FMCSA Proposed Under-21 CMV Driver Pilot Program


The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced on September 4 that it is proposing and seeking comment on a new pilot program to allow drivers aged 18, 19, and 20 to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce.

The proposed pilot would allow drivers to participate if they fall within two categories:

18 to 20-year-old commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders who operate CMVs in interstate commerce while taking part in a 120-hour probationary period and a subsequent 280-hour probationary period under an apprenticeship program established by an employer, or

19 and 20-year-old commercial drivers who have operated CMVs in intrastate commerce for a minimum of one year and 25,000 miles.

The pilot program drivers would not be allowed to operate vehicles hauling passengers or hazardous materials or special configuration vehicles.

With 18-20-year-old CDL holders currently allowed to operate CMVs in intrastate commerce within 49 states, many stakeholders in favor of the pilot believe that if successful, it could help bolster the CMV operator workforce and combat the national driver shortage. IWLA will be commenting in support of the proposed pilot program and has been actively advocating for a similar legislative proposal, the Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy (DRIVE-Safe) Act (S.569/H.R.1374), in Congress.


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