Brad Pistotnik Law
Abogado El Toro

Part 383 - Commercial Driver’s License Standards; Requirements & Penalties

Part 383 - Commercial Driver’s License Standards; Requirements & Penalties

(a) The purpose of this part is to help reduce or prevent truck and bus accidents, fatalities, and injuries by requiring drivers to have a single commercial motor vehicle driver's license and by disqualifying drivers who operate commercial motor vehicles in an unsafe manner.

(b) This part:

(1) Prohibits a commercial motor vehicle driver from having more than one commercial motor vehicle driver's license;

(2) Requires a driver to notify the driver's current employer and the driver's State of domicile of certain convictions;

(3) Requires that a driver provide previous employment information when applying for employment as an operator of a commercial motor vehicle;

(4) Prohibits an employer from allowing a person with a suspended license to operate a commercial motor vehicle;

(5) Establishes periods of disqualification and penalties for those persons convicted of certain criminal and other offenses and serious traffic violations, or subject to any suspensions, revocations, or cancellations of certain driving privileges;

(6) Establishes testing and licensing requirements for commercial motor vehicle operators;

(7) Requires States to give knowledge and skills tests to all qualified applicants for commercial drivers' licenses which meet the Federal standard;

(8) Sets forth commercial motor vehicle groups and endorsements;

(9) Sets forth the knowledge and skills test requirements for the motor vehicle groups and endorsements;

(10) Sets forth the Federal standards for procedures, methods, and minimum passing scores for States and others to use in testing and licensing commercial motor vehicle operators; and (11) Establishes requirements for the State issued commercial license documentation.

Sec. 383.3 Applicability.

(a) The rules in this part apply to every person who operates a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate, foreign, or intrastate commerce, to all employers of such persons, and to all States.

(b) The exceptions contained in Sec. 390.3(f) of this subchapter do not apply to this part. The employers and drivers identified in Sec. 390.3(f) must comply with the requirements of this part, unless otherwise provided in this section.

(c) Exception for certain military drivers. Each State must exempt from the requirements of this part individuals who operate CMVs for military purposes. This exception is applicable to active duty military personnel; members of the military reserves; member of the national guard on active duty, including personnel on full-time national guard duty, personnel on part-time national guard training, and national guard military technicians (civilians who are required to wear military uniforms); and active duty U.S. Coast Guard personnel. This exception is not applicable to U.S. Reserve technicians.

(d) Exception for farmers, firefighters, emergency response vehicle drivers, and drivers removing snow and ice. A State may, at its discretion, exempt individuals identified in paragraphs (d)(1), (d)(2), and (d)(3) of this section from the requirements of this part. The use of this waiver is limited to the driver's home State unless there is a reciprocity agreement with adjoining States.

(1) Operators of a farm vehicle which is:

(i) Controlled and operated by a farmer, including operation by employees or family members;

(ii) Used to transport either agricultural products, farm machinery, farm supplies, or both to or from a farm;

(iii) Not used in the operations of a common or contract motor carrier; and

(iv) Used within 241 kilometers (150 miles) of the farmer's farm.

(2) Firefighters and other persons who operate CMVs which are necessary to the preservation of life or property or the execution of emergency governmental functions, are equipped with audible and visual signals and are not subject to normal traffic regulation. These vehicles include fire trucks, hook and ladder trucks, foam or water transport trucks, police SWAT team vehicles, ambulances, or other vehicles that are used in response to emergencies.

(3)(i) A driver, employed by an eligible unit of local government, operating a commercial motor vehicle within the boundaries of that unit for the purpose of removing snow or ice from a roadway by plowing, sanding, or salting, if

(A) The properly licensed employee who ordinarily operates a commercial motor vehicle for these purposes is unable to operate the vehicle; or

(B) The employing governmental entity determines that a snow or ice emergency exists that requires additional assistance.

(ii) This exemption shall not preempt State laws and regulations concerning the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles.

(e) Restricted commercial drivers license (CDL) for certain drivers in the State of Alaska. (1) The State of Alaska may, at its discretion, waive only the following requirements of this part and issue a CDL to each driver that meets the conditions set forth in paragraphs (e)

(2) and (3) of this section:

(i) The knowledge tests standards for testing procedures and methods of subpart H, but must continue to administer knowledge tests that fulfill the content requirements of subpart G for all applicants;

(ii) All the skills test requirements; and

(iii) The requirement under Sec. 383.153(a)(4) to have a photograph on the license document.

(2) Drivers of CMVs in the State of Alaska must operate exclusively over roads that meet both of the following criteria to be eligible for the exception in paragraph (e)(1) of this section:

(i) Such roads are not connected by land highway or vehicular way to the land-connected State highway system; and

(ii) Such roads are not connected to any highway or vehicular way with an average daily traffic volume greater than 499.

(3) Any CDL issued under the terms of this paragraph must carry two restrictions:

(i) Holders may not operate CMVs over roads other than those specified in paragraph (e)(2) of this section; and

(ii) The license is not valid for CMV operation outside the State of Alaska.

(f) Restricted CDL for certain drivers in farm-related service industries. (1) A State may, at its discretion, waive the required knowledge and skills tests of subpart H of this part and issue restricted CDLs to employees of these designated farm-related service industries:

(i) Agri-chemical businesses;

(ii) Custom harvesters;

(iii) Farm retail outlets and suppliers;

(iv) Livestock feeders.

(2) A restricted CDL issued pursuant to this paragraph shall meet all the requirements of this part, except subpart H of this part. A restricted CDL issued pursuant to this paragraph shall be accorded the same reciprocity as a CDL meeting all of the requirements of this part. The restrictions imposed upon the issuance of this restricted CDL shall not limit a person's use of the CDL in a non-CMV during either validated or non-validated periods, nor shall the CDL affect a State's power to administer its driver licensing program for operators of vehicles other than CMVs.

(3) A State issuing a CDL under the terms of this paragraph must restrict issuance as follows:

(i) Applicants must have a good driving record as defined in this paragraph. Drivers who have not held any motor vehicle operator's license for at least one year shall not be eligible for this CDL. Drivers who have between one and two years of driving experience must demonstrate a good driving record for their entire driving history. Drivers with more than two years of driving experience must have a good driving record for the two most recent years. For the purposes of this paragraph, the term good driving record means that an applicant:

(A) Has not had more than one license (except in the instances specified in Sec. 383.21);

(B) Has not had any license suspended, revoked, or canceled;

(C) Has not had any conviction for any type of motor vehicle for the disqualifying offenses contained in Sec. 383.51(b);

(D) Has not had any conviction for any type of motor vehicle for serious traffic violations; and

(E) Has not had any conviction for a violation of State or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control (other than a parking violation) arising in connection with any traffic accident, and has no record of an accident in which he/she was at fault.

(ii) Restricted CDLs shall have the same renewal cycle as unrestricted CDLs, but shall be limited to the seasonal period or periods as defined by the State of licensure, provided that the total number of calendar days in any 12-month period for which the restricted CDL is valid does not exceed 180. If a State elects to provide for more than one seasonal period, the restricted CDL is valid for commercial motor vehicle operation only during the currently approved season, and must be revalidated for each successive season. Only one seasonal period of validity may appear on the license document at a time. The good driving record must be confirmed prior to any renewal or revalidation.

(iii) Restricted CDL holders are limited to operating Group B and C vehicles, as described in subpart F of this part.

(iv) Restricted CDLs shall not be issued with any endorsements on the license document. Only the limited tank vehicle and hazardous materials endorsement privileges that the restricted CDL automatically confers and are described in paragraph (f)(3)(v) of this section are permitted.

(v) Restricted CDL holders may not drive vehicles carrying any placardable quantities of hazardous materials, except for diesel fuel in quantities of 3,785 liters (1,000 gallons) or less; liquid fertilizers (i.e., plant nutrients) in vehicles or implements of husbandry in total quantities of 11,355 liters (3,000 gallons) or less; and solid fertilizers (i.e., solid plant nutrients) that are not transported with any organic substance.

(vi) Restricted CDL holders may not hold an unrestricted CDL at the same time.

(vii) Restricted CDL holders may not operate a commercial motor vehicle beyond 241 kilometers (150 miles) from the place of business or the farm currently being served.

(g) Restricted CDL for certain drivers in the pyrotechnic industry.

(1) A State may, at its discretion, waive the required hazardous materials knowledge tests of subpart H of this part and issue restricted CDLs to part-time drivers operating commercial motor vehicles transporting less than 227 kilograms (500 pounds) of fireworks classified as DOT Class 1.3G explosives.

(2) A State issuing a CDL under the terms of this paragraph must restrict issuance as follows:

(i) The GVWR of the vehicle to be operated must be less than 4,537 kilograms (10,001 pounds);

(ii) If a State believes, at its discretion, that the training required by Sec. 172.704 of this title adequately prepares part-time drivers meeting the other requirements of this paragraph to deal with fireworks and the other potential dangers posed by fireworks transportation and use, the State may waive the hazardous materials knowledge tests of subpart H of this part. The State may impose any requirements it believes is necessary to ensure itself that a driver is properly trained pursuant to Sec. 172.704 of this title.

(iii) A restricted CDL document issued pursuant to this paragraph shall have a statement clearly imprinted on the face of the document that is substantially similar as follows: ``For use as a CDL only during the period from June 30 through July 6 for purposes of transporting less than 227 kilograms (500 pounds) of fireworks classified as DOT Class 1.3G explosives in a vehicle with a GVWR of less than 4,537 kilograms (10,001 pounds).

(3) A restricted CDL issued pursuant to this paragraph shall meet all the requirements of this part, except those specifically identified. A restricted CDL issued pursuant to this paragraph shall be accorded the same reciprocity as a CDL meeting all of the requirements of this part. The restrictions imposed upon the issuance of this restricted CDL shall not limit a person's use of the CDL in a non-CMV during either validated or non-validated periods, nor shall the CDL affect a State's power to administer its driver licensing program for operators of vehicles other than CMVs.

(4) Restricted CDLs shall have the same renewal cycle as unrestricted CDLs, but shall be limited to the seasonal period of June 30 through July 6 of each year or a lesser period as defined by the State of licensure.

(5) Persons who operate commercial motor vehicles during the period from July 7 through June 29 for purposes of transporting less than 227 kilograms (500 pounds) of fireworks classified as DOT Class 1.3G explosives in a vehicle with a GVWR of less than 4,537 kilograms (10,001 pounds) and who also operate such vehicles for the same purposes during the period June 30 through July 6 shall not be issued a restricted CDL pursuant to this paragraph.

Sec. 383.5 Definitions.

As used in this part:

Administrator means the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator, the chief executive of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, an agency within the Department of Transportation.

Alcohol or alcoholic beverage means: (a) Beer as defined in 26 U.S.C. 5052(a), of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, (b) wine of not less than one-half of one per centum of alcohol by volume, or (c) distilled spirits as defined in section 5002(a)(8), of such Code. Alcohol concentration (AC) means the concentration of alcohol in a person's blood or breath. When expressed as a percentage it means grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood or grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath.

Alien means any person not a citizen or national of the United States.

Commerce means (a) any trade, traffic or transportation within the jurisdiction of the United States between a place in a State and a place outside of such State, including a place outside of the United States and (b) trade, traffic, and transportation in the United States which affects any trade, traffic, and transportation described in paragraph (a) of this definition.

Commercial driver's license (CDL) means a license issued by a State or other jurisdiction, in accordance with the standards contained in 49 CFR part 383, to an individual which authorizes the individual to operate a class of a commercial motor vehicle.

Commercial driver's license information system (CDLIS) means the CDLIS established by FMCSA pursuant to section 12007 of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986.

Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) means a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle--

(a) Has a gross combination weight rating of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more) inclusive of a towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds); or

(b) Has a gross vehicle weight rating of 11,794 or more kilograms (26,001 pounds or more); or

(c) Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or

(d) Is of any size and is used in the transportation of hazardous materials as defined in this section.

Controlled substance has the meaning such term has under 21 U.S.C. 802(6) and includes all substances listed on schedules I through V of 21 CFR 1308 (Secs. 1308.11 through 1308.15), as they may be amended by the United States Department of Justice.

Conviction means an unvacated adjudication of guilt, or a determination that a person has violated or failed to comply with the law in a court of original jurisdiction or by an authorized administrative tribunal, an unvacated forfeiture of bail or collateral deposited to secure the person's appearance in court, a plea of guilty or nolo contendere accepted by the court, the payment of a fine or court cost, or violation of a condition of release without bail, regardless of whether or not the penalty is rebated, suspended, or probated.'' Disqualification means any of the following three actions:

(a) The suspension, revocation, or cancellation of a CDL by the State or jurisdiction of issuance.

(b) Any withdrawal of a person's privileges to drive a CMV by a State or other jurisdiction as the result of a violation of State or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control (other than parking, vehicle weight or vehicle defect violations).

(c) A determination by the FMCSA that a person is not qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle under part 391 of this chapter. Driver applicant means an individual who applies to a State to obtain, transfer, upgrade, or renew a CDL.

Driver's license means a license issued by a State or other jurisdiction, to an individual which authorizes the individual to operate a motor vehicle on the highways.

Driving a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol means committing any one or more of the following acts in a CMV-

(a) Driving a CMV while the person's alcohol concentration is 0.04 or more;

(b) Driving under the influence of alcohol, as prescribed by State law; or

(c) Refusal to undergo such testing as is required by any State or jurisdiction in the enforcement of Sec. 383.51(b) or Sec. 392.5(a)(2) of this subchapter.

Eligible unit of local government means a city, town, borough, county, parish, district, or other public body created by or pursuant to State law which has a total population of 3,000 individuals or less. Employee means any operator of a commercial motor vehicle, including full time, regularly employed drivers; casual, intermittent or occasional drivers; leased drivers and independent, owner-operator contractors (while in the course of operating a commercial motor vehicle) who are either directly employed by or under lease to an employer.

Employer means any person (including the United States, a State, District of Columbia or a political subdivision of a State) who owns or leases a commercial motor vehicle or assigns employees to operate such a vehicle.

Endorsement means an authorization to an individual's CDL required to permit the individual to operate certain types of commercial motor vehicles.

Fatality means the death of a person as a result of a motor vehicle accident.

Felony means an offense under State or Federal law that is punishable by death or imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year. Foreign means outside the fifty United States and the District of Columbia.

Gross combination weight rating (GCWR) means the value specified by the manufacturer as the loaded weight of a combination (articulated) vehicle. In the absence of a value specified by the manufacturer, GCWR will be determined by adding the GVWR of the power unit and the total weight of the towed unit and any load thereon.

Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) means the value specified by the manufacturer as the loaded weight of a single vehicle. Hazardous materials means any material that has been designated as hazardous under 49 U.S.C. 5103 and is required to be placarded under subpart F of 49 CFR part 172 or any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR part 73.

Imminent hazard means the existence of a condition that presents a substantial likelihood that death, serious illness, severe personal injury, or a substantial endangerment to health, property, or the environment may occur before the reasonably foreseeable completion date of a formal proceeding begun to lessen the risk of that death, illness, injury or endangerment.

Motor vehicle means a vehicle, machine, tractor, trailer, or semitrailer propelled or drawn by mechanical power used on highways, except that such term does not include a vehicle, machine, tractor, trailer, semitrailer operated exclusively on a rail.

Nonresident CDL means a CDL issued by a State under either of the following two conditions:

(a) To an individual domiciled in a foreign country meeting the requirements of Sec. 383.23(b)(1).

(b) To an individual domiciled in another State meeting the requirements of Sec. 383.23(b)(2).

Non-CMV means a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles not defined by the term ``commercial motor vehicle (CMV)'' in this section. Out-of-service order means a declaration by an authorized enforcement officer of a Federal, State, Canadian, Mexican, or local jurisdiction that a driver, a commercial motor vehicle, or a motor carrier operation, is out-of-service pursuant to Secs. 386.72, 392.5, 395.13, 396.9, or compatible laws, or the North American Uniform Out-of- Service Criteria.

Representative vehicle means a motor vehicle which represents the type of motor vehicle that a driver applicant operates or expects to operate.

School bus means a CMV used to transport pre-primary, primary, or secondary school students from home to school, from school to home, or to and from school-sponsored events. School bus does not include a bus used as a common carrier.

Serious traffic violation means conviction of any of the following offenses when operating a CMV, except weight, defect and parking violations:

(a) Excessive speeding, involving any single offense for any speed of 15 miles per hour or more above the posted speed limit;

(b) Reckless driving, as defined by State or local law or regulation, including but not limited to offenses of driving a CMV in willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property;

(c) Improper or erratic traffic lane changes;

(d) Following the vehicle ahead too closely;

(e) A violation, arising in connection with a fatal accident, of State or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control;

(f) Driving a CMV without obtaining a CDL;

(g) Driving a CMV without a CDL in the driver's possession. Any individual who provides proof to the enforcement authority that issued the citation, by the date the individual must appear in court or pay any fine for such a violation, that the individual held a valid CDL on the date the citation was issued, shall not be guilty of this offense; or

(h) Driving a CMV without the proper class of CDL and/or endorsements for the specific vehicle group being operated or for the passengers or type of cargo being transported. State means a State of the United States and the District of Columbia.

State of domicile means that State where a person has his/her true, fixed, and permanent home and principal residence and to which he/she has the intention of returning whenever he/she is absent.

Tank vehicle means any commercial motor vehicle that is designed to transport any liquid or gaseous materials within a tank that is either permanently or temporarily attached to the vehicle or the chassis. Such vehicles include, but are not limited to, cargo tanks and portable tanks, as defined in part 171 of this title. However, this definition does not include portable tanks having a rated capacity under 1,000 gallons.

United States the term United States means the 50 States and the District of Columbia.

Vehicle means a motor vehicle unless otherwise specified. Vehicle group means a class or type of vehicle with certain operating characteristics.

Sec. 383.7 Validity of CDL issued by decertified State.

A CDL issued by a State prior to the date the State is notified by the Administrator, in accordance with the provisions of Sec. 384.405 of this subchapter, that the State is prohibited from issuing CDLs, will remain valid until its stated expiration date.

Sec. 383.21 Number of drivers' licenses.

No person who operates a commercial motor vehicle shall at any time have more than one driver's license.

Sec. 383.23 Commercial driver's license.

(a) General rule. (1) Effective April 1, 1992, no person shall operate a commercial motor vehicle unless such person has taken and passed written and driving tests which meet the Federal standards contained in subparts F, G, and H of this part for the commercial motor vehicle that person operates or expects to operate.

(2) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, no person may legally operate a CMV unless such person possesses a CDL which meets the standards contained in subpart J of this part, issued by his/her State or jurisdiction of domicile.

(b) Exception. (1) If a CMV operator is not domiciled in a foreign jurisdiction which the Administrator has determined tests drivers and issues CDLs in accordance with, or under standards similar to, the standards contained in subparts F, G, and H of this part, the person may obtain a Nonresident CDL from a State which does comply with the testing and licensing standards contained in such subparts F, G, and H of this part.1

1 Effective December 29, 1988, the Administrator determined that commercial drivers' licensees issued by Canadian Provinces and Territories in conformity with the Canadian National Safety Code are in accordance with the standards of this part. Effective November 21, 1991, the Administrator determined that the new Licencias Federales de Conductor issued by the United Mexican States are in accordance with the standards of this part. Therefore, under the single license provision of Sec. 383.21, a driver holding a commercial driver's license issued under the Canadian National Safety Code or a new Licencia Federal de Conductor issued by Mexico is prohibited from obtaining nonresident CDL, or any other type of driver's license, from a State or other jurisdiction in the United States.

(2) If an individual is domiciled in a State while that State is prohibited from issuing CDLs in accordance with Sec. 384.405 of this subchapter, that individual is eligible to obtain a Nonresident CDL from any State that elects to issue a Nonresident CDL and which complies with the testing and licensing standards contained in subparts F, G, and H of this part.

(c) Learner's permit. State learners' permits, issued for limited time periods according to State requirements, shall be considered valid commercial drivers' licenses for purposes of behind-the-wheel training on public roads or highways, if the following minimum conditions are met:

(1) The learner's permit holder is at all times accompanied by the holder of a valid CDL;

(2) He/she either holds a valid automobile driver's license, or has passed such vision, sign/symbol, and knowledge tests as the State issuing the learner's permit ordinarily administers to applicants for automotive drivers' licenses; and

(3) He/she does not operate a commercial motor vehicle transporting hazardous materials as defined in Sec. 383.5.

Sec. 383.31 Notification of convictions for driver violations.

(a) Each person who operates a commercial motor vehicle, who has a commercial driver's license issued by a State or jurisdiction, and who is convicted of violating, in any type of motor vehicle, a State or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control (other than a parking violation) in a State or jurisdiction other than the one which issued his/her license, shall notify an official designated by the State or jurisdiction which issued such license, of such conviction. The notification must be made within 30 days after the date that the person has been convicted.

(b) Each person who operates a commercial motor vehicle, who has a commercial driver's license issued by a State or jurisdiction, and who is convicted of violating, in any type of motor vehicle, a State or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control (other than a parking violation), shall notify his/her current employer of such conviction. The notification must be made within 30 days after the date that the person has been convicted. If the driver is not currently employed, he/she must notify the State or jurisdiction which issued the license according to Sec. 383.31(a).

(c) Notification. The notification to the State official and employer must be made in writing and contain the following information: (1) Driver's full name; (2) Driver's license number; (3) Date of conviction; (4) The specific criminal or other offense(s), serious traffic violation(s), and other violation(s) of State or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control, for which the person was convicted and any suspension, revocation, or cancellation of certain driving privileges which resulted from such conviction(s); (5) Indication whether the violation was in a commercial motor vehicle; (6) Location of offense; and (7) Driver's signature.

Sec. 383.33 Notification of driver's license suspensions.

Each employee who has a driver's license suspended, revoked, or canceled by a State or jurisdiction, who loses the right to operate a commercial motor vehicle in a State or jurisdiction for any period, or who is disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle for any period, shall notify his/her current employer of such suspension, revocation, cancellation, lost privilege, or disqualification. The notification must be made before the end of the business day following the day the employee received notice of the suspension, revocation, cancellation, lost privilege, or disqualification.

Sec. 383.35 Notification of previous employment.

(a) Any person applying for employment as an operator of a commercial motor vehicle shall provide at the time of application for employment, the information specified in paragraph (c) of this section.

(b) All employers shall request the information specified in paragraph (c) of this section from all persons applying for employment as a commercial motor vehicle operator. The request shall be made at the time of application for employment.

(c) The following employment history information for the 10 years preceding the date the application is submitted shall be presented to the prospective employer by the applicant: (1) A list of the names and addresses of the applicant's previous employers for which the applicant was an operator of a commercial motor vehicle; (2) The dates the applicant was employed by these employers; and (3) The reason for leaving such employment.

(d) The applicant shall certify that all information furnished is true and complete.

(e) An employer may require an applicant to provide additional information.

(f) Before an application is submitted, the employer shall inform the applicant that the information he/she provides in accordance with paragraph (c) of this section may be used, and the applicant's previous employers may be contacted for the purpose of investigating the applicant's work history.

Sec. 383.37 Employer responsibilities.

No employer may knowingly allow, require, permit, or authorize a driver to operate a CMV in the United States:

(a) During any period in which the driver has a CMV driver's license suspended, revoked, or canceled by a State, has lost the right to operate a CMV in a State, or has been disqualified from operating a CMV;

(b) During any period in which the driver has more than one CMV driver's license;

(c) During any period in which the driver, or the CMV he or she is driving, or the motor carrier operation, is subject to an out-of-service order; or

(d) In violation of a Federal, State, or local law or regulation pertaining to railroad-highway grade crossings.

Sec. 383.51 Disqualification of drivers.

(a) General. (1) A driver or holder of a CDL who is disqualified must not drive a CMV.

(2) An employer must not knowingly allow, require, permit, or authorize a driver who is disqualified to drive a CMV.

(3) A driver is subject to disqualification sanctions designated in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section, if the holder of a CDL drives a CMV or non-CMV and is convicted of the violations.

(4) Determining first and subsequent violations. For purposes of determining first and subsequent violations of the offenses specified in this subpart, each conviction for any offense listed in Tables 1 through 4 to this section resulting from a separate incident, whether committed in a CMV or non-CMV, must be counted.

(5) Reinstatement after lifetime disqualification. A State may reinstate any driver disqualified for life for offenses described in paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(8) of this section (Table 1 to Sec. 383.51) after 10 years if that person has voluntarily entered and successfully completed an appropriate rehabilitation program approved by the State. Any person who has been reinstated in accordance with this provision and who is subsequently convicted of a disqualifying offense described in paragraphs (b)(1) through (b)(8) of this section (Table 1 to Sec. 383.51) must not be reinstated.

(b) Disqualification for major offenses. Table 1 to Sec. 383.51 contains a list of the offenses and periods for which a driver must be disqualified, depending upon the type of vehicle the driver is operating at the time of the violation, as follows:

Sec. 383.52 Disqualification of drivers determined to constitute an imminent hazard.

(a) The Assistant Administrator or his/her designee must disqualify from operating a CMV any driver whose driving is determined to constitute an imminent hazard, as defined in Sec. 383.5.

(b) The period of the disqualification may not exceed 30 days unless the FMCSA complies with the provisions of paragraph (c) of this section.

(c) The Assistant Administrator or his/her delegate may provide the driver an opportunity for a hearing after issuing a disqualification for a period of 30 days or less. The Assistant Administrator or his/her delegate must provide the driver notice of a proposed disqualification period of more than 30 days and an opportunity for a hearing to present a defense to the proposed disqualification. A disqualification imposed under this paragraph may not exceed one year in duration. The driver, or a representative on his/her behalf, may file an appeal of the disqualification issued by the Assistant Administrator's delegate with the Assistant Administrator, Adjudications Counsel, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (Room 8217), 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590.

(d) Any disqualification imposed in accordance with the provisions of this section must be transmitted by the FMCSA to the jurisdiction where the driver is licensed and must become a part of the driver's record maintained by that jurisdiction.

(e) A driver who is simultaneously disqualified under this section and under other provisions of this subpart, or under State law or regulation, shall serve those disqualification periods concurrently.

Sec. 383.53 Penalties.

(a) General rule. Any person who violates the rules set forth in subparts B and C of this part may be subject to civil or criminal penalties as provided for in 49 U.S.C. 521(b).

(b) Special penalties pertaining to violation of out-of-service orders--

(b) Special penalties pertaining to violation of out-of-service orders--(1) Driver violations. A driver who is convicted of violating an out-of-service order shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $1,100 nor more than $2,750, in addition to disqualification under Sec. 383.51(e).

(2) Employer violations. An employer who is convicted of a violation of Sec. 383.37(c) shall be subject to a civil penalty of not less than $2,750 nor more than $11,000.

(c) Special penalties pertaining to railroad-highway grade crossing violations. An employer who is convicted of a violation of Sec. 383.37(d) must be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $10,000.

Sec. 383.71  Driver application procedures. Source: 53 FR 27649, July 21, 1988, unless otherwise noted.

(a) Initial Commercial Driver's License. Prior to obtaining a CDL, a person must meet the following requirements:

(1) A person who operates or expects to operate in interstate or foreign commerce, or is otherwise subject to part 391 of this title, shall certify that he/she meets the qualification requirements contained in part 391 of this title. A person who operates or expects to operate entirely in intrastate commerce and is not subject to part 391, is subject to State driver qualification requirements and must certify that he/she is not subject to part 391;

(2) Pass a knowledge test in accordance with the standards contained in subparts G and H of this part for the type of motor vehicle the person operates or expects to operate;

(3) Pass a driving or skills test in accordance with the standards contained in subparts G and H of this part taken in a motor vehicle which is representative of the type of motor vehicle the person operates or expects to operate; or provide evidence that he/she has successfully passed a driving test administered by an authorized third party;

(4) Certify that the motor vehicle in which the person takes the driving skills test is representative of the type of motor vehicle that person operates or expects to operate;

(5) Provide to the State of issuance the information required to be included on the CDL as specified in subpart J of this part;

(6) Certify that he/she is not subject to any disqualification under Sec. 383.51, or any license suspension, revocation, or cancellation under State law, and that he/she does not have a driver's license from more than one State or jurisdiction;

(7) Surrender the applicant's non-CDL driver's licenses to the State; and

(8) Provide the names of all States where the applicant has previously been licensed to drive any type of motor vehicle during the previous 10 years.

(9) If applying for a hazardous materials endorsement, comply with Transportation Security Administration requirements codified in 49 CFR Part 1572, and provide proof of citizenship or immigration status as specified in Table 1 to this section. A lawful permanent resident of the United States requesting a hazardous materials endorsement must additionally provide his or her Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS) Alien registration number.

Table 1 to Sec.  383.71--List of Acceptable Proofs of Citizenship or Immigration

Status Proof of Status
U.S. Citizen
  • U.S. Passport.
  • Certificate of birth that bears an official seal and was issued by a State, county, municipal authority, or outlying possession of the United States.
  • Certification of Birth Abroad issued by the U.S. Department of State (Form FS–545 or DS 1350).
  • Certificate of Naturalization (Form N–550 or N–570).
  • Certificate of U.S. Citizenship (Form N–560 or N–561).
Lawful Permanent Resident
  • Permanent Resident Card, Alien Registration Receipt Card (Form I–551).
  • Temporary I–551 stamp in foreign passport.
  • Temporary I–551 stamp on Form I–94, Arrival/Departure Record, with photograph of the bearer.
  • Reentry Permit (Form I–327).

(b) License transfer. When applying to transfer a CDL from one State of domicile to a new State domicile, an applicant shall apply for a CDL from the new State of domicile within no more than 30 days after establishing his/her new domicile. The applicant shall:

(1) Provide to the new State of domicile the certifications contained in Sec. 383.71(a) (1) and (6):

(2) Provide to the new State of domicile updated information as specified in subpart J of this part;

(3) If the applicant wishes to retain a hazardous materials endorsement, he/she must comply with the requirements for such endorsement specified in Sec. 383.71(a)(9) and State requirements as specified in Sec. 383.73(b)(4);

(4) Surrender the CDL from the old State of domicile to the new State of domicile; and

(5) Provide the names of all States where the applicant has previously been licensed to drive any type of motor vehicle during the previous 10 years.

(c) License renewal. When applying for a renewal of a CDL, all applicants shall:

(1) Provide certification contained in Sec. 383.71(a)(1);

(2) Provide update information as specified in subpart J of this part; and

(3) If a person wishes to retain a hazardous materials endorsement, he/she must comply with the requirements specified in Sec. 383.71(a)(9) and pass the test specified in Sec. 383.121 for such endorsement.

(4) Provide the names of all States where the applicant has previously been licensed to drive any type of motor vehicle during the previous 10 years.

(d) License upgrades. When applying to operate a commercial motor vehicle in a different group or endorsement from the group or endorsement in which the applicant already has a CDL, all persons shall:

(1) Provide the necessary certifications as specified in Sec. 383.71(a)(1) and (a)(4);

(2) Pass all tests specified in Sec. 383.71(a)(2) and (a)(3) for the new vehicle group and/or different endorsements; and

(3) To obtain a hazardous materials endorsement, comply with the requirements for such endorsement specified in Sec. 383.71(a)(9).

(e) Nonresident CDL. When an applicant is domiciled in a foreign jurisdiction, as defined in Sec. 383.5, where the commercial motor vehicle operator testing and licensing standards do not meet the standards contained in subparts G and H of this part, as determined by the Administrator, such applicant shall obtain a Nonresident CDL from a State which meets such standards. Such applicant shall:

(1) Complete the requirements to obtain a CDL contained in Sec. 383.71(a); and

(2) After receipt of the CDL, and for as long as it is valid, notify the State which issued the CDL of any adverse action taken by any jurisdiction or governmental agency, foreign or domestic, against his/ her driving privileges. Such adverse actions would include but not be limited to license suspension or revocation, or disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle for the convictions described in Sec. 383.51. Notifications shall be made within the time periods specified in Sec. 383.33.

(f) If a State uses the alternative method described in Sec. 383.73(i) to achieve the objectives of the certifications in Sec. 383.71(a), then the driver applicant shall satisfy such alternative methods as are applicable to him/her with respect to initial licensing, license transfer, license renewal, and license upgrades.

Sec. 383.72 Implied consent to alcohol testing.

Any person who holds a CDL is considered to have consented to such testing as is required by any State or jurisdiction in the enforcement of Sec. Sec. 383.51(b)(2)(i) and 392.5(a)(2) of this chapter. Consent is implied by driving a commercial motor vehicle.

Sec. 383.73 State procedures.

(a) Initial licensure. Prior to issuing a CDL to a person, a State shall:

(1) Require the driver applicant to certify, pass tests, and provide information as described in Secs. 383.71(a) (1) through (6);

(2) Check that the vehicle in which the applicant takes his/her test is representative of the vehicle group the applicant has certified that he/she operates or expects to operate;

(3) Initiate and complete a check of the applicant's driving record to ensure that the person is not subject to any disqualification under Sec. 383.51, or any license suspension, revocation, or cancellation under State law, and that the person does not have a driver's license from more than one State or jurisdiction. The record check must include, but is not limited to, the following:

(i) A check of the applicant's driving record as maintained by his/ her current State of licensure, if any;

(ii) A check with the CDLIS to determine whether the driver applicant already has been issued a CDL, whether the applicant's license has been suspended, revoked, or canceled, or if the applicant has been disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle;

(iii) A check with the National Driver Register (NDR) to determine whether the driver applicant has:

(A) Been disqualified from operating a motor vehicle (other than a commercial motor vehicle);

(B) Had a license (other than CDL) suspended, revoked, or canceled for cause in the 3-year period ending on the date of application; or

(C) Been convicted of any offenses contained in section 205(a)(3) of the National Driver Register Act of 1982 (23 U.S.C. 401 note); and (iv) A request for the applicant's complete driving record from all States where the applicant was previously licensed over the last 10 years to drive any type of motor vehicle. Exception: A State is only required to make the driving record check specified in this paragraph (a)(3) for drivers renewing a CDL for the first time after September 30, 2002, provided a notation is made on the driver's record confirming that the driver record check required by this paragraph (a)(3) has been made and noting the date it was done; and

(4) Require the driver applicant to surrender his/her driver's license issued by another State, if he/she has moved from another State. (5) For persons applying for a hazardous materials endorsement, require compliance with the standards for such endorsement specified in Sec. 383.71(a)(9).

(b) License transfers. Prior to issuing a CDL to a person who has a CDL from another State, a State shall:

(1) Require the driver applicant to make the certifications contained in Sec. 383.71(a);

(2) Complete a check of the driver applicant's record as contained in Sec. 383.73(a)(3);

(3) Request and receive updates of information specified in subpart J of this part;

(4) If such applicant wishes to retain a hazardous materials endorsement, require compliance with standards for such endorsement specified in Sec. 383.71(a)(9) and ensure that the driver has, within the 2 years preceding the transfer, either: (i) Passed the test for such endorsement specified in Sec. 383.121; or (ii) Successfully completed a hazardous materials test or training that is given by a third party and that is deemed by the State to substantially cover the same knowledge base as that described in Sec. 383.121; and

(5) Obtain the CDL issued by the applicant's previous State of domicile.

(c) License Renewals. Prior to renewing any CDL a State shall:

(1) Require the driver applicant to make the certifications contained in Sec. 383.71(a);

(2) Complete a check of the driver applicant's record as contained in Sec. 383.73(a)(3);

(3) Request and receive updates of information specified in subpart J of this part; and

(4) If such applicant wishes to retain a hazardous materials endorsement, require the driver to pass the test specified in Sec. 383.121 and comply with the standards specified in Sec. 383.71(a)(9) for such endorsement. (d) License upgrades. Prior to issuing an upgrade of a CDL, a State shall:

(1) Require such driver applicant to provide certifications, pass tests, and meet applicable hazardous materials standards specified in Sec. 383.71(d); and

(2) Complete a check of the driver applicant's record as described in Sec. 383.73(a)(3).

(e) Nonresident CDL. A State may issue a Nonresident CDL to a person domiciled in a foreign country if the Administrator has determined that the commercial motor vehicle testing and licensing standards in the foreign jurisdiction of domicile do not meet the standards contained in this part. State procedures for the issuance of a nonresident CDL, for any modifications thereto, and for notifications to the CDLIS shall at a minimum be identical to those pertaining to any other CDL, with the following exceptions:

(1) If the applicant is requesting a transfer of his/her Nonresident CDL, the State shall obtain the Nonresident CDL currently held by the applicant and issued by another State;

(2) The State shall add the word ``Nonresident'' to the face of the CDL, in accordance with Sec. 383.153(b); and

(3) The State shall have established, prior to issuing any Nonresident CDL, the practical capability of disqualifying the holder of any Nonresident CDL, by withdrawing, suspending, canceling, and revoking his/her Nonresident CDL as if the Nonresident CDL were a CDL issued to a resident of the State.

(f) License issuance. After the State has completed the procedures described in Sec. 383.73 (a), (b), (c), (d) or (e), it may issue a CDL to the driver applicant. The State shall notify the operator of the CDLIS of such issuance, transfer, renewal, or upgrade within the 10-day period beginning on the date of license issuance.

(g) Penalties for false information. If a State determines, in its check of an applicant's license status and record prior to issuing a CDL, or at any time after the CDL is issued, that the applicant has falsified information contained in subpart J of this part or any of the certifications required in Sec. 383.71(a), the State shall at a minimum suspend, cancel, or revoke the person's CDL or his/her pending application, or disqualify the person from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of at least 60 consecutive days.

(h) Reciprocity. A State shall allow any person who has a valid CDL which is not suspended, revoked, or canceled, and who is not disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle, to operate a commercial motor vehicle in the State.

(i) Alternative procedures. A State may implement alternative procedures to the certification requirements of Sec. 383.71(a) (1), (4), and (6), provided those procedures ensure that the driver meets the requirements of those paragraphs.

Sec. 383.75 Third party testing.

(a) Third party tests. A State may authorize a person (including another State, an employer, a private driver training facility or other private institution, or a department, agency or instrumentality of a local government) to administer the skills tests as specified in subparts G and H of this part, if the following conditions are met:

(1) The tests given by the third party are the same as those which would otherwise be given by the State; and

(2) The third party as an agreement with the State containing, at a minimum, provisions that:

(i) Allow the FMCSA, or its representative, and the State to conduct random examinations, inspections and audits without prior notice;

(ii) Require the State to conduct on-site inspections at least annually;

(iii) Require that all third party examiners meet the same qualification and training standards as State examiners, to the extent necessary to conduct skills tests in compliance with subparts G and H;

(iv) Require that, at least on an annual basis, State employees take the tests actually administered by the third party as if the State employee were a test applicant, or that States test a sample of drivers who were examined by the third party to compare pass/fail results; and

(v) Reserve unto the State the right to take prompt and appropriate remedial action against the third-party testers in the event that the third-party fails to comply with State or Federal standards for the CDL testing program, or with any other terms of the third-party contract.

(b) Proof of testing by a third party. A driver applicant who takes and passes driving tests administered by an authorized third party shall provide evidence to the State licensing agency that he/she has successfully passed the driving tests administered by the third party.

Sec. 383.77 Substitute for driving skills tests.

At the discretion of a State, the driving skill test as specified in Sec. 383.113 may be waived for a CMV operator who is currently licensed at the time of his/her application for a CDL, and substituted with either an applicant's driving record and previous passage of an acceptable skills test, or an applicant's driving record in combination with certain driving experience. The State shall impose conditions and limitations to restrict the applicants from whom a State may accept alternative requirements for the skills test described in Sec. 383.113. Such conditions must require at least the following:

(a) An applicant must certify that, during the two-year period immediately prior to applying for a CDL, he/she:

(1) Has not had more than one license (except in the instances specified in Sec. 383.21(b));

(2) Has not had any license suspended, revoked, or canceled;

(3) Has not had any convictions for any type of motor vehicle for the disqualifying offenses contained in Sec. 383.51(b);

(4) Has not had more than one conviction for any type of motor vehicle for serious traffic violations; and

(5) Has not had any conviction for a violation of State or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control (other than a parking violation) arising in connection with any traffic accident, and has no record of an accident in which he/she was at fault; and

(b) An applicant must provide evidence and certify that:

(1) He/she is regularly employed in a job requiring operation of a CMV, and that either:

(2) He/she has previously taken and passed a skills test given by a State with a classified licensing and testing system, and that the test was behind-the-wheel in a representative vehicle for that applicant's driver's license classification; or

(3) He/she has operated, for at least 2 years immediately preceding application for a CDL, a vehicle representative of the commercial motor vehicle the driver applicant operates or expects to operate.

Sec. 383.91 Commercial motor vehicle groups. Source: 53 FR 27651, July 21, 1988, unless otherwise noted.

(a) Vehicle group descriptions. Each driver applicant must possess and be tested on his/her knowledge and skills, described in subpart G of this part, for the commercial motor vehicle group(s) for which he/she desires a CDL. The commercial motor vehicle groups are as follows:

(1) Combination vehicle (Group A)--Any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more) provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds).

(2) Heavy Straight Vehicle (Group B)--Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more), or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) GVWR.

(3) Small Vehicle (Group C)--Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that meets neither the definition of Group A nor that of Group B as contained in this section, but that either is designed to transport 16 or more passengers including the driver, or is used in the transportation of materials found to be hazardous for the purposes of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act and which require the motor vehicle to be placarded under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR part 172, subpart F).

(b) Representative vehicle. For purposes of taking the driving test in accordance with Sec. 383.113, a representative vehicle for a given vehicle group contained in Sec. 383.91(a), is any commercial motor vehicle which meets the definition of that vehicle group.

(c) Relation between vehicle groups. Each driver applicant who desires to operate in a different commercial motor vehicle group from the one which his/her CDL authorizes shall be required to retake and pass all related tests, except the following:

(1) A driver who has passed the knowledge and skills tests for a combination vehicle (Group A) may operate a heavy straight vehicle (Group B) or a small vehicle (Group C), provided that he/she possesses the requisite endorsement(s); and

(2) A driver who has passed the knowledge and skills tests for a heavy straight vehicle (Group B) may operate any small vehicle (Group

C), provided that he/she possesses the requisite endorsement(s).

(d) Vehicle group illustration. Figure 1 illustrates typical vehicles within each of the vehicle groups defined in this section.

Sec. 383.93 Endorsements.

(a) General. In addition to taking and passing the knowledge and skills tests described in subpart G of this part, all persons who operate or expect to operate the type(s) of motor vehicles described in paragraph (b) of this section shall take and pass specialized tests to obtain each endorsement. The State shall issue CDL endorsements only to drivers who successfully complete the tests.

(b) Endorsement descriptions. An operator must obtain State-issued endorsements to his/her CDL to operate commercial motor vehicles which are: (1) Double/triple trailers; (2) Passenger vehicles; (3) Tank vehicles; (4) Used to transport hazardous materials as defined in Sec. 383.5, or (5) School buses. (c) Endorsement testing requirements. The following tests are required for the endorsements contained in paragraph (b) of this section: (1) Double/Triple Trailers--a knowledge test; (2) Passenger--a knowledge and a skills test; (3) Tank vehicle--a knowledge test; (4) Hazardous Materials--a knowledge test; and (5) School bus--a knowledge and a skills test.

Sec. 383.95 Air brake restrictions.

(a) If an applicant either fails the air brake component of the knowledge test, or performs the skills test in a vehicle not equipped with air brakes, the State shall indicate on the CDL, if issued, that the person is restricted from operating a CMV equipped with air brakes.

(b) For the purposes of the skills test and the restriction, air brakes shall include any braking system operating fully or partially on the air brake principle.

Sec. 383.110 General requirement. Source: 53 FR 27654, July 21, 1988, unless otherwise noted.

All drivers of commercial motor vehicles shall have knowledge and skills necessary to operate a commercial motor vehicle safely as contained in this subpart. A sample of the specific types of items which a State may wish to include in the knowledge and skills tests that it administers to CDL applicants is included in the appendix to this subpart G.

Sec. 383.111 Required knowledge.

All commercial motor vehicle operators must have knowledge of the following general areas:

(a) Safe operations regulations. Driver-related elements of the regulations contained in 49 CFR parts 382, 391, 392, 393, 395, 396, and 397, such as: Motor vehicle inspection, repair, and maintenance requirements; procedures for safe vehicle operations; the effects of fatigue, poor vision, hearing, and general health upon safe commercial motor vehicle operation; the types of motor vehicles and cargoes subject to the requirements; and the effects of alcohol and drug use upon safe commercial motor vehicle operations.

(b) Commercial motor vehicle safety control systems. Proper use of the motor vehicle's safety system, including lights, horns, side and rear-view mirrors, proper mirror adjustments, fire extinguishers, symptoms of improper operation revealed through instruments, motor vehicle operation characteristics, and diagnosing malfunctions. Commercial motor vehicle drivers shall have knowledge on the correct procedures needed to use these safety systems in an emergency situation, e.g., skids and loss of brakes.

(c) Safe vehicle control--(1) Control systems The purpose and function of the controls and instruments commonly found on commercial motor vehicles.

(2) Basic control. The proper procedures for performing various basic maneuvers.

(3) Shifting. The basic shifting rules and terms, as well as shift patterns and procedures for common transmissions.

(4) Backing. The procedures and rules for various backing maneuvers.

(5) Visual search. The importance of proper visual search, and proper visual search methods.

(6) Communication. The principles and procedures for proper communications and the hazards of failure to signal properly.

(7) Speed management. The importance of understanding the effects of speed.

(8) Space management. The procedures and techniques for controlling the space around the vehicle.

(9) Night operation. Preparations and procedures for night driving.

(10) Extreme driving conditions. The basic information on operating in extreme driving conditions and the hazards that are encountered in extreme conditions.

(11) Hazard perceptions. The basic information on hazard perception and clues for recognition of hazards.

(12) Emergency maneuvers. The basic information concerning when and how to make emergency maneuvers.

(13) Skid control and recovery. The information on the causes and major types of skids, as well as the procedures for recovering from skids.

(d) Relationship of cargo to vehicle control. The principles and procedures for the proper handling of cargo.

(e) Vehicle inspections: The objectives and proper procedures for performing vehicle safety inspections, as follows:

(1) The importance of periodic inspection and repair to vehicle safety. (2) The effect of undiscovered malfunctions upon safety. (3) What safety-related parts to look for when inspecting vehicles. (4) Pre-trip/enroute/post-trip inspection procedures. (5) Reporting findings. (f) Hazardous materials knowledge, such as: What constitutes hazardous material requiring an endorsement to transport; classes of hazardous materials; labeling/placarding requirements; and the need for specialized training as a prerequisite to receiving the endorsement and transporting hazardous cargoes. (g) Air brake knowledge as follows: (1) Air brake system nomenclature; (2) The dangers of contaminated air supply; (3) Implications of severed or disconnected air lines between the power unit and the trailer(s); (4) Implications of low air pressure readings; (5) Procedures to conduct safe and accurate pre-trip inspections. (6) Procedures for conducting enroute and post-trip inspections of air actuated brake systems, including ability to detect defects which may cause the system to fail. (h) Operators for the combination vehicle group shall also have knowledge of: (1) Coupling and uncoupling--The procedures for proper coupling and uncoupling a tractor to semi-trailer.

(2) Vehicle inspection--The objectives and proper procedures that are unique for performing vehicle safety inspections on combination vehicles.

Sec. 383.113 Required skills.

(a) Basic vehicle control skills. All applicants for a CDL must possess and demonstrate basic motor vehicle control skills for each vehicle group which the driver operates or expects to operate. These skills should include the ability to start, to stop, and to move the vehicle forward and backward in a safe manner.

(b) Safe driving skills. All applicants for a CDL must possess and demonstrate the safe driving skills for their vehicle group. These skills should include proper visual search methods, appropriate use of signals, speed control for weather and traffic conditions, and ability to position the motor vehicle correctly when changing lanes or turning. (c) Air brake skills. Except as provided in Sec. 393.95, all

applicants shall demonstrate the following skills with respect to inspection and operation of air brakes:

(1) Pre-trip inspection skills. Applicants shall demonstrate the skills necessary to conduct a pre-trip inspection which includes the ability to:

(i) Locate and verbally identify air brake operating controls and monitoring devices;

(ii) Determine the motor vehicle's brake system condition for proper adjustments and that air system connections between motor vehicles have been properly made and secured;

(iii) Inspect the low pressure warning device(s) to ensure that they will activate in emergency situations;

(iv) Ascertain, with the engine running, that the system maintains an adequate supply of compressed air;

(v) Determine that required minimum air pressure build up time is within acceptable limits and that required alarms and emergency devices automatically deactivate at the proper pressure level; and

(vi) Operationally check the brake system for proper performance.

(2) Driving skills. Applicants shall successfully complete the skills tests contained in Sec. 383.113 in a representative vehicle equipped with air brakes.

(d) Test area. Skills tests shall be conducted in on-street conditions or under a combination of on-street and off-street conditions.

(e) Simulation technology. A State may utilize simulators to perform skills testing, but under no circumstances as a substitute for the required testing in on-street conditions.

Sec. 383.115 Requirements for double/triple trailers endorsement.

In order to obtain a Double/Triple Trailers endorsement each applicant must have knowledge covering:

(a) Procedures for assembly and hookup of the units;

(b) Proper placement of heaviest trailer;

(c) Handling and stability characteristics including off-tracking, response to steering, sensory feedback, braking, oscillatory sway, rollover in steady turns, yaw stability in steady turns; and

(d) Potential problems in traffic operations, including problems the motor vehicle creates for other motorists due to slower speeds on steep grades, longer passing times, possibility for blocking entry of other motor vehicles on freeways, splash and spray impacts, aerodynamic buffeting, view blockages, and lateral placement.

Sec. 383.117 Requirements for passenger endorsement.

An applicant for the passenger endorsement must satisfy both of the following additional knowledge and skills test requirements.

(a) Knowledge test. All applicants for the passenger endorsement must have knowledge covering at least the following topics:

(1) Proper procedures for loading/unloading passengers;

(2) Proper use of emergency exits, including push-out windows;

(3) Proper responses to such emergency situations as fires and unruly passengers;

(4) Proper procedures at railroad crossings and drawbridges; and

(5) Proper braking procedures.

(b) Skills test. To obtain a passenger endorsement applicable to a specific vehicle group, an applicant must take his/her skills test in a passenger vehicle satisfying the requirements of that group as defined in Sec. 383.91.

Sec. 383.119 Requirements for tank vehicle endorsement.

In order to obtain a Tank Vehicle Endorsement, each applicant must have knowledge covering the following:

(a) Causes, prevention, and effects of cargo surge on motor vehicle handling;

(b) Proper braking procedures for the motor vehicle when it is empty, full and partially full;

(c) Differences in handling of baffled/compartmental tank interiors versus non-baffled motor vehicles;

(d) Differences in tank vehicle type and construction;

(e) Differences in cargo surge for liquids of varying product densities;

(f) Effects of road grade and curvature on motor vehicle handling with filled, half-filled and empty tanks;

(g) Proper use of emergency systems; and

(h) For drivers of DOT specification tank vehicles, retest and marking requirements.

Sec. 383.121 Requirements for hazardous materials endorsement.

In order to obtain a Hazardous Material Endorsement each applicant must have such knowledge as is required of a driver of a hazardous materials laden vehicle, from information contained in 49 CFR parts 171, 172, 173, 177, 178, and 397 on the following:

(a) Hazardous materials regulations including: (1) Hazardous materials table; (2) Shipping paper requirements; (3) Marking; (4) Labeling; (5) Placarding requirements; (6) Hazardous materials packaging; (7) Hazardous materials definitions and preparation; (8) Other regulated material (e.g., ORM-D); (9) Reporting hazardous materials accidents; and (10) Tunnels and railroad crossings. (b) Hazardous materials handling including: (1) Forbidden Materials and Packages; (2) Loading and Unloading Materials; (3) Cargo Segregation; (4) Passenger Carrying Buses and Hazardous Materials; (5) Attendance of Motor Vehicles; (6) Parking; (7) Routes; (8) Cargo Tanks; and (9) ``Safe Havens.'' (c) Operation of emergency equipment including: (1) Use of equipment to protect the public; (2) Special precautions for equipment to be used in fires; (3) Special precautions for use of emergency equipment when loading or unloading a hazardous materials laden motor vehicle; and (4) Use of emergency equipment for tank vehicles. (d) Emergency response procedures including: (1) Special care and precautions for different types of accidents; (2) Special precautions for driving near a fire and carrying hazardous materials, and smoking and carrying hazardous materials; (3) Emergency procedures; and (4) Existence of special requirements for transporting Class A and B explosives.

Sec. 383.123 Requirements for a school bus endorsement.

(a) An applicant for a school bus endorsement must satisfy the following three requirements:

(1) Qualify for passenger vehicle endorsement. Pass the knowledge and skills test for obtaining a passenger vehicle endorsement.

(2) Knowledge test. Must have knowledge covering at least the following three topics:

(i) Loading and unloading children, including the safe operation of stop signal devices, external mirror systems, flashing lights and other warning and passenger safety devices required for school buses by State or Federal law or regulation.

(ii) Emergency exits and procedures for safely evacuating passengers in an emergency.

(iii) State and Federal laws and regulations related to safely traversing highway rail grade crossings.

(3) Skills test. Must take a driving skills test in a school bus of the same vehicle group (see Sec. 383.91(a)) as the school bus applicant will drive.

(b) Substitute for driving skills test. (1) At the discretion of a State, the driving skills test required in paragraph (a)(3) of this section may be waived for an applicant who is currently licensed, has experience driving a school bus, has a good driving record, and meets the conditions set forth in paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

(2) An applicant must certify and the State must verify that, during the two-year period immediately prior to applying for the school bus endorsement, the applicant:

(i) Held a valid CDL with a passenger vehicle endorsement to operate a school bus representative of the group he or she will be driving;

(ii) Has not had his or her driver's license or CDL suspended, revoked or canceled or been disqualified from operating a CMV;

(iii) Has not been convicted of any of the disqualifying offenses in Sec. 383.51(b) while operating a CMV or of any offense in a non-CMV that would be disqualifying under Sec. 383.51(b) if committed in a CMV;

(iv) Has not had more than one conviction of any of the serious traffic violations defined in Sec. 383.5, while operating any type motor vehicle;

(v) Has not had any conviction for a violation of State or local law relating to motor vehicle traffic control (other than a parking violation) arising in connection with any traffic accident;

(vi) Has not been convicted of any motor vehicle traffic violation that resulted in an accident; and

(vii) Has been regularly employed as a school bus driver, has operated a school bus representative of the group the applicant seeks to drive, and provides evidence of such employment.

(3) After September 30, 2005 the provisions in paragraph (b) of this section do not apply.

Appendix to Subpart G of Part 383--Required Knowledge and Skills--Sample Guidelines

The following is a sample of the specific types of items which a State may wish to include in the knowledge and skills tests that it administers to CDL applicants. This appendix closely follows the framework of Secs. 383.111 and 383.113. It is intended to provide more specific guidance and suggestion to States. Additional detail in this appendix is not binding and States may depart from it at their discretion provided their CDL program tests for the general areas of knowledge and skill specified in Secs. 383.111 and 383.113.

Examples of specific knowledge elements

(a) Safe operations regulations. Driver-related elements of the following regulations:

(1) Motor vehicle inspection, repair, and maintenance requirements as contained in parts 393 and 396 of this title;

(2) Procedures for safe vehicle operations as contained in part 392 of this title;

(3) The effects of fatigue, poor vision, hearing, and general health upon safe commercial motor vehicle operation as contained in parts 391, 392, and 395 of this title;

(4) The types of motor vehicles and cargoes subject to the requirements contained in part 397 of this title; and

(5) The effects of alcohol and drug use upon safe commercial motor vehicle operations as contained in parts 391 and 395 of this title.

(b) Commercial motor vehicle safety control systems. Proper use of the motor vehicle's safety system, including lights, horns, side and rear-view mirrors, proper mirror adjustments, fire extinguishers, symptoms of improper operation revealed through instruments, motor vehicle operation characteristics, and diagnosing malfunctions. Commercial motor vehicle drivers shall have knowledge on the correct procedures needed to use these safety systems in an emergency situation, e.g., skids and loss of brakes.

(c) Safe vehicle control--(1) Control systems. The purpose and function of the controls and instruments commonly found on commercial motor vehicles.

(2) Basic control. The proper procedures for performing various basic maneuvers, including:

(i) Starting, warming up, and shutting down the engine;

(ii) Putting the vehicle in motion and stopping;

(iii) Backing in a straight line; and

(iv) Turning the vehicle, e.g., basic rules, off-tracking, right/ left turns and right curves.

(3) Shifting. The basic shifting rules and terms, as well as shift patterns and procedures for common transmissions, including:

(i) Key elements of shifting, e.g., controls, when to shift and double clutching;

(ii) Shift patterns and procedures; and

(iii) Consequences of improper shifting.

(4) Backing. The procedures and rules for various backing maneuvers, including:

(i) Backing principles and rules; and

(ii) Basic backing maneuvers, e.g., straight-line backing, and backing on a curved path. (5) Visual search. The importance of proper visual search, and proper visual search methods, including:

(i) Seeing ahead and to the sides;

(ii) Use of mirrors; and

(iii) Seeing to the rear.

(6) Communication. The principles and procedures for proper communications and the hazards of failure to signal properly, including:

(i) Signaling intent, e.g., signaling when changing speed or direction in traffic;

(ii) Communicating presence, e.g., using horn or lights to signal presence; and

(iii) Misuse of communications.

(7) Speed management. The importance of understanding the effects of speed, including: (i) Speed and stopping distance; (ii) Speed and surface conditions; (iii) Speed and the shape of the road; (iv) Speed and visibility; and (v) Speed and traffic flow. (8) Space management. The procedures and techniques for controlling the space around the vehicle, including: (i) The importance of space management; (ii) Space cushions, e.g., controlling space ahead/to the rear; (iii) Space to the sides; and (iv) Space for traffic gaps.

(9) Night operation. Preparations and procedures for night driving, including:

(i) Night driving factors, e.g., driver factors, (vision, glare, fatigue, inexperience), roadway factors, (low illumination, variation in illumination, familiarity with roads, other road users, especially drivers exhibiting erratic or improper driving), vehicle factors (headlights, auxiliary lights, turn signals, windshields and mirrors); and

(ii) Night driving procedures, e.g., preparing to drive at night and driving at night.

(10) Extreme driving conditions. The basic information on operating in extreme driving conditions and the hazards that are encountered in extreme conditions, including:

(i) Adverse weather; (ii) Hot weather; and (iii) Mountain driving.

(11) Hazard perceptions. The basic information on hazard perception and clues for recognition of hazards, including:

(i) Importance of hazards recognition;

(ii) Road characteristics; and

(iii) Road user activities.

(12) Emergency maneuvers. The basic information concerning when and how to make emergency maneuvers, including: (i) Evasive steering; (ii) Emergency stop; (iii) Off-road recovery; (iv) Brake failure; and (v) Blowouts.

(13) Skid control and recovery. The information on the causes and major types of skids, as well as the procedures for recovering from skids.

(d) Relationship of cargo to vehicle control. The principles and procedures for the proper handling of cargo, including: (1) The importance of proper cargo handling, e.g., consequences of improperly secured cargo, drivers' responsibilities, Federal/State and local regulations.

(2) Principles of weight distribution.

(3) Principles and methods of cargo securement.

(e) Vehicle inspections: The objectives and proper procedures for performing vehicle safety inspections, as follows: (1) The importance of periodic inspection and repair to vehicle safety and to prevention of enroute breakdowns.

(2) The effect of undiscovered malfunctions upon safety.

(3) What safety-related parts to look for when inspecting vehicles, e.g., fluid leaks, interference with visibility, bad tires, wheel and rim defects, braking system defects, steering system defects, suspension system defects, exhaust system defects, coupling system defects, and cargo problems.

(4) Pre-trip/enroute/post-trip inspection procedures.

(5) Reporting findings.

(f) Hazardous materials knowledge, as follows:

(1) What constitutes hazardous material requiring an endorsement to transport; and

(2) Classes of hazardous materials, labeling/placarding requirements, and the need for specialized training as a prerequisite to receiving the endorsement and transporting hazardous cargoes.

(g) Air brake knowledge as follows:

(1) General air brake system nomenclature;

(2) The dangers of contaminated air (dirt, moisture and oil) supply;

(3) Implications of severed or disconnected air lines between the power unit and the trailer(s);

(4) Implications of low air pressure readings;

(5) Procedures to conduct safe and accurate pre-trip inspections, including knowledge about: (i) Automatic fail-safe devices; (ii) System monitoring devices; and (iii) Low pressure warning alarms.

(6) Procedures for conducting enroute and post-trip inspections of air actuated brake systems, including ability to detect defects which may cause the system to fail, including:

(i) Tests which indicate the amount of air loss from the braking system within a specified period, with and without the engine running; and

(ii) Tests which indicate the pressure levels at which the low air pressure warning devices and the tractor protection valve should activate.

(h) Operators for the combination vehicle group shall also have knowledge of:

(1) Coupling and uncoupling. The procedures for proper coupling and uncoupling a tractor to semi-trailer.

(2) Vehicle inspection--The objectives and proper procedures that are unique for performing vehicle safety inspections on combination vehicles.

Examples of Specific Skills Elements

These examples relate to paragraphs (a) and (b) of Sec. 383.113 only.

(a) Basic vehicle control skills. All applicants for a CDL must possess and demonstrate the following basic motor vehicle control skills for each vehicle group which the driver operates or expects to operate. These skills shall include:

(1) Ability to start, warm-up, and shut down the engine;

(2) Ability to put the motor vehicle in motion and accelerate smoothly, forward and backward;

(3) Ability to bring the motor vehicle to a smooth stop;

(4) Ability to back the motor vehicle in a straight line, and check path and clearance while backing;

(5) Ability to position the motor vehicle to negotiate and then make left and right turns;

(6) Ability to shift as required and select appropriate gear for speed and highway conditions;

(7) Ability to back along a curved path; and

(8) Ability to observe the road and the behavior of other motor vehicles, particularly before changing speed and direction. (b) Safe driving skills. All applicants for a CDL must possess and demonstrate the following safe driving skills for any vehicle group. These skills shall include:

(1) Ability to use proper visual search methods.

(2) Ability to signal appropriately when changing speed or direction in traffic.

(3) Ability to adjust speed to the configuration and condition of the roadway, weather and visibility conditions, traffic conditions, and motor vehicle, cargo and driver conditions;

(4) Ability to choose a safe gap for changing lanes, passing other vehicles, as well as for crossing or entering traffic;

(5) Ability to position the motor vehicle correctly before and during a turn to prevent other vehicles from passing on the wrong side as well as to prevent problems caused by off-tracking;

(6) Ability to maintain a safe following distance depending on the condition of the road, on visibility, and on vehicle weight; and

(7) Ability to adjust operation of the motor vehicle to prevailing weather conditions including speed selection, braking, direction changes and following distance to maintain control.

Sec. 383.131 Test procedures. Source: 53 FR 27657, July 21, 1988, unless otherwise noted.

(a) Driver information manuals. Information on how to obtain a CDL and endorsements shall be included in manuals and made available by States to CDL applicants. All information provided to the applicant shall include the following:

(1) Information on the requirements described in Sec. 383.71, the implied consent to alcohol testing described in Sec. 383.72, the procedures and penalties, contained in Sec. 383.51(b) to which a CDL holder is exposed for refusal to comply with such alcohol testing, State procedures described in Sec. 383.73, and other appropriate driver information contained in subpart E of this part;

(2) Information on vehicle groups and endorsements as specified in subpart F of this part;

(3) The substance of the knowledge and skills which drivers shall have as outlined in subpart G of this part for the different vehicle groups and endorsements;

(4) Details of testing procedures, including the purpose of the tests, how to respond, any time limits for taking the test, and any other special procedures determined by the State of issuance; and

(5) Directions for taking the tests. (b) Examiner procedures. A State shall provide to test examiners details on testing and any other State-imposed requirements in the examiner's manual, and shall ensure that examiners are qualified to administer tests on the basis of training and/or other experience. States shall provide standardized scoring sheets for the skills tests, as well as standardized driving instructions for the applicants. Such examiners' manuals shall contain the following:

(1) Information on driver application procedures contained in Sec. 383.71, State procedures described in Sec. 383.73, and other appropriate driver information contained in subpart E of this part; (2) Details on information which must be given to the applicant; (3) Details on how to conduct the tests; (4) Scoring procedures and minimum passing scores; (5) Information for selecting driving test routes; (6) List of the skills to be tested; (7) Instructions on where and how the skills will be tested; (8) How performance of the skills will be scored; and (9) Causes for automatic failure of skills tests.

Sec. 383.133 Testing methods.

(a) All tests shall be constructed in such a way as to determine if the applicant possesses the required knowledge and skills contained in subpart G of this part for the type of motor vehicle or endorsement the applicant wishes to obtain.

(b) States shall develop their own specifications for the tests for each vehicle group and endorsement which must be at least as stringent as the Federal standards.

(c) States shall determine specific methods for scoring the knowledge and skills tests.

(d) Passing scores must meet those standards contained in Sec. 383.135.

(e) Knowledge and skills tests shall be based solely on the information contained in the driver manuals referred to in Sec. 383.131(a).

(f) Each knowledge test shall be valid and reliable so as to assure that driver applicants possess the knowledge required under Sec. 383.111.

(g) Each basic knowledge test, i.e., the test covering the areas referred to in Sec. 383.111 for the applicable vehicle group, shall contain at least 30 items, exclusive of the number of items testing air brake knowledge. Each endorsement knowledge test, and the air brake component of the basic knowledge test as described in Sec. 383.111(g), shall contain a number of questions that is sufficient to test the driver applicant's knowledge of the required subject matter with validity and reliability.

(h) The skills tests shall have administrative procedures, designed to achieve interexaminer reliability, that are sufficient to ensure fairness of pass/fail rates.

Sec. 383.135 Minimum passing scores.

(a) The driver applicant must correctly answer at least 80 percent of the questions on each knowledge test in order to achieve a passing score on such knowledge test.

(b) To achieve a passing score on the skills test, the driver applicant must demonstrate that he/she can successfully perform all of the skills listed in Sec. 383.113.

(c) If the driver applicant does not obey traffic laws, or causes an accident during the test, he/she shall automatically fail the test.

(d) The scoring of the basic knowledge and skills tests shall be adjusted as follows to allow for the air brake restriction (Sec. 383.95):

(1) If the applicant scores less than 80 percent on the air brake component of the basic knowledge test as described in Sec. 383.111(g), the driver will have failed the air brake component and, if the driver is issued a CDL, an air brake restriction shall be indicated on the license; and

(2) If the applicant performs the skills test in a vehicle not equipped with air brakes, the driver will have omitted the air brake component as described in Sec. 383.113(c) and, if the driver is issued a CDL, the air brake restriction shall be indicated on the license.

Sec. 383.141 General.

(a) Applicability date. Beginning on November 3, 2003, this section applies to State agencies responsible for issuing hazardous materials endorsements for a CDL, and applicants for such endorsements.

(b) Prohibition. A State may not issue, renew, upgrade, or transfer a hazardous materials endorsement for a CDL to any individual authorizing that individual to operate a commercial motor vehicle transporting a hazardous material in commerce unless the Transportation Security Administration has determined that the individual does not pose a security risk warranting denial of the endorsement.

(c) Individual notification. At least 180 days prior to the expiration date of the CDL or hazardous materials endorsement, a State must notify the holder of a hazardous materials endorsement that the individual must pass a Transportation Security Administration security screening process as part of any application for renewal of the hazardous materials endorsement. Before November 3, 2003, a State must give the holder of a hazardous materials endorsement as much advance notice as practicable. The notice must advise a driver that, in order to expedite the security screening process, he or she should file a renewal application as soon as possible, but not later than 90 days before the date of expiration of the endorsement. An individual who does not successfully complete the Transportation Security Administration security screening process referenced in paragraph (b) of this section may not be issued a hazardous materials endorsement.

(d) Hazardous materials endorsement renewal cycle. Each State must require that hazardous materials endorsements be renewed every 5 years or less so that individuals are subject to a Transportation Security Administration security screening requirement referenced in paragraph (b) of this section at least every 5 years.

Sec. 383.151 General. Source: 53 FR 27657, July 21, 1988, unless otherwise noted.

The CDL shall be a document that is easy to recognize as a CDL. At a minimum, the document shall contain information specified in Sec. 383.153.

Sec. 383.153 Information on the document and application.

(a) All CDLs shall contain the following information:

(1) The prominent statement that the license is a ``Commercial Driver's License'' or ``CDL,'' except as specified in Sec. 383.153(b).

(2) The full name, signature, and mailing address of the person to whom such license is issued;

(3) Physical and other information to identify and describe such person including date of birth (month, day, and year), sex, and height;

(4) Color photograph of the driver;

(5) The driver's State license number;

(6) The name of the State which issued the license;

(7) The date of issuance and the date of expiration of the license;

(8) The group or groups of commercial motor vehicle(s) that the driver is authorized to operate, indicated as follows:

(i) A for Combination Vehicle;

(ii) B for Heavy Straight Vehicle; and

(iii) C for Small Vehicle.

(9) The endorsement(s) for which the driver has qualified, if any, indicated as follows:

(i) T for double/triple trailers;

(ii) P for passenger;

(iii) N for tank vehicle;

(iv) H for hazardous materials;

(v) X for a combination of tank vehicle and hazardous materials endorsements;

(vi) S for school bus; and

(vii) At the discretion of the State, additional codes for additional groupings of endorsements, as long as each such discretionary code is fully explained on the front or back of the CDL document.

(b) If the CDL is a Nonresident CDL, it shall contain the prominent statement that the license is a ``Nonresident Commercial Driver's License'' or ``Nonresident CDL.'' The word ``Nonresident'' must be conspicuously and unmistakably displayed, but may be noncontiguous with the words ``Commercial Driver's License'' or ``CDL.''

(c) If the State has issued the applicant an air brake restriction as specified in Sec. 383.95, that restriction must be indicated on the license.

(d) Except in the case of a Nonresident CDL:

(1) A driver applicant must provide his/her Social Security Number on the application of a CDL; and

(2) The State must provide the Social Security Number to the CDLIS.

Sec. 383.155 Tamperproofing requirements.

States shall make the CDL tamperproof to the maximum extent practicable. At a minimum, a State shall use the same tamperproof method used for noncommercial drivers' licenses.