49 U.S. Code § 31305 - General driver fitness, testing, and training

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(a) Minimum Standards for Testing and Fitness.— The Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe regulations on minimum standards for testing and ensuring the fitness of an individual operating a commercial motor vehicle. The regulations—
(1) shall prescribe minimum standards for written and driving tests of an individual operating a commercial motor vehicle;
(2) shall require an individual who operates or will operate a commercial motor vehicle to take a driving test in a vehicle representative of the type of vehicle the individual operates or will operate;
(3) shall prescribe minimum testing standards for the operation of a commercial motor vehicle and may prescribe different minimum testing standards for different classes of commercial motor vehicles;
(4) shall ensure that an individual taking the tests has a working knowledge of—
(A) regulations on the safe operation of a commercial motor vehicle prescribed by the Secretary and contained in title 49, Code of Federal Regulations; and
(B) safety systems of the vehicle;
(5) shall ensure that an individual who operates or will operate a commercial motor vehicle carrying a hazardous material—
(A) is qualified to operate the vehicle under regulations on motor vehicle transportation of hazardous material prescribed under chapter 51 of this title;
(B) has a working knowledge of—
(i) those regulations;
(ii) the handling of hazardous material;
(iii) the operation of emergency equipment used in response to emergencies arising out of the transportation of hazardous material; and
(iv) appropriate response procedures to follow in those emergencies; and
(C) is licensed by a State to operate the vehicle after having first been determined under section 5103a of this title as not posing a security risk warranting denial of the license.
(6) shall establish minimum scores for passing the tests;
(7) shall ensure that an individual taking the tests is qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle under regulations prescribed by the Secretary and contained in title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, to the extent the regulations apply to the individual; and
(8) may require—
(A) issuance of a certification of fitness to operate a commercial motor vehicle to an individual passing the tests; and
(B) the individual to have a copy of the certification in the individual’s possession when the individual is operating a commercial motor vehicle.
(b) Requirements for Operating Vehicles.—
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, an individual may operate a commercial motor vehicle only if the individual has passed written and driving tests that meet the minimum standards prescribed by the Secretary under subsection (a) of this section to operate the vehicle and has a commercial driver’s license to operate the vehicle.
(2) The Secretary may prescribe regulations providing that an individual may operate a commercial motor vehicle for not more than 90 days if the individual—
(A) passes a driving test for operating a commercial motor vehicle that meets the minimum standards prescribed under subsection (a) of this section; and
(B) has a driver’s license that is not suspended, revoked, or canceled.
(c) Standards for Training.— Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act of 2012, the Secretary shall issue final regulations establishing minimum entry-level training requirements for an individual operating a commercial motor vehicle—
(1) addressing the knowledge and skills that—
(A) are necessary for an individual operating a commercial motor vehicle to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle; and
(B) must be acquired before obtaining a commercial driver’s license for the first time or upgrading from one class of commercial driver’s license to another class;
(2) addressing the specific training needs of a commercial motor vehicle operator seeking passenger or hazardous materials endorsements;
(3) requiring effective instruction to acquire the knowledge, skills, and training referred to in paragraphs (1) and (2), including classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction;
(4) requiring certification that an individual operating a commercial motor vehicle meets the requirements established by the Secretary; and
(5) requiring a training provider (including a public or private driving school, motor carrier, or owner or operator of a commercial motor vehicle) that offers training that results in the issuance of a certification to an individual under paragraph (4) to demonstrate that the training meets the requirements of the regulations, through a process established by the Secretary.

Source

(Pub. L. 103–272, § 1(e),July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1016; Pub. L. 106–159, title II, § 201(d),Dec. 9, 1999, 113 Stat. 1760; Pub. L. 107–56, title X, § 1012(b),Oct. 26, 2001, 115 Stat. 397; Pub. L. 112–141, div. C, title II, § 32304(a), (c),July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 791, 792.)

Historical and Revision Notes
Revised Section Source (U.S. Code) Source (Statutes at Large)
31305(a)
49 App.:2704(a).
Oct. 27, 1986, Pub. L. 99–570, § 12005(a), (b), 100 Stat. 3207–171.
31305(b)
49 App.:2704(b).

In this section, the word “Federal” is omitted as unnecessary.
In subsection (a), before clause (1), the words “Not later than July 15, 1988” are omitted as obsolete. In clause (3), the words “if the Secretary considers appropriate to carry out the objectives of this title” are omitted as unnecessary.
In subsection (b)(1), the words “taken and” are omitted as unnecessary. The text of 49 App.:2704(b)(3) is omitted as obsolete.
References in Text

The date of enactment of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act of 2012, referred to in subsec. (c), is the date of enactment of title II of div. C of Pub. L. 112–141, which was approved July 6, 2012.
Amendments

2012—Pub. L. 112–141, § 32304(c), substituted “General driver fitness, testing, and training” for “General driver fitness and testing” in section catchline.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 112–141, § 32304(a), added subsec. (c).
2001—Subsec. (a)(5)(C). Pub. L. 107–56added subpar. (C).
1999—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 106–159struck out “to operate the vehicle” after “written and driving tests” and inserted “to operate the vehicle and has a commercial driver’s license to operate the vehicle” before period at end.
Effective Date of 2012 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–141effective Oct. 1, 2012, see section 3(a) ofPub. L. 112–141, set out as an Effective and Termination Dates of 2012 Amendment note under section 101 of Title 23, Highways.
Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Requirements Relating to Sleep Disorders

Pub. L. 113–45, § 1,Oct. 15, 2013, 127 Stat. 557, provided that:
“(a) In General.—The Secretary of Transportation may implement or enforce a requirement providing for the screening, testing, or treatment (including consideration of all possible treatment alternatives) of individuals operating commercial motor vehicles for sleep disorders only if the requirement is adopted pursuant to a rulemaking proceeding.
“(b) Applicability.—Subsection (a) shall not apply to a requirement that was in force before September 1, 2013.
“(c) Sleep Disorders Defined.—In this section, the term ‘sleep disorders’ includes obstructive sleep apnea.”
Operation of Commercial Motor Vehicles by Individuals Who Use Insulin To Treat Diabetes Mellitus

Pub. L. 109–59, title IV, § 4129,Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1742, provided that:
“(a) Revision of Final Rule.—Not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act [Aug. 10, 2005], the Secretary [of Transportation] shall begin revising the final rule published in the Federal Register on September 3, 2003, relating to persons with diabetes, to allow individuals who use insulin to treat their diabetes to operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce. The revised final rule shall provide for the individual assessment of applicants who use insulin to treat their diabetes and who are, except for their use of insulin, otherwise qualified under the Federal motor carrier safety regulations. The revised final rule shall be consistent with the criteria described in section 4018 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century [Pub. L. 105–178] (49 U.S.C. 31305 note) and shall conclude the rulemaking process in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration docket relating to qualifications of drivers with diabetes.
“(b) No Period of Commercial Driving While Using Insulin Required for Qualification.—After the earlier of the date of issuance of the revised final rule under subsection (a) or the 90th day following the date of enactment of this Act [Aug. 10, 2005], the Secretary may not require individuals with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus who are applying for an exemption from the physical qualification standards to have experience operating commercial motor vehicles while using insulin in order to be exempted from the physical qualification standards to operate a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce.
“(c) Minimum Period of Insulin Use.—Subject to subsection (b), the Secretary shall require individuals with insulin-treated diabetes mellitus to have a minimum period of insulin use to demonstrate stable control of diabetes before operating a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce. Such demonstration shall be consistent with the findings reported in July 2000, by the expert medical panel established by the Secretary, in ‘A Report to Congress on the Feasibility of a Program to Qualify Individuals with Insulin-Treated Diabetes Mellitus to Operate Commercial Motor Vehicles in Interstate Commerce as Directed by the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century’. For individuals who have been newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, the minimum period of insulin use may not exceed 2 months, unless directed by the treating physician. For individuals who have type 2 diabetes and are converting to insulin use, the minimum period of insulin use may not exceed 1 month, unless directed by the treating physician.
“(d) Limitations.—Insulin-treated individuals may not be held by the Secretary to a higher standard of physical qualification in order to operate a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce than other individuals applying to operate, or operating, a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce; except to the extent that limited operating, monitoring, and medical requirements are deemed medically necessary under regulations issued by the Secretary.”
CDL School Bus Endorsement

Pub. L. 106–159, title II, § 214,Dec. 9, 1999, 113 Stat. 1766, provided that: “The Secretary shall conduct a rulemaking to establish a special commercial driver’s license endorsement for drivers of school buses. The endorsement shall, at a minimum—
“(1) include a driving skills test in a school bus; and
“(2) address proper safety procedures for—
“(A) loading and unloading children;
“(B) using emergency exits; and
“(C) traversing highway rail grade crossings.”
Medical Certificate

Pub. L. 106–159, title II, § 215,Dec. 9, 1999, 113 Stat. 1767, provided that: “The Secretary shall initiate a rulemaking to provide for a Federal medical qualification certificate to be made a part of commercial driver’s licenses.”
Insulin Treated Diabetes Mellitus

Pub. L. 105–178, title IV, § 4018,June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 413, provided that:
“(a) Determination.—Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act [June 9, 1998], the Secretary [of Transportation] shall determine whether a practicable and cost-effective screening, operating, and monitoring protocol could likely be developed for insulin treated diabetes mellitus individuals who want to operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce that would ensure a level of safety equal to or greater than that achieved with the current prohibition on individuals with insulin treated diabetes mellitus driving such vehicles.
“(b) Compilation and Evaluation.—Prior to making the determination in subsection (a), the Secretary shall compile and evaluate research and other information on the effects of insulin treated diabetes mellitus on driving performance. In preparing the compilation and evaluation, the Secretary shall, at a minimum—
“(1) consult with States that have developed and are implementing a screening process to identify individuals with insulin treated diabetes mellitus who may obtain waivers to drive commercial motor vehicles in intrastate commerce;
“(2) evaluate the Department’s policy and actions to permit certain insulin treated diabetes mellitus individuals who meet selection criteria and who successfully comply with the approved monitoring protocol to operate in other modes of transportation;
“(3) assess the possible legal consequences of permitting insulin treated diabetes mellitus individuals to drive commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce;
“(4) analyze available data on the safety performance of diabetic drivers of motor vehicles;
“(5) assess the relevance of intrastate driving and experiences of other modes of transportation to interstate commercial motor vehicle operations; and
“(6) consult with interested groups knowledgeable about diabetes and related issues.
“(c) Report to Congress.—If the Secretary determines that no protocol described in subsection (a) could likely be developed, the Secretary shall report to Congress the basis for such determination.
“(d) Initiation of Rulemaking.—If the Secretary determines that a protocol described in subsection (a) could likely be developed, the Secretary shall report to Congress a description of the elements of such protocol and shall promptly initiate a rulemaking proceeding to implement such protocol.”
Performance-Based CDL Testing

Pub. L. 105–178, title IV, § 4019,June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 414, provided that:
“(a) Review.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act [June 9, 1998], the Secretary [of Transportation] shall complete a review of the procedures established and implemented by States under section 31305 of title 49, United States Code, to determine if the current system for testing is an accurate measure and reflection of an individual’s knowledge and skills as an operator of a commercial motor vehicle and to identify methods to improve testing and licensing standards, including identifying the benefits and costs of a graduated licensing system.
“(b) Regulations.—The Secretary may issue regulations under section 31305 of title 49, United States Code, reflecting the results of the review.”
Driver Fatigue

Pub. L. 105–178, title IV, § 4021,June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 414, provided that:
“(a) Technologies To Reduce Fatigue of Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators.—
“(1) Development of technologies.—As part of the activities of the Secretary [of Transportation] relating to the fatigue of commercial motor vehicle operators, the Secretary shall encourage the research, development, and demonstration of technologies that may aid in reducing such fatigue.
“(2) Matters to be taken into account.—In carrying out paragraph (1), the Secretary shall take into account—
“(A) the degree to which the technology will be cost efficient;
“(B) the degree to which the technology can be effectively used in diverse climatic regions of the Nation; and
“(C) the degree to which the application of the technology will further emissions reductions, energy conservation, and other transportation goals.
“(3) Funding.—The Secretary may use amounts made available under section 5001(a)(2) of this Act [112 Stat. 419].
“(b) Nonsedating Medications.—The Secretary shall review available information on the effects of medications (including antihistamines) on driver fatigue, awareness, and performance and shall consider encouraging, if appropriate, the use of nonsedating medications (including nonsedating antihistamines) as a means of reducing the adverse effects of the use of other medications by drivers.”

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The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013

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49 USCDescription of ChangeSession YearPublic LawStatutes at Large
§ 31305nt new2013113-45 [Sec.] 1127 Stat. 557
§ 313052012112-141 [Sec.] 32304(c)126 Stat. 792
§ 313052012112-141 [Sec.] 32304(a)126 Stat. 791

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49 CFR - Transportation

49 CFR Part 382 - CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES AND ALCOHOL USE AND TESTING

49 CFR Part 383 - COMMERCIAL DRIVER'S LICENSE STANDARDS; REQUIREMENTS AND PENALTIES

49 CFR Part 384 - STATE COMPLIANCE WITH COMMERCIAL DRIVER'S LICENSE PROGRAM

49 CFR Part 389 - RULEMAKING PROCEDURES—FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY REGULATIONS

 

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