New federal regulations go into effect on February 7, 2022, setting minimum training requirements that entry-level drivers must complete before being permitted to take certain commercial driver’s license (CDL) skills or knowledge tests. The regulations apply to individuals who obtain a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) on or after February 7, 2022, or who obtain a Class A CDL or Class B CDL for the first time; upgrade an existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL; or obtain a school bus (S), passenger (P), or hazardous materials (H) endorsement for the first time after February 7, 2022. These individuals must receive required training from a registered training provider.
The federal regulations also establish a Training Provider Registry to help CDL applicants connect with qualified training providers. Although previous CDL training regulations contained a broad exemption for municipalities, the new regulations do not contain the same broad municipal exemption, although, per state law, Maine has exempted some firefighters and temporary emergency plow drivers from the CDL and state licensing requirements (29-A M.R.S. § 1252(1)(C)). These state exemptions appear to remain in place and not subject to the new CDL training requirements.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has provided great deal of information on the new standards and the training provider registry on its webpage. In addition, the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles has created a webpage devoted to the topic. Members that plan to train their own employees in-house should go to FMCSA’s website and register on the Training Provider Registry to become a training provider, and follow the guidelines on training and recordkeeping requirements. Contact FMCSA staff with questions about the training provider requirements.
The Maine BMV is also asking employers with employees that may need to sit for a written licensing exam before February 7, 2022, to contact them by January 10, 2022 so that the BMV may gauge the number of interested individuals and make arrangements to accommodate as many persons as possible. Contact Christopher J. Ireland, Director, Driver License Services, Maine BMV at (207) 624-9124 or Christopher.firstname.lastname@example.org
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