A rule which would set requirements for new truck drivers has been in the works now for decades. First ordered in 1991, it has been delayed again and again, but was finally supposed to go into effect on February 7th, 2020. Now the deadline has been pushed back again, but no one can seem to take responsibility as to why.
Dubbed “Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators,” the rule would require drivers to demonstrate proficiency behind the wheel on public roads, pass theory exams, and receive training at a company which is on the FMCSA’s Trainer Provider Registry. It would also put increased requirements on training providers, including that they must have had a valid CDL for at least two years.
No one seems to be in agreement about why the delay was necessary. But everyone agrees that the main issue is that no one has been able to figure out how to transfer electronic training certificates between federal and state databases. This issue has been known about for at least four years and still has not been resolved.
According to Transport Topics’ conversation with one unnamed FMCSA official, the delay is “mostly due to the failure of the states aligning their systems with the federal system.”
But unsurprisingly, there’s also blame being thrown at the federal government. That database of eligible trainers that the FMCSA wants to make was supposed to be available October 1st, 2019 so carriers could sign up. It’s not functioning properly, so it’s still impossible for driver training schools to even sign up for the program.