An initial meeting was held in late February 2015 to update classroom and behind-the-wheel training requirements for professional truck and bus drivers. The Advisory Committee for this meeting was formed by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
In December 2014, the FMCSA initially announced that they would be forming a committee to examine minimum training requirements. This meeting would include determining the duration of classroom sessions and behind the wheel training, as well as weighing the differences between the “accreditation” versus “certification” of commercial drivers’ license training programs. Additionally, the FMCSA planned to reexamine instructor qualifications as well.
This meeting was first prompted by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Legislation (MAP-21), which requires the FMCSA to establish new regulations for entry level driver training. This new legislation created a certificate system for the requirements drivers must meet, as well as requiring training providers to aptly demonstrate that their training meets uniform standards. These new requirements would apply to any individuals who are obtaining a CDL to operate commercial motor vehicles pursuant to 49 CFR 383.5.
In August 2014, it was announced that the FMCSA would explore the process of discussing and negotiating any new rules that might be necessary for entry level driver training. Later that December, it was further announced that the FMCSA would instead establish a committee that would develop the proposed regulations for the entry level driver training.
The Administration intends to complete the regulatory negotiation process for proposed rules within the first half of 2015 and will publish notice of the proposed rule making sometime in 2015, with the final rules to be completed by 2016. It is strongly encouraged that anyone looking to obtain a CDL to operate commercial motor vehicles pays close attention to this process, as it will be affecting them soon.