U.S. DOT Provides States with $44 Million To Speed CDL Licensing

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is awarding more than $44 million in grants designed to make the process to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) more efficient.

The funding is part of the administration’s Trucking Action Plan (TAP) authorized last year under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Under TAP, states will be able to improve their CDL programs by reducing wait times, ensuring conviction and disqualification data is electronically exchanged and implementing regulatory requirements.

Earlier this year, the U.S. DOT provided $56 million in grants to states to kick start the drive for speedier CDL processing. According to the DOT, this resulted in a 112 percent increase in CDL processing in January and February 2022 compared to January and February 2021.

EMA plans to discuss streamlining the hazardous material endorsement training and testing process to increase the number of CDL drivers qualified to haul petroleum products.

EMA is asking for the creation of a new hazardous material training and testing module that focuses solely on petroleum products.

The streamlined training and testing process will require a new hazardous material endorsement (“P” in place of the current “H”) that restricts driver qualification to petroleum products.

EMA believes the module approach will likely result in a higher pass rate while removing cost and time disincentives that discourage drivers from initially pursuing an H endorsement or retaking the test after failing.

The licensing restriction would also increase the pool of qualified drivers available to the petroleum industry and increase driver retention as well.

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