Commercial Driver's License (CDL): Application for Exemption; U.S. Custom Harvesters, Inc. (USCHI), 49977-49979 [2018-21541]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 192 / Wednesday, October 3, 2018 / Notices The Unified Carrier Registration Plan Procedures Subcommittee will continue its work in developing and implementing the Unified Carrier Registration Plan and Agreement. An agenda for this meeting will be available in advance of the meeting at https://ucrplan.org. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Avelino Gutierrez, Chair, Unified Carrier Registration Board of Directors, at (505) 827–4565. MATTERS TO BE CONSIDERED: Issued on: September 28, 2018. Larry W. Minor, Associate Administrator, Office of Policy, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. [FR Doc. 2018–21622 Filed 10–1–18; 4:15 pm] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration [Docket No. FMCSA–2017–0133] Commercial Driver’s License (CDL): Application for Exemption; U.S. Custom Harvesters, Inc. (USCHI) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice of final disposition; grant of application for exemption. AGENCY: FMCSA announces its decision to grant the U.S. Custom Harvesters, Inc. (USCHI) an exemption from the ‘‘K’’ intrastate restriction on commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) held by custom harvester drivers operating in interstate commerce. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) exempt drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) controlled and operated by a person engaged in interstate custom harvesting, including the requirement that drivers be at least 21 years old. However, many younger custom harvester drivers hold CDLs with an intrastate-only (or ‘‘K’’) restriction. This has caused drivers of USCHI member companies to be cited during roadside inspections in a different State, as the ‘‘K’’ restriction means that the license is invalid outside the State of issuance, even when the younger driver is operating under the custom harvester exemption. FMCSA has analyzed the exemption application and the public comments and has determined that the exemption, subject to the terms and conditions imposed, will achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such exemption. daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:05 Oct 02, 2018 Jkt 247001 49977 Request for Exemption can spend from a few days to several months cutting crops for one farmer. USCHI stated that custom harvesters are experiencing a problem with the exemption in 49 CFR 391.2(a). It was adopted by the Federal Highway Administration on December 22, 1971 [34 FR 24218] and has been widely used by custom harvesters since then. Under this provision, drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) controlled and operated by a person engaged in custom harvesting are exempt from all of part 391, including the requirement to be at least 21 years of age to operate a CMV in interstate commerce. USCHI member companies frequently employ drivers 18–21 years of age, who are issued commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) with a ‘‘K’’ restriction that makes the license valid only for operations within the issuing State (49 CFR 383.23(a)(2) and 383.153(a)(10)(vii)). The problem arises because the CDL regulations, adopted long after 1971, were not drafted to include an exemption corresponding to section 391.2(a). As a result, the ‘‘K’’ restriction means that the license is invalid outside the issuing State, even though section 391.2(a) exempts younger custom harvester drivers from the 21-year-old age requirement when operating in interstate commerce. Section 391.2(a) does not preempt State CDL regulations, like requirement in section 383.23(a)(2) to ‘‘possess a CDL which meets the standards contained in subpart J of this part,’’ including any ‘‘K’’ restriction imposed under section 383.153(a)(10)(vii) of subpart J. This has caused drivers employed by USCHI’s members to be cited for CDL violations during inspections, which is an issue not only for the individual driver, but also for the custom harvester employer, whose safety record is adversely affected. Custom harvesters are businesses that supply the equipment and labor to assist farmers with harvesting during their busiest seasons. Typically, there are two different classes of operations, grain harvesting and forage harvesting. A grain harvester uses combines to harvest wheat, corn, barley, canola, sunflowers, soybeans, and grain sorghum, among others. These crop products are transported to an elevator or on-farm storage, where the crop is stored and later transported elsewhere to be processed into products for public use. A forage harvester uses a chopper to harvest whole-plant crops such as corn, sorghum, milo, triticale, and alfalfa. These crops are used for silage to feed livestock in dairies and feedlots. Custom harvesters travel from State to State and Public Comments On May 1, 2017, FMCSA published notice of the USCHI application for exemption and requested public comment (82 FR 20415). The Agency received a total of thirteen sets of comments. Ten comments—all submitted by custom harvesters— supported the exemption. Two commenters—the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) expressed various concerns with the request. One other commenter did not take a position on the exemption. Those filing in support of the request stated that a large percentage of their employees have been under the age of 21. They rely on the rule allowing 18- The exemption is effective from October 3, 2018 through October 3, 2023. DATES: Mr. Thomas Yager, Chief, FMCSA Driver and Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle Safety Standards; Telephone: 614–942–6477. Email: MCPSD@dot.gov. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Background FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant exemptions from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption request in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must provide the public an opportunity to inspect the information relevant to the application, including any safety analyses that have been conducted. The Agency must also provide an opportunity for public comment on the request. The Agency reviews the safety analyses and public comments submitted, and determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The decision of the Agency must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR 381.315(b)) with the reason for the grant or denial, and, if granted, the specific person or class of persons receiving the exemption, and the regulatory provision or provisions from which the exemption is granted. The notice must also specify the effective period and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)). PO 00000 Frm 00073 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 E:\FR\FM\03OCN1.SGM 03OCN1 daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES 49978 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 192 / Wednesday, October 3, 2018 / Notices year-olds to obtain a CDL for intrastate (‘‘K’’ restricted) operations [49 CFR 383.25(a)(4) and 383.71(a)(2)(i)] to have enough employees to effectively run their businesses. This provision has allowed workers under the age of 21 to obtain experience with truck driving. The commenters said that many of these individuals have gone on to be professional, full-time truck drivers, and that all of them would cite the harvest work as pivotal to their training as a CDL driver. They argued that the exemption from the ‘‘K’’ restriction is incredibly important to their businesses, as well as to the development of quality, responsible truck drivers for America’s highways. Others commenting in favor of the exemption said that the way the current law is interpreted causes much difficulty. Custom harvesters can hire and train entry-level drivers, but it is difficult to find employees who are willing to work seasonal jobs. In many cases, the individuals most likely to work in these entry-level positions are 18- to 20-year-olds. Many custom harvesters feel that 49 CFR 391.2(a) is very clear; however, some States have different interpretations of the exemption. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) was concerned that the remedy sought by USCHI will have unintended consequences on interstate commerce, is cumbersome for State driver licensing agencies (SDLAs) responsible for issuing the CDL, and addresses only a symptom of the identified problem while ignoring the root cause. ODOT states that this exemption would create a burden for SDLAs in the licensing process. Accommodating this exemption would require time consuming and costly programming work with no nexus to highway safety. The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) also expressed concern with the USCHI exemption request. AAMVA commented that retaining State discretion on age limitations for intrastate drivers should remain within the purview of the States. Further, utilizing the ‘‘K’’ restriction on a restricted CDL ensures underage operators of CMVs do not fully participate, unrestricted, in interstate commerce. At issue is the removal of an intrastate restriction that could allow an untested, younger driver, access to the full interstate system without restriction. FMCSA Decision FMCSA has evaluated USCHI’s application for exemption and the VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:05 Oct 02, 2018 Jkt 247001 public comments and decided to grant the exemption. One requirement of any exemption issued under 49 CFR part 381 is that it be likely to achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved by the current regulation. In this case interstate operations by custom harvester drivers below the age of 21 is already authorized by 49 CFR 391.2(a), and has been since 1971. However, it conflicts with, but does not preempt, the subsequently adopted requirements of 49 CFR 383.23(a)(2) and 383.153(a)(10)(vii). FMCSA believes this exemption, by removing the obstacle posed by sections 383.23(a)(2) and 383.153(a)(10)(vii), would not have any impact on the safe operation of CMVs and is therefore likely to achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 391.2(a)). It should be noted that this exemption does not require any special action or processing by the State driver licensing agencies. They will continue to place the ‘‘K’’ restriction when called for, but enforcement officers will disregard it in situations involving drivers who can demonstrate eligibility for the custom harvester exemption. Stakeholders The information below is provided to clarify what impact or meaning this exemption will have on the following stakeholders. Custom Harvester Drivers Custom harvester drivers will be able to display this exemption notice to help explain that when operating in that capacity, they are permitted to operate outside the State issuing their CDL even though the license has a ‘‘K’’ (intrastate only) restriction. Enforcement Officers This exemption notice will explain to law enforcement officers that 49 CFR 391.2(a) authorizes custom harvester drivers to operate in interstate commerce even though under 21 years of age. The notice will explain that a ‘‘K’’ restriction on these drivers’ CDLs does not limit them from driving outside the license-issuing State when they are operating as custom harvesters in accordance with 49 CFR 391.2(a). State Driver Licensing Agencies This exemption requires no action or inaction on the part of State driverlicensing agencies. They will continue to issue CDLs with a ‘‘K’’ restriction to drivers under the age of 21. PO 00000 Frm 00074 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Terms and Conditions of the Exemption (1) Drivers for custom harvesters operating in interstate commerce shall be exempt from any intrastate-only ‘‘K’’ restriction on their CDLs when operating under the provisions of this exemption. (2) Drivers must have a copy of this notice in their possession while operating under the terms of the exemption. The exemption document must be presented to law enforcement officials upon request. (3) Drivers to be included in this exemption are identified in 49 CFR 391.2 as those operating a CMV to transport farm machinery, supplies, or both, to or from a farm for customharvesting operations on a farm; or transport custom-harvested crops to storage or market. (4) To ensure that the driver is authentically operating as a custom harvester, he/she should be able to provide at least three of the following methods of verification: (a) The driver may have on hand a valid custom harvesting document such as a current date agricultural commodity scale sheet, a current date custom harvesting load sheet, an official company document stating the company purpose, etc.; (b) The CMV may have license plates specific to custom harvesting, or the verbiage ‘‘Harvesting’’ may be part of the business signage on the vehicle; (c) The CMV may be designed to haul a harvested agricultural commodity or equipment for harvesting, or be a support vehicle for custom-harvesting operations such as a service truck; (d) The CMV may be hauling a harvested agricultural commodity or equipment for the purpose of custom harvesting; (e) The CMV may have newly harvested commodity or remnants on board; (f) The driver will be able to provide a verifiable location of the current harvesting operation or delivery location for a harvested commodity. Period of the Exemption This exemption from the requirements of 49 CFR 383.23(a)(2) and 383.153(a)(10)(vii) is effective from October 3, 2018 through October 3, 2023. Preemption In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31313(d), as implemented by 49 CFR 381.600, during the period this exemption is in effect, no State shall enforce any law or regulation applicable to interstate commerce that conflicts E:\FR\FM\03OCN1.SGM 03OCN1 Federal Register / Vol. 83, No. 192 / Wednesday, October 3, 2018 / Notices with or is inconsistent with this exemption with respect to a firm or person operating under the exemption. States may, but are not required to, adopt the same exemption with respect to operations in intrastate commerce. Notification to FMCSA Under this exemption, the custom harvester employer must notify FMCSA within 5 business days of any accident (as defined in 49 CFR 390.5), involving any of the motor carrier’s drivers operating under the terms of this exemption. The notification must include the following information: (a) Identity of Exemption: ‘‘USCHI’’ (b) Date of the accident, (c) City or town, and State, in which the accident occurred, or closest to the accident scene, (d) Driver’s name and license number, (e) Co-driver’s name and license number, (f) Vehicle number and State license number, (g) Number of individuals suffering physical injury, (h) Number of fatalities, (i) The police-reported cause of the accident, (j) Whether the driver was cited for violation of any traffic laws, motor carrier safety regulations, and (k) The total driving time and total onduty time period prior to the accident. Accident notifications shall be emailed to MCPSD@dot.gov. Termination daltland on DSKBBV9HB2PROD with NOTICES FMCSA believes that the drivers of custom harvesting vehicles will continue to maintain their previous safety record while operating under this exemption. However, should problems occur, FMCSA will take all steps necessary to protect the public interest, including revocation or restriction of the exemption. FMCSA will immediately revoke or restrict the exemption for failure to comply with its terms and conditions. Issued on: September 26, 2018. Raymond P. Martinez, Administrator. [FR Doc. 2018–21541 Filed 10–2–18; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 4910–EX–P VerDate Sep<11>2014 18:05 Oct 02, 2018 Jkt 247001 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [Docket Number NHTSA–2018–0060] Reports, Forms, and Record Keeping Requirements, Agency Information Collection Activity Under OMB Review National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), DOT. ACTION: Notice and request for comments. AGENCY: In compliance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, this notice announces that the Information Collection Request (ICR) abstracted below is being forwarded to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and comments. The ICR describes the nature of the information collection and its expected burden. A Federal Register Notice with a 60-day comment period soliciting public comments on the following information collection was published on July 17, 2018. This notice addresses comments received. SUMMARY: Written comments should be submitted on or before November 2, 2018. DATES: Send comments to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management and Budget, 725 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20503, Attention: NHTSA Desk Officer. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For additional information or access to background documents, contact Mary Byrd, Office of Behavioral Safety, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, W46–466, Washington, DC 20590; telephone: (202) 366–5595; email: mary.byrd@dot.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: ADDRESSES: I. Information Collection Request Before a Federal agency can collect certain information from the public, it must receive approval from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). In compliance with these requirements, this notice announces that the following information collection request has been forwarded to OMB. OMB Control Number: To be issued at time of approval. Title: Emergency Medical Services Sleep Health and Fatigue Education. Form Numbers: NHTSA Forms 1460, 1461, 1462, 1463, 1464, 1465, 1466, and 1467. Type of Review: New information collection. PO 00000 Frm 00075 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 49979 Abstract: NHTSA proposes to collect information from Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel who operate ambulances on the roadway for a onetime voluntary study to evaluate the effectiveness of a fatigue mitigation intervention that delivers education and training. Up to 200 EMS agencies across the United States will be contacted and screened in order to recruit a total of 30 agencies to participate in the study. NHTSA anticipates contacting up to 100 EMS personnel per participating agency (3,000 total) to screen and recruit 1,500 eligible participants for the study. NHTSA expects 1,200 voluntary participants to complete the sign-up process, including providing demographic information and shift schedules, and to consent to participate in the 24-week study. Participants will complete a baseline survey that includes self-reported fatigue and sleepiness and will retake the survey halfway through the study and again at the end of the study. All participants will complete the ten ten-minute training modules during the study period. Once the study is underway, participants will be asked to respond to daily text messages about sleepiness and fatigue for eight weeks of the 24-week study. Finally, NHTSA will ask 30 of the 1,200 participants to provide additional information by keeping a daily sleep diary for eight weeks and by taking a brief vigilance task test to measure fatigue at the beginning and end of each shift over eight days. Respondents: NHTSA anticipates contacting up to 3,000 EMS personnel across 30 participating agencies to recruit up to 1,200 voluntary respondents. Estimated Total Annual Burden: The total estimated burden for EMS agency recruitment (17 hours), recruitment of EMS clinicians (250 hours), the consenting process (250 hours), initial data collection and training (2,900), follow-up data collection (6,600), and additional data collection for assessing measurement error (124) is 10,141 hours. II. Comment Response On July 14th, 2018, NHTSA published a notice in the Federal Register (NHTSA–2018–0060) with a 60-day public comment period to announce this proposed information collection. As of the closing date of September 17th, 2018, two comments were received in response to this notice. Both comments were positive and supportive of this information collection request. E:\FR\FM\03OCN1.SGM 03OCN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 83, Number 192 (Wednesday, October 3, 2018)]
[Notices]
[Pages 49977-49979]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2018-21541]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2017-0133]


Commercial Driver's License (CDL): Application for Exemption; 
U.S. Custom Harvesters, Inc. (USCHI)

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

ACTION: Notice of final disposition; grant of application for 
exemption.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to grant the U.S. Custom 
Harvesters, Inc. (USCHI) an exemption from the ``K'' intrastate 
restriction on commercial driver's licenses (CDLs) held by custom 
harvester drivers operating in interstate commerce. The Federal Motor 
Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) exempt drivers of commercial motor 
vehicles (CMVs) controlled and operated by a person engaged in 
interstate custom harvesting, including the requirement that drivers be 
at least 21 years old. However, many younger custom harvester drivers 
hold CDLs with an intrastate-only (or ``K'') restriction. This has 
caused drivers of USCHI member companies to be cited during roadside 
inspections in a different State, as the ``K'' restriction means that 
the license is invalid outside the State of issuance, even when the 
younger driver is operating under the custom harvester exemption. FMCSA 
has analyzed the exemption application and the public comments and has 
determined that the exemption, subject to the terms and conditions 
imposed, will achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or 
greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such exemption.

DATES: The exemption is effective from October 3, 2018 through October 
3, 2023.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Thomas Yager, Chief, FMCSA Driver 
and Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle 
Safety Standards; Telephone: 614-942-6477. Email: [email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Background

    FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant 
exemptions from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). 
FMCSA must publish a notice of each exemption request in the Federal 
Register (49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must provide the public an 
opportunity to inspect the information relevant to the application, 
including any safety analyses that have been conducted. The Agency must 
also provide an opportunity for public comment on the request.
    The Agency reviews the safety analyses and public comments 
submitted, and determines whether granting the exemption would likely 
achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level 
that would be achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The 
decision of the Agency must be published in the Federal Register (49 
CFR 381.315(b)) with the reason for the grant or denial, and, if 
granted, the specific person or class of persons receiving the 
exemption, and the regulatory provision or provisions from which the 
exemption is granted. The notice must also specify the effective period 
and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The exemption 
may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)).

Request for Exemption

    Custom harvesters are businesses that supply the equipment and 
labor to assist farmers with harvesting during their busiest seasons. 
Typically, there are two different classes of operations, grain 
harvesting and forage harvesting. A grain harvester uses combines to 
harvest wheat, corn, barley, canola, sunflowers, soybeans, and grain 
sorghum, among others. These crop products are transported to an 
elevator or on-farm storage, where the crop is stored and later 
transported elsewhere to be processed into products for public use. A 
forage harvester uses a chopper to harvest whole-plant crops such as 
corn, sorghum, milo, triticale, and alfalfa. These crops are used for 
silage to feed livestock in dairies and feedlots. Custom harvesters 
travel from State to State and can spend from a few days to several 
months cutting crops for one farmer.
    USCHI stated that custom harvesters are experiencing a problem with 
the exemption in 49 CFR 391.2(a). It was adopted by the Federal Highway 
Administration on December 22, 1971 [34 FR 24218] and has been widely 
used by custom harvesters since then. Under this provision, drivers of 
commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) controlled and operated by a person 
engaged in custom harvesting are exempt from all of part 391, including 
the requirement to be at least 21 years of age to operate a CMV in 
interstate commerce. USCHI member companies frequently employ drivers 
18-21 years of age, who are issued commercial driver's licenses (CDLs) 
with a ``K'' restriction that makes the license valid only for 
operations within the issuing State (49 CFR 383.23(a)(2) and 
383.153(a)(10)(vii)). The problem arises because the CDL regulations, 
adopted long after 1971, were not drafted to include an exemption 
corresponding to section 391.2(a). As a result, the ``K'' restriction 
means that the license is invalid outside the issuing State, even 
though section 391.2(a) exempts younger custom harvester drivers from 
the 21-year-old age requirement when operating in interstate commerce. 
Section 391.2(a) does not preempt State CDL regulations, like 
requirement in section 383.23(a)(2) to ``possess a CDL which meets the 
standards contained in subpart J of this part,'' including any ``K'' 
restriction imposed under section 383.153(a)(10)(vii) of subpart J. 
This has caused drivers employed by USCHI's members to be cited for CDL 
violations during inspections, which is an issue not only for the 
individual driver, but also for the custom harvester employer, whose 
safety record is adversely affected.

Public Comments

    On May 1, 2017, FMCSA published notice of the USCHI application for 
exemption and requested public comment (82 FR 20415). The Agency 
received a total of thirteen sets of comments. Ten comments--all 
submitted by custom harvesters--supported the exemption. Two 
commenters--the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and the 
American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) expressed 
various concerns with the request. One other commenter did not take a 
position on the exemption.
    Those filing in support of the request stated that a large 
percentage of their employees have been under the age of 21. They rely 
on the rule allowing 18-

[[Page 49978]]

year-olds to obtain a CDL for intrastate (``K'' restricted) operations 
[49 CFR 383.25(a)(4) and 383.71(a)(2)(i)] to have enough employees to 
effectively run their businesses. This provision has allowed workers 
under the age of 21 to obtain experience with truck driving. The 
commenters said that many of these individuals have gone on to be 
professional, full-time truck drivers, and that all of them would cite 
the harvest work as pivotal to their training as a CDL driver. They 
argued that the exemption from the ``K'' restriction is incredibly 
important to their businesses, as well as to the development of 
quality, responsible truck drivers for America's highways.
    Others commenting in favor of the exemption said that the way the 
current law is interpreted causes much difficulty. Custom harvesters 
can hire and train entry-level drivers, but it is difficult to find 
employees who are willing to work seasonal jobs. In many cases, the 
individuals most likely to work in these entry-level positions are 18- 
to 20-year-olds. Many custom harvesters feel that 49 CFR 391.2(a) is 
very clear; however, some States have different interpretations of the 
exemption.
    The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) was concerned that 
the remedy sought by USCHI will have unintended consequences on 
interstate commerce, is cumbersome for State driver licensing agencies 
(SDLAs) responsible for issuing the CDL, and addresses only a symptom 
of the identified problem while ignoring the root cause. ODOT states 
that this exemption would create a burden for SDLAs in the licensing 
process. Accommodating this exemption would require time consuming and 
costly programming work with no nexus to highway safety.
    The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) 
also expressed concern with the USCHI exemption request. AAMVA 
commented that retaining State discretion on age limitations for 
intrastate drivers should remain within the purview of the States. 
Further, utilizing the ``K'' restriction on a restricted CDL ensures 
underage operators of CMVs do not fully participate, unrestricted, in 
interstate commerce. At issue is the removal of an intrastate 
restriction that could allow an untested, younger driver, access to the 
full interstate system without restriction.

FMCSA Decision

    FMCSA has evaluated USCHI's application for exemption and the 
public comments and decided to grant the exemption. One requirement of 
any exemption issued under 49 CFR part 381 is that it be likely to 
achieve a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level 
that would be achieved by the current regulation. In this case 
interstate operations by custom harvester drivers below the age of 21 
is already authorized by 49 CFR 391.2(a), and has been since 1971. 
However, it conflicts with, but does not preempt, the subsequently 
adopted requirements of 49 CFR 383.23(a)(2) and 383.153(a)(10)(vii). 
FMCSA believes this exemption, by removing the obstacle posed by 
sections 383.23(a)(2) and 383.153(a)(10)(vii), would not have any 
impact on the safe operation of CMVs and is therefore likely to achieve 
a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would 
be achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 391.2(a)).
    It should be noted that this exemption does not require any special 
action or processing by the State driver licensing agencies. They will 
continue to place the ``K'' restriction when called for, but 
enforcement officers will disregard it in situations involving drivers 
who can demonstrate eligibility for the custom harvester exemption.

Stakeholders

    The information below is provided to clarify what impact or meaning 
this exemption will have on the following stakeholders.

Custom Harvester Drivers

    Custom harvester drivers will be able to display this exemption 
notice to help explain that when operating in that capacity, they are 
permitted to operate outside the State issuing their CDL even though 
the license has a ``K'' (intrastate only) restriction.

Enforcement Officers

    This exemption notice will explain to law enforcement officers that 
49 CFR 391.2(a) authorizes custom harvester drivers to operate in 
interstate commerce even though under 21 years of age. The notice will 
explain that a ``K'' restriction on these drivers' CDLs does not limit 
them from driving outside the license-issuing State when they are 
operating as custom harvesters in accordance with 49 CFR 391.2(a).

State Driver Licensing Agencies

    This exemption requires no action or inaction on the part of State 
driver-licensing agencies. They will continue to issue CDLs with a 
``K'' restriction to drivers under the age of 21.

Terms and Conditions of the Exemption

    (1) Drivers for custom harvesters operating in interstate commerce 
shall be exempt from any intrastate-only ``K'' restriction on their 
CDLs when operating under the provisions of this exemption.
    (2) Drivers must have a copy of this notice in their possession 
while operating under the terms of the exemption. The exemption 
document must be presented to law enforcement officials upon request.
    (3) Drivers to be included in this exemption are identified in 49 
CFR 391.2 as those operating a CMV to transport farm machinery, 
supplies, or both, to or from a farm for custom-harvesting operations 
on a farm; or transport custom-harvested crops to storage or market.
    (4) To ensure that the driver is authentically operating as a 
custom harvester, he/she should be able to provide at least three of 
the following methods of verification:
    (a) The driver may have on hand a valid custom harvesting document 
such as a current date agricultural commodity scale sheet, a current 
date custom harvesting load sheet, an official company document stating 
the company purpose, etc.;
    (b) The CMV may have license plates specific to custom harvesting, 
or the verbiage ``Harvesting'' may be part of the business signage on 
the vehicle;
    (c) The CMV may be designed to haul a harvested agricultural 
commodity or equipment for harvesting, or be a support vehicle for 
custom-harvesting operations such as a service truck;
    (d) The CMV may be hauling a harvested agricultural commodity or 
equipment for the purpose of custom harvesting;
    (e) The CMV may have newly harvested commodity or remnants on 
board;
    (f) The driver will be able to provide a verifiable location of the 
current harvesting operation or delivery location for a harvested 
commodity.

Period of the Exemption

    This exemption from the requirements of 49 CFR 383.23(a)(2) and 
383.153(a)(10)(vii) is effective from October 3, 2018 through October 
3, 2023.

Preemption

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31313(d), as implemented by 49 CFR 
381.600, during the period this exemption is in effect, no State shall 
enforce any law or regulation applicable to interstate commerce that 
conflicts

[[Page 49979]]

with or is inconsistent with this exemption with respect to a firm or 
person operating under the exemption. States may, but are not required 
to, adopt the same exemption with respect to operations in intrastate 
commerce.

Notification to FMCSA

    Under this exemption, the custom harvester employer must notify 
FMCSA within 5 business days of any accident (as defined in 49 CFR 
390.5), involving any of the motor carrier's drivers operating under 
the terms of this exemption. The notification must include the 
following information:
    (a) Identity of Exemption: ``USCHI''
    (b) Date of the accident,
    (c) City or town, and State, in which the accident occurred, or 
closest to the accident scene,
    (d) Driver's name and license number,
    (e) Co-driver's name and license number,
    (f) Vehicle number and State license number,
    (g) Number of individuals suffering physical injury,
    (h) Number of fatalities,
    (i) The police-reported cause of the accident,
    (j) Whether the driver was cited for violation of any traffic laws, 
motor carrier safety regulations, and
    (k) The total driving time and total on-duty time period prior to 
the accident.
    Accident notifications shall be emailed to [email protected].

Termination

    FMCSA believes that the drivers of custom harvesting vehicles will 
continue to maintain their previous safety record while operating under 
this exemption. However, should problems occur, FMCSA will take all 
steps necessary to protect the public interest, including revocation or 
restriction of the exemption. FMCSA will immediately revoke or restrict 
the exemption for failure to comply with its terms and conditions.

    Issued on: September 26, 2018.
Raymond P. Martinez,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2018-21541 Filed 10-2-18; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P