Delay expected in U.S. driver training standard

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) may be preparing to delay the planned Feb. 7, 2020 rollout of national minimum entry-level training standards for commercial licences.

While there is no official news of a delay, our partners at Heavy Duty Trucking (HDT) magazine report that the notice of a delay lasting up to two years is “working its way through the approval pipeline” so it can be published in the Federal Register. The Federal Register is the U.S. equivalent of the Canada Gazette used on this side of the border.

Some states have yet to adjust their IT systems to interact with the federal system.

A Notice of Proposed Rulemaking published on July 18 has already looked to extend the compliance dates for two key elements – requiring a driver’s training certification to the Training Provider Registry, and limiting skills tests to those who comply with the entry-level training requirements — until Feb. 7, 2022.

When that notice was published, regulators said they needed more time to develop the electronic interface needed to receive and store related training information, so it can be transmitted between training providers and state licensing agencies.

Laura McMillan, vice-president of training program development at Instructional Technologies, told HDT that she first heard of a potential delay to the entire rule this fall, in the form of “questions based on rumors”.

“The written comments [in the FMCSA rule-making docket] from state associations and Departments of Motor Vehicles showed they were very concerned with all the confusion about implementing the rule,” she said. “Then to have the rule partially delayed [the July action taken by FMCSA] would only cause more confusion.”


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John G. Smith is the editorial director of Newcom Media's trucking and supply chain publications -- including Today's Trucking,, TruckTech, Transport Routier, and Road Today. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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