Commercial Driver Instruction Permits; Withdrawal, 9305-9307 [E6-2554]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 36 / Thursday, February 23, 2006 / Proposed Rules clause title and date, the introductory text preceding paragraph (a), and paragraph (g) to read as follows: 252.219–7003 Small business subcontracting plan (DoD contracts). * * * * * SMALL BUSINESS SUBCONTRACTING PLAN (DOD CONTRACTS) (XXX 2006) This clause supplements the Federal Acquisition Regulation 52.219–9, Small Business Subcontracting Plan, clause of this contract. * * * * * (g) In those subcontracting plans which specifically identify small businesses, the Contractor shall notify the Administrative Contracting Officer of any substitutions of such firms. Notifications shall be in writing and shall occur within a reasonable period of time after award of the subcontract. Contractor-specified formats shall be acceptable. 22. Section 252.219–7004 is amended by revising the section heading, the clause title and date, and paragraph (d) to read as follows: 252.219–7004 Small business subcontracting plan (test program). * * * * * SMALL BUSINESS SUBCONTRACTING PLAN (TEST PROGRAM) (XXX 2006) * * * * * (d) The failure of the Contractor or subcontractor to comply in good faith with (1) the clause of this contract entitled ‘‘Utilization of Small Business Concerns,’’ or (2) an approved plan required by this clause, shall be a material breach of the contract. [FR Doc. 06–1636 Filed 2–22–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 5001–08–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 49 CFR Part 383 [Docket No. FMCSA–1997–2181] RIN 2126–AA03 Commercial Driver Instruction Permits; Withdrawal Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Department of Transportation (DOT). ACTION: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), withdrawal. cchase on PROD1PC60 with PROPOSALS AGENCY: SUMMARY: FMCSA withdraws its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:33 Feb 22, 2006 Jkt 208001 additional minimum Federal standards for State-issued learner’s permits that allow drivers to be trained in the operation of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). The NPRM requesting comments was published on August 22, 1990, at 55 FR 34478. The comment period was extended to November 30, 1990 (55 FR 42741, October 23, 1990). FMCSA determined that the issues addressed in the NPRM and the public comments on these issues do not reflect many initiatives and activities that occurred after publication of the NPRM. Therefore, the 1990 NPRM is obsolete and it is in the public interest to withdraw it. DATES: The NPRM with request for comments published on August 22, 1990, is withdrawn as of February 23, 2006. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Robert Redmond, Senior Transportation Specialist, (202) 366–5014, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590–0001. Office hours are 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background The commercial driver’s license (CDL) program, established by the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act (CMVSA) of 1986 [Pub. L. 99–570, October 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 3207–170] is an evolving program. Part 383 of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, implements the CMVSA (currently codified at 49 U.S.C. 31301 et seq.). As of April 1, 1992, it prohibits any person who does not possess a CDL or learner’s permit issued by his or her State of domicile from operating a CMV requiring a CDL. The prohibition impacts driver-training activities by limiting trainees to their State of domicile to receive training and behind-the-wheel experience, and take the skills test necessary to obtain a CDL. This creates problems because commercial driver training facilities are not equally available in all States. To address this and other issues such as lack of uniformity of duration of learners’ permits, associated driver history recordkeeping, and test reciprocity between States, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) published an NPRM to: (1) Propose standards for issuing a learner’s permit; (2) make it easier for out-of-State drivers to obtain on-the-road skills-training operating a CMV; and (3) make it easier for such drivers to obtain a CDL outside their State of domicile. The NPRM proposed additional minimum Federal requirements for a learner’s permit, PO 00000 Frm 00028 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 9305 which was referred to as a commercial driver’s instruction permit (CDIP). FHWA’s intent was to establish minimum standards, uniformity, and reciprocity for commercial instructional permits and to remove impediments to driver training caused by CDL residency requirements. Effective January 1, 2000, DOT transferred responsibility for motor carrier functions and operations to FMCSA (64 FR 72959, December 29, 1999). In the discussion below, the governing agency is referred to as FMCSA, regardless of whether the action described occurred before or after this transfer of responsibility. Comments Received on the NPRM The NPRM requested comments from interested parties by October 22, 1990, and this comment period was later extended through November 30, 1990. As of August 1, 2005, there were 65 submissions to the NPRM docket; the last comment was posted in the docket on October 17, 1995. FMCSA reviewed all comments regardless of submission date. Of the 65 submissions, 58 are directly related to the proposed rule, three are letters addressed to Members of Congress requesting support for the rule, one amended a previous comment, two addressed other issues indirectly related to the proposed rule, and one contains a petition to extend the comment period. The largest single group of commenters was State driver licensing officials. The majority of commenters opposed the proposal put forward by FMCSA, but proposed an alternative approach developed by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). Learner’s Permit for Out-of-State Residents Two fundamental issues raised in the 1990 NPRM concerned problems obtaining on-the-road skills-training and taking the CDL skills test in a representative vehicle because States are prohibited from issuing a permit or CDL to a driver not domiciled in that jurisdiction. This limits the ability of drivers to obtain required on-the-road skills-training, and obtain a learner’s permit or temporary CDL in States where they are not permanently domiciled. The NPRM proposed amending 49 CFR 383.23 to allow any jurisdiction where the driver receives training, even if it is not the State of domicile, to issue a learner’s permit. The intent was to address the problem that commercial driver training facilities are not equally available in all States. E:\FR\FM\23FEP1.SGM 23FEP1 9306 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 36 / Thursday, February 23, 2006 / Proposed Rules cchase on PROD1PC60 with PROPOSALS Many commenters argued that implementation of FMCSA’s proposal would be complex. The commenters stated that each jurisdiction would need to develop a list of approved training schools for CMV drivers, and only students in such approved programs would be eligible for out-of-State CDIPs and temporary 60-day CDLs. Additionally, many State licensing agencies argued that each out-of-State CDIP issued would create a second driver history record for that driver, one for the basic license in the jurisdiction of domicile, and one for the CDIP in the jurisdiction where the training occurred. The State licensing agencies expressed concern that the proposal would undermine a fundamental concept of the CDL program, ‘‘one-license, onerecord.’’ State licensing agencies and AAMVA opposed the prospective administrative burdens associated with an out-of-State CDIP. Seventeen States and AAMVA opposed the out-of-State CDIP proposal, while five States were in favor. There was similar opposition to the proposed subsequent temporary 60-day CDL that would be issued by the State where the training and testing took place. The State of Illinois, for example, claimed the proposals were ‘‘ill-conceived and intrusive to the [one-license, one-record per driver] CDL licensing philosophy.’’ While AAMVA and 11 States opposed the NPRM proposal for addressing this issue, they jointly proposed an alternative approach that would uphold the ‘‘one-license, one-record’’ concept. Their counter proposal would allow the applicant to transfer his or her jurisdiction of licensure to the State where he or she receives training. The applicant could initially obtain the required regular (non-CDL) license and CDIP from the jurisdiction where training is received. Upon completion of training, the applicant could obtain a permanent CDL from that jurisdiction. The driver would then be free to return to the original licensing jurisdiction and apply to transfer the CDL there, subject to the CDL regulations and requirements of that jurisdiction for transferring CDLs. While the States’ proposal addresses the issue of ‘‘one-license, onerecord,’’ it does not deal with the issue of domicile. Remote Electronic Supervision In § 383.23, the NPRM proposed allowing, as an alternative to in-cab supervision, remote electronic supervision via communication with chaperones in accompanying vehicles under strictly controlled conditions. Most commenters opposed that proposal, except for a small number of VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:33 Feb 22, 2006 Jkt 208001 public driver training schools and the States in which they are located. The public training schools, in defending their support for this proposed practice, asserted that trainees are allowed on roads and highways open to public travel only after they have proven their competence to instructors on a private range or by in-cab physically accompanied driving. may hold a valid CDIP.1 AAMVA pointed out that because the initial CDL rules did not address this issue, a number of jurisdictions did not adopt this aspect of the AAMVA model law, resulting in the use of differing time periods by licensing jurisdictions when issuing CDL learner’s permits. Vehicles for Which CDIPs Would Be Valid In § 383.73, the NPRM proposed requiring States to notify the Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS) central index when it issues a CDIP to drivers who do not hold a CDL. CDLIS is the information system designed to serve as the clearinghouse and depository of information about any person who operates CMVs requiring a CDL. CDLIS contains a driver’s identification, licensing history with any convictions (including convictions for any of the disqualifying offenses listed in part 383), and disqualification history. States would not be required to notify the CDLIS central index if the driver already holds a CDL, since the driver would already be recorded on the central index. Most commenters, including AAMVA, expressed support for requiring addition of CDIP holders to the CDLIS central index at the time of issuance of the CDIP. The driver licensing agency for the State of Maryland objected to this proposal, arguing that adding CDIP holders to the CDLIS central index would result in the needless entry of a large number of otherwise non-commercial drivers who may never obtain a CDL. The NPRM also proposed allowing the use of CDIPs for all groups of CMVs, including those requiring endorsements. Five State driver licensing agencies opposed granting CDIP applicants the privilege to operate passenger carrying (‘‘P’’ endorsement) or hazardous material placarded (‘‘H’’ endorsement) CMVs, even though directly supervised in-cab by a qualified driver. CDL Knowledge Tests AAMVA and nine State licensing agencies recommended adding a safeguard requiring CDIP applicants to pass the CDL knowledge test before receiving a CDIP, and to require the CDIP to display the CMV training group for which the applicant applied to train. In addition, many commenters also proposed that CDIP holders pass the knowledge test for any endorsement prior to operating on roads open to public travel, and that CDIP holders only be allowed to operate vehicles in the class of vehicles covered by the class and endorsements on the CDIP. CDL Test Reciprocity CDIP Document The NPRM proposed authorizing States where training is received to administer CDL knowledge and skills tests to drivers domiciled in other States, and authorizing a license applicant’s State of domicile to accept test results obtained in the training State. AAMVA and some State licensing agencies contend FMCSA should not attempt to specify anything about State acceptance of out-of State tests. The commenters argue that in some very limited instances, States already have agreements with other States to accept their tests, and it is unnecessary for FMCSA to promulgate anything about authorizing such acceptance. Duration of the CDIP The NPRM proposed restricting the time periods for State-issued CDIPs to no longer than one year. There was disagreement among the commenters on the maximum time for which a driver PO 00000 Frm 00029 Fmt 4702 Commercial Driver’s License Information System Sfmt 4702 The NPRM proposed that the CDIP document contain all information the CDL contains, including a picture of the holder, except the document would contain the designation ‘‘commercial driver’s instruction permit’’ instead of ‘‘commercial driver’s license.’’ It further proposed including a statement on the CDIP indicating it is invalid without the underlying State driver license, the number of which would be displayed on the CDIP. AAMVA and most State licensing agencies opposed use of a photograph on the CDIP document because it would be redundant and costly to many States. Further, the commenters argued that because the proposed CDIP is a temporary permit that must be presented in conjunction 1 The original AAMVA CDL model law created to assist jurisdictions in initiating their CDL programs specified 6 months as the maximum length for initial issuance and renewal periods of commercial learners’ permits. E:\FR\FM\23FEP1.SGM 23FEP1 Federal Register / Vol. 71, No. 36 / Thursday, February 23, 2006 / Proposed Rules with the underlying State license, the photograph is unnecessary. In addition, AAMVA recommended a shorter title for the instruction permit document. AAMVA stated the title ‘‘commercial driver’s instruction permit’’ is too long, making it difficult for some States to include this phrase on the CDIP document. AAMVA recommended the term ‘‘commercial learner’s permit,’’ or ‘‘CLP.’’ Withdrawal of Proposal Since publication of the 1990 CDIP NPRM, major changes occurred in the CDL program through other rulemakings, regulatory guidance, legislation and policy decisions. The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks prompted Congress and FMCSA to expand the scope of the CDL program to include issues related to fraud and security. The issuance of CDLs to unqualified persons and persons with false identities added new dimensions to the program, significantly in the detection and prevention of fraud and considerations of domicile. Some of the major initiatives that affected and transformed the direction of the CDL program are discussed below. State Compliance With Commercial Driver’s License Program cchase on PROD1PC60 with PROPOSALS On May 18, 1994, FMCSA issued a final rule (59 FR 26029) setting standards States must meet to comply with section 12009(a) of the CMVSA and thus avoid any loss of Federal-aid highway funds as provided in section 12011. CMVSA requires States to: (1) Prevent CMV drivers from concealing unsafe driving records by restricting issuance of a CDL to only the State of domicile; (2) ensure all CMV drivers demonstrate the minimum levels of knowledge and skills needed to safely operate the appropriate class of CMV before being licensed; and (3) subject CMV drivers to new, uniform sanctions for certain unsafe driving behavior. In addition, the Act requires an annual certification process for each State to determine whether it is in compliance. In the event of noncompliance, a percentage of highway funds may be withheld. VerDate Aug<31>2005 16:33 Feb 22, 2006 Jkt 208001 CDL Standards and Program Improvements In 1994, FMCSA initiated a study to evaluate the effectiveness of the CDL program. The final report, submitted to Congress in 1999, documented a number of vulnerabilities within the CDL program and provided corrective recommendations. Congress responded to these findings in the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act (MCSIA) of 1999 (Pub. L. 106–159, 113 Stat. 1748), addressing 17 CDL-related vulnerability issues. MCSIA amended many provisions related to the licensing and sanctioning of CMV drivers and required States to correct numerous specific weaknesses in their CDL programs. In response to MCSIA, FMCSA issued a final rule (67 FR 49742, July 31, 2002) incorporating 15 of the 17 new requirements into the CDL regulations. Among other things, the final rule required State CDL programs to include disqualification of a CDL holder for alcohol and drug abuse that occurred while operating a non-CMV, and disqualification of the driver by the FMCSA Assistant Administrator if the driver’s driving behavior is determined to constitute an imminent hazard. The rule specifies enhanced driver application procedures and State record check requirements. In addition, the 2002 rule clarifies FMCSA’s regulatory relationship to CDLIS by requiring compliance with the current version of the AAMVA ‘‘CDLIS State Procedures’’ manual, which the CDL regulations incorporate by reference. September 11, 2001 The terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center towers in New York City and the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, fraudulently obtained driver’s licenses from several States. Those licenses were presented as identification to board the airplanes used in the attacks. While those licenses were not CDLs, there is a potential risk CDLs or CDIPs could be obtained in the same manner to use CMVs, particularly those loaded with hazardous materials, for acts of terrorism. This potential risk led the States, FMCSA, and Congress to require development and implementation of better means for determining the PO 00000 Frm 00030 Fmt 4702 Sfmt 4702 9307 identity of license applicants and securing the license document. Other measures to prevent terrorists from using CMVs in terrorist attacks include development and implementation of security threat assessment background checks for drivers to obtain or maintain a hazardous materials endorsement on their CDL, as required by section 1012(b) of the USA PATRIOT Act (Pub. L. 107–56, October 26, 2001, 115 Stat. 397). In addition, the REAL ID Act of 2005 (Pub. L. 109–13, May 11, 2005, 119 Stat. 231) tightens the verification process for determining a person’s identity and legal presence in this country before issuing the person a driver’s license. In working with the Department of Homeland Security to implement this Act, FMCSA intends to address the ‘‘State of domicile’’ requirement in regard to student drivers who obtain driver training and want to take their CDL skills test outside their State of domicile. FMCSA intends to revisit issues addressed in the 1990 NPRM in light of the initiatives and events that have taken place since its publication. FMCSA will take into consideration the commenters’ recommendations to the 1990 NPRM, as well as relevant recommendations generated by the DOT Office of Inspector General’s May 8, 2002, Audit Report, Improving Testing and Licensing of Commercial Drivers, and the new Congressional requirements found in section 4122 of the Motor Carrier Safety Reauthorization Act of 2005. Conclusion Many of the issues addressed in the 1990 NPRM and the public comments to these issues did not consider the initiatives and events that took place after publication of the NPRM. Therefore, the August 22, 1990 NPRM is obsolete and it is in the public interest to withdraw the document. Issued on February 17, 2006. Annette M. Sandberg, Administrator. [FR Doc. E6–2554 Filed 2–22–06; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P E:\FR\FM\23FEP1.SGM 23FEP1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 71, Number 36 (Thursday, February 23, 2006)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 9305-9307]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E6-2554]


=======================================================================
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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

49 CFR Part 383

[Docket No. FMCSA-1997-2181]
RIN 2126-AA03


Commercial Driver Instruction Permits; Withdrawal

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Department 
of Transportation (DOT).

ACTION: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), withdrawal.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: FMCSA withdraws its notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on 
additional minimum Federal standards for State-issued learner's permits 
that allow drivers to be trained in the operation of commercial motor 
vehicles (CMVs). The NPRM requesting comments was published on August 
22, 1990, at 55 FR 34478. The comment period was extended to November 
30, 1990 (55 FR 42741, October 23, 1990). FMCSA determined that the 
issues addressed in the NPRM and the public comments on these issues do 
not reflect many initiatives and activities that occurred after 
publication of the NPRM. Therefore, the 1990 NPRM is obsolete and it is 
in the public interest to withdraw it.

DATES: The NPRM with request for comments published on August 22, 1990, 
is withdrawn as of February 23, 2006.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Robert Redmond, Senior 
Transportation Specialist, (202) 366-5014, Federal Motor Carrier Safety 
Administration, 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590-0001. 
Office hours are 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    The commercial driver's license (CDL) program, established by the 
Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act (CMVSA) of 1986 [Pub. L. 99-570, 
October 27, 1986, 100 Stat. 3207-170] is an evolving program. Part 383 
of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, implements the CMVSA 
(currently codified at 49 U.S.C. 31301 et seq.). As of April 1, 1992, 
it prohibits any person who does not possess a CDL or learner's permit 
issued by his or her State of domicile from operating a CMV requiring a 
CDL. The prohibition impacts driver-training activities by limiting 
trainees to their State of domicile to receive training and behind-the-
wheel experience, and take the skills test necessary to obtain a CDL. 
This creates problems because commercial driver training facilities are 
not equally available in all States.
    To address this and other issues such as lack of uniformity of 
duration of learners' permits, associated driver history recordkeeping, 
and test reciprocity between States, the Federal Highway Administration 
(FHWA) published an NPRM to: (1) Propose standards for issuing a 
learner's permit; (2) make it easier for out-of-State drivers to obtain 
on-the-road skills-training operating a CMV; and (3) make it easier for 
such drivers to obtain a CDL outside their State of domicile. The NPRM 
proposed additional minimum Federal requirements for a learner's 
permit, which was referred to as a commercial driver's instruction 
permit (CDIP). FHWA's intent was to establish minimum standards, 
uniformity, and reciprocity for commercial instructional permits and to 
remove impediments to driver training caused by CDL residency 
requirements.
    Effective January 1, 2000, DOT transferred responsibility for motor 
carrier functions and operations to FMCSA (64 FR 72959, December 29, 
1999). In the discussion below, the governing agency is referred to as 
FMCSA, regardless of whether the action described occurred before or 
after this transfer of responsibility.

Comments Received on the NPRM

    The NPRM requested comments from interested parties by October 22, 
1990, and this comment period was later extended through November 30, 
1990. As of August 1, 2005, there were 65 submissions to the NPRM 
docket; the last comment was posted in the docket on October 17, 1995. 
FMCSA reviewed all comments regardless of submission date. Of the 65 
submissions, 58 are directly related to the proposed rule, three are 
letters addressed to Members of Congress requesting support for the 
rule, one amended a previous comment, two addressed other issues 
indirectly related to the proposed rule, and one contains a petition to 
extend the comment period. The largest single group of commenters was 
State driver licensing officials. The majority of commenters opposed 
the proposal put forward by FMCSA, but proposed an alternative approach 
developed by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators 
(AAMVA).

Learner's Permit for Out-of-State Residents

    Two fundamental issues raised in the 1990 NPRM concerned problems 
obtaining on-the-road skills-training and taking the CDL skills test in 
a representative vehicle because States are prohibited from issuing a 
permit or CDL to a driver not domiciled in that jurisdiction. This 
limits the ability of drivers to obtain required on-the-road skills-
training, and obtain a learner's permit or temporary CDL in States 
where they are not permanently domiciled.
    The NPRM proposed amending 49 CFR 383.23 to allow any jurisdiction 
where the driver receives training, even if it is not the State of 
domicile, to issue a learner's permit. The intent was to address the 
problem that commercial driver training facilities are not equally 
available in all States.

[[Page 9306]]

    Many commenters argued that implementation of FMCSA's proposal 
would be complex. The commenters stated that each jurisdiction would 
need to develop a list of approved training schools for CMV drivers, 
and only students in such approved programs would be eligible for out-
of-State CDIPs and temporary 60-day CDLs. Additionally, many State 
licensing agencies argued that each out-of-State CDIP issued would 
create a second driver history record for that driver, one for the 
basic license in the jurisdiction of domicile, and one for the CDIP in 
the jurisdiction where the training occurred. The State licensing 
agencies expressed concern that the proposal would undermine a 
fundamental concept of the CDL program, ``one-license, one-record.''
    State licensing agencies and AAMVA opposed the prospective 
administrative burdens associated with an out-of-State CDIP. Seventeen 
States and AAMVA opposed the out-of-State CDIP proposal, while five 
States were in favor. There was similar opposition to the proposed 
subsequent temporary 60-day CDL that would be issued by the State where 
the training and testing took place. The State of Illinois, for 
example, claimed the proposals were ``ill-conceived and intrusive to 
the [one-license, one-record per driver] CDL licensing philosophy.''
    While AAMVA and 11 States opposed the NPRM proposal for addressing 
this issue, they jointly proposed an alternative approach that would 
uphold the ``one-license, one-record'' concept. Their counter proposal 
would allow the applicant to transfer his or her jurisdiction of 
licensure to the State where he or she receives training. The applicant 
could initially obtain the required regular (non-CDL) license and CDIP 
from the jurisdiction where training is received. Upon completion of 
training, the applicant could obtain a permanent CDL from that 
jurisdiction. The driver would then be free to return to the original 
licensing jurisdiction and apply to transfer the CDL there, subject to 
the CDL regulations and requirements of that jurisdiction for 
transferring CDLs. While the States' proposal addresses the issue of 
``one-license, one-record,'' it does not deal with the issue of 
domicile.

Remote Electronic Supervision

    In Sec.  383.23, the NPRM proposed allowing, as an alternative to 
in-cab supervision, remote electronic supervision via communication 
with chaperones in accompanying vehicles under strictly controlled 
conditions. Most commenters opposed that proposal, except for a small 
number of public driver training schools and the States in which they 
are located. The public training schools, in defending their support 
for this proposed practice, asserted that trainees are allowed on roads 
and highways open to public travel only after they have proven their 
competence to instructors on a private range or by in-cab physically 
accompanied driving.

Vehicles for Which CDIPs Would Be Valid

    The NPRM also proposed allowing the use of CDIPs for all groups of 
CMVs, including those requiring endorsements. Five State driver 
licensing agencies opposed granting CDIP applicants the privilege to 
operate passenger carrying (``P'' endorsement) or hazardous material 
placarded (``H'' endorsement) CMVs, even though directly supervised in-
cab by a qualified driver.

CDL Knowledge Tests

    AAMVA and nine State licensing agencies recommended adding a 
safeguard requiring CDIP applicants to pass the CDL knowledge test 
before receiving a CDIP, and to require the CDIP to display the CMV 
training group for which the applicant applied to train. In addition, 
many commenters also proposed that CDIP holders pass the knowledge test 
for any endorsement prior to operating on roads open to public travel, 
and that CDIP holders only be allowed to operate vehicles in the class 
of vehicles covered by the class and endorsements on the CDIP.

CDL Test Reciprocity

    The NPRM proposed authorizing States where training is received to 
administer CDL knowledge and skills tests to drivers domiciled in other 
States, and authorizing a license applicant's State of domicile to 
accept test results obtained in the training State. AAMVA and some 
State licensing agencies contend FMCSA should not attempt to specify 
anything about State acceptance of out-of State tests. The commenters 
argue that in some very limited instances, States already have 
agreements with other States to accept their tests, and it is 
unnecessary for FMCSA to promulgate anything about authorizing such 
acceptance.

Duration of the CDIP

    The NPRM proposed restricting the time periods for State-issued 
CDIPs to no longer than one year. There was disagreement among the 
commenters on the maximum time for which a driver may hold a valid 
CDIP.\1\ AAMVA pointed out that because the initial CDL rules did not 
address this issue, a number of jurisdictions did not adopt this aspect 
of the AAMVA model law, resulting in the use of differing time periods 
by licensing jurisdictions when issuing CDL learner's permits.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ The original AAMVA CDL model law created to assist 
jurisdictions in initiating their CDL programs specified 6 months as 
the maximum length for initial issuance and renewal periods of 
commercial learners' permits.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Commercial Driver's License Information System

    In Sec.  383.73, the NPRM proposed requiring States to notify the 
Commercial Driver's License Information System (CDLIS) central index 
when it issues a CDIP to drivers who do not hold a CDL. CDLIS is the 
information system designed to serve as the clearinghouse and 
depository of information about any person who operates CMVs requiring 
a CDL. CDLIS contains a driver's identification, licensing history with 
any convictions (including convictions for any of the disqualifying 
offenses listed in part 383), and disqualification history. States 
would not be required to notify the CDLIS central index if the driver 
already holds a CDL, since the driver would already be recorded on the 
central index. Most commenters, including AAMVA, expressed support for 
requiring addition of CDIP holders to the CDLIS central index at the 
time of issuance of the CDIP. The driver licensing agency for the State 
of Maryland objected to this proposal, arguing that adding CDIP holders 
to the CDLIS central index would result in the needless entry of a 
large number of otherwise non-commercial drivers who may never obtain a 
CDL.

CDIP Document

    The NPRM proposed that the CDIP document contain all information 
the CDL contains, including a picture of the holder, except the 
document would contain the designation ``commercial driver's 
instruction permit'' instead of ``commercial driver's license.'' It 
further proposed including a statement on the CDIP indicating it is 
invalid without the underlying State driver license, the number of 
which would be displayed on the CDIP. AAMVA and most State licensing 
agencies opposed use of a photograph on the CDIP document because it 
would be redundant and costly to many States. Further, the commenters 
argued that because the proposed CDIP is a temporary permit that must 
be presented in conjunction

[[Page 9307]]

with the underlying State license, the photograph is unnecessary.
    In addition, AAMVA recommended a shorter title for the instruction 
permit document. AAMVA stated the title ``commercial driver's 
instruction permit'' is too long, making it difficult for some States 
to include this phrase on the CDIP document. AAMVA recommended the term 
``commercial learner's permit,'' or ``CLP.''

Withdrawal of Proposal

    Since publication of the 1990 CDIP NPRM, major changes occurred in 
the CDL program through other rulemakings, regulatory guidance, 
legislation and policy decisions. The September 11, 2001, terrorist 
attacks prompted Congress and FMCSA to expand the scope of the CDL 
program to include issues related to fraud and security. The issuance 
of CDLs to unqualified persons and persons with false identities added 
new dimensions to the program, significantly in the detection and 
prevention of fraud and considerations of domicile. Some of the major 
initiatives that affected and transformed the direction of the CDL 
program are discussed below.

State Compliance With Commercial Driver's License Program

    On May 18, 1994, FMCSA issued a final rule (59 FR 26029) setting 
standards States must meet to comply with section 12009(a) of the CMVSA 
and thus avoid any loss of Federal-aid highway funds as provided in 
section 12011. CMVSA requires States to: (1) Prevent CMV drivers from 
concealing unsafe driving records by restricting issuance of a CDL to 
only the State of domicile; (2) ensure all CMV drivers demonstrate the 
minimum levels of knowledge and skills needed to safely operate the 
appropriate class of CMV before being licensed; and (3) subject CMV 
drivers to new, uniform sanctions for certain unsafe driving behavior. 
In addition, the Act requires an annual certification process for each 
State to determine whether it is in compliance. In the event of 
noncompliance, a percentage of highway funds may be withheld.

CDL Standards and Program Improvements

    In 1994, FMCSA initiated a study to evaluate the effectiveness of 
the CDL program. The final report, submitted to Congress in 1999, 
documented a number of vulnerabilities within the CDL program and 
provided corrective recommendations. Congress responded to these 
findings in the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act (MCSIA) of 1999 
(Pub. L. 106-159, 113 Stat. 1748), addressing 17 CDL-related 
vulnerability issues. MCSIA amended many provisions related to the 
licensing and sanctioning of CMV drivers and required States to correct 
numerous specific weaknesses in their CDL programs. In response to 
MCSIA, FMCSA issued a final rule (67 FR 49742, July 31, 2002) 
incorporating 15 of the 17 new requirements into the CDL regulations. 
Among other things, the final rule required State CDL programs to 
include disqualification of a CDL holder for alcohol and drug abuse 
that occurred while operating a non-CMV, and disqualification of the 
driver by the FMCSA Assistant Administrator if the driver's driving 
behavior is determined to constitute an imminent hazard. The rule 
specifies enhanced driver application procedures and State record check 
requirements. In addition, the 2002 rule clarifies FMCSA's regulatory 
relationship to CDLIS by requiring compliance with the current version 
of the AAMVA ``CDLIS State Procedures'' manual, which the CDL 
regulations incorporate by reference.

September 11, 2001

    The terrorists who attacked the World Trade Center towers in New 
York City and the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, fraudulently 
obtained driver's licenses from several States. Those licenses were 
presented as identification to board the airplanes used in the attacks. 
While those licenses were not CDLs, there is a potential risk CDLs or 
CDIPs could be obtained in the same manner to use CMVs, particularly 
those loaded with hazardous materials, for acts of terrorism. This 
potential risk led the States, FMCSA, and Congress to require 
development and implementation of better means for determining the 
identity of license applicants and securing the license document. Other 
measures to prevent terrorists from using CMVs in terrorist attacks 
include development and implementation of security threat assessment 
background checks for drivers to obtain or maintain a hazardous 
materials endorsement on their CDL, as required by section 1012(b) of 
the USA PATRIOT Act (Pub. L. 107-56, October 26, 2001, 115 Stat. 397).
    In addition, the REAL ID Act of 2005 (Pub. L. 109-13, May 11, 2005, 
119 Stat. 231) tightens the verification process for determining a 
person's identity and legal presence in this country before issuing the 
person a driver's license. In working with the Department of Homeland 
Security to implement this Act, FMCSA intends to address the ``State of 
domicile'' requirement in regard to student drivers who obtain driver 
training and want to take their CDL skills test outside their State of 
domicile.
    FMCSA intends to revisit issues addressed in the 1990 NPRM in light 
of the initiatives and events that have taken place since its 
publication. FMCSA will take into consideration the commenters' 
recommendations to the 1990 NPRM, as well as relevant recommendations 
generated by the DOT Office of Inspector General's May 8, 2002, Audit 
Report, Improving Testing and Licensing of Commercial Drivers, and the 
new Congressional requirements found in section 4122 of the Motor 
Carrier Safety Reauthorization Act of 2005.

Conclusion

    Many of the issues addressed in the 1990 NPRM and the public 
comments to these issues did not consider the initiatives and events 
that took place after publication of the NPRM. Therefore, the August 
22, 1990 NPRM is obsolete and it is in the public interest to withdraw 
the document.

    Issued on February 17, 2006.
Annette M. Sandberg,
Administrator.
 [FR Doc. E6-2554 Filed 2-22-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P