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FMCSA Proposes Changes to CDL Testing: What to Know if You're Hiring Drivers
Mariah Barr
4 mins read

Hiring CDL drivers may soon be easier and happen quicker than ever before.

Are you looking to grow your roster of employees who drive commercial vehicles? You may be in luck. 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has proposed changes to CDL testing requirements to streamline the process, improve efficiency, and get more drivers on the road faster. These proposed changes, outlined in this notice of proposed rulemaking, are intended to enhance highway safety and ensure the integrity of third-party CDL knowledge testing.

Some of the proposed changes, which include making certain waivers permanent, are as follows: 

  1. Expanding the ability of applicants to take a CDL skills test in a state other than their state of domicile. 
  2. Allowing commercial learner's permit (CLP) holders who have passed the CDL skills test to operate a commercial vehicle on public roads without a qualified CDL holder in the passenger seat. 
  3. Eliminating the requirement for applicants to wait at least 14 days to take the CDL skills test after receiving the initial CLP. 
  4. Requiring third-party knowledge examiners to meet the same training, certification, and record check standards as state knowledge examiners, and adhere to auditing and monitoring requirements applicable to third-party skills testers. 
  5. Removing the requirement for CMV drivers to have a passenger (P) endorsement when transporting empty CMVs designed to carry passengers, such as school buses, in a driveaway-towaway operation. 

The FMCSA believes that these proposed changes will address the CDL driver shortages, enhance supply chain stability, and provide regulatory relief without compromising safety. Some of these changes have already been granted as exemptions in recent times, with certain fleets operating under waivers that allow CLP holders who have passed the CDL skills test to operate without a CDL holder in the passenger seat.  

Additionally, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, third-party testing, 14-day eligibility, and out-of-state testing regulations were waived due to limited operations and staffing challenges faced by state driver's license agencies.  

Get More Drivers Behind the Wheel with Hiring Software 

Just as the FMCSA is making it easier for new drivers to get on the road, you need to make it easy for drivers to apply for your open positions. How do you do that? With the right hiring software.  

Applicants can complete your job application in a matter of minutes. The process starts with just a photo of their driver’s license and ends with a positive candidate experience. Giving drivers the best possible first impression could be the difference between gaining and losing your next best employee! 

If these FMCSA-proposed changes are officially put in place, you’ll need to be prepared to compete with other companies looking for new drivers. Now is the time to get a free demo of Dash, Foley’s hiring, screening, and onboarding software. That way, you’ll be ahead of the game when the next wave of CDL drivers hits the job market.

Schedule your free Dash demo call today and start putting more employees in the driver’s seat faster. 

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A Foley expert is ready to help your company create a streamlined hiring, screening, and onboarding process that's easier for your candidate and team, while keeping you compliant with DOT and FMCSA requirements. Fill out this form, and we'll schedule a time for a personalized online demo of Dash.

Whether you’re looking for a quick background check, or a comprehensive DOT compliance solution, Foley can help.