April 24, 2013 - Mark your calendars for the FMCSA CDL testing final rule to take effect on this day. The 2011 final rule of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) updated the commercial driver's license (CDL) knowledge and skills testing standards and established new minimum federal standards for states to issue the commercial learner's permit (CLP).

This is in response to certain petitions for reconsideration that went up to 34 petitions covering a wide range of issues. FMCSA granted or denied each of these petitions, by orders available in the docket. This recent final rule addresses the petitions that were granted.

Discussion of the Petitions for Reconsideration

After careful review, FMCSA decided to grant some petitions, in whole or in part, and deny others. As a result, FMCSA is publishing a new final rule modifying seven provisions of the May 2011 final rule.

In this final rule, FMCSA modifies the following provisions, which granted, in whole or in part, are in response to the petitions for reconsideration.
•State Procedures-49 CFR 383.73(a)(2)(vi), (b)(6), (c)(7), (d)(7), and (e)(5)
•Requiring Two Employees To Verify Documents-49 CFR 383.73(m)
•Prohibiting Training Schools From Administering Skills Tests-49 CFR 383.75(a)(7)
•Bonding Requirements-49 CFR 383.75(a)(8)(v)
•Prohibiting States From Using a Photo on the CLP-49 CFR 383.153(b)(1) and 384.227
•Requiring Annual Background Checks for Skills Test Examiners-49 CFR 384.228(h)

Although FMCSA initially denied petitions seeking to delay the May 2011 final rule's compliance date, FMCSA reverses that decision and modifies the following additional provision: Substantial compliance-general requirements--49 CFR 384.301(f). FMCSA denied the remaining issues submitted for reconsideration.