2020. The delay in its effective date does not appear to alter the February 2020 compliance date.

Prompted by a Jan. 20 memorandum issued by President Trump, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will publish a notice Feb. 1 officially delaying the effective date of a new rule establishing national truck driver training standards.

The rule, officially known as Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Vehicle Operators, was slated to take effect Feb. 6, 2017, following its Dec. 8, 2016 publication in the Federal Register. The agency has delayed the rule’s effective date to March 21, 2017, to comply with Trump’s order to federal agencies to freeze new rules and to delay those published but not yet effective, such as the entry-level driver training rule.

Trump’s order barred such rules from being enacted until 60 days following the issuance of Jan. 20 memorandum — March 21. FMCSA says in its notice the rule could still be delayed further, pending review by Trump and his staffers. The rule has a three-year implementation window and only applies to truckers receiving their CDL on or after Feb. 7, 2020. FMCSA in its notice did not delay the Feb. 7, 2020, compliance date.

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The entry-level driver training rule sets a core classroom curriculum for those seeking a CDL. It also requires behind-the-wheel training, but to the chagrin of some trucking industry groups, it does not require a minimum amount of behind-the-wheel training time. The agency’s initial draft of the rule required 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training, but that provision was removed in the rule’s final draft.

The rule also will establish a national registry of certified trainers. CDL trainees must be trained by a trainer in the registry to qualify to receive a CDL.

See more on the rule’s requirements at this link.

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James Jaillet is the News Editor for CCJ and Overdrive. Reach him at