[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 179 (Tuesday, September 16, 2014)]
[Pages 55526-55528]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-21995]



Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2014-0284]

Commercial Driver's License Passenger Endorsement Requirements; 
Preparing a Report to Congress

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

ACTION: Notice; request for public comment.


SUMMARY: In response to section 32709 of the Moving Ahead for Progress 
in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), the FMCSA requests public comments 
concerning the current knowledge and skills testing requirements for a 
commercial driver's license (CDL) passenger endorsement to determine 
whether improvements to the knowledge test, the examination of driving 
skills, and the application of the requirements are necessary to ensure 
the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles designed or used to 
transport passengers. Section 32709 requires the Secretary to submit a 
report to Congress on the issue. FMCSA has reviewed information from 
State licensing agencies responsible for conducting such tests and now 
provides an opportunity for all interested parties to share their 
perspectives on this issue as the Agency completes its report to 

DATES: Comments must be received on or before October 16, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number FMCSA-
2014-0284 using any one of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
     Fax: 202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department 
of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. 
and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The 
telephone number is 202-366-9329.
    To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. 
See the ``Public Participation and Request for Comments'' heading under 
the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on 
submitting comments.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Robert Redmond, Office of Safety 
Programs, Commercial Driver`s License Division, telephone (202) 366-
5014 or email robert.redmond@dot.gov. FMCSA office hours are from 9 
a.m. to 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. 
If you have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, 
call Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 


I. Public Participation and Request for Comments

    FMCSA encourages you to participate by submitting comments and 
related materials.

Submitting Comments

    If you submit a comment, please include the docket number for this 
notice (FMCSA-2014-0284), indicate the specific section of this 
document to which each comment applies, and provide a reason for each 
suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and material 
online or by fax, mail, or hand delivery, but please use only one of 
these means. FMCSA recommends that you include your name and a mailing 
address, an email

[[Page 55527]]

address, or a phone number in the body of your document so the Agency 
can contact you if it has questions regarding your submission.
    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov and 
click on the ``Submit a Comment'' box, which will then become 
highlighted in blue. In the ``Document Type'' drop down menu, select 
``Rules,'' insert ``FMCSA-2014-0284'' in the ``Keyword'' box, and click 
``Search.'' When the new screen appears, click on ``Submit a Comment'' 
in the ``Actions'' column. If you submit your comments by mail or hand 
delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no larger than 8\1/2\ by 11 
inches, suitable for copying and electronic filing. If you submit 
comments by mail and would like to know that they reached the facility, 
please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard or envelope.
    FMCSA will consider all comments and material received during the 
comment period and may change this analysis based on your comments.

Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble 
as being available in the docket, go to http://www.regulations.gov and 
click on the ``Read Comments'' box in the upper right hand side of the 
screen. Then, in the ``Keyword'' box, insert ``FMCSA-2014-0284'' and 
click ``Search.'' Next, click ``Open Docket Folder'' in the ``Actions'' 
column. Finally, in the ``Title'' column, click on the document you 
would like to review. If you do not have access to the Internet, you 
may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility 
in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Privacy Act

    All comments received will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information you have 
provided. Anyone may search the electronic form of all comments 
received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or of the person signing the comment, if 
submitted on behalf of an association, business, labor union, etc.). 
You may review DOT's complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal 
Register published on January 17, 2008 (73 FR 3316), or you may visit 

II. Background

    In October 1986, Congress passed the Commercial Motor Vehicle 
Safety Act. This act included a provision that, by April 1, 1992, all 
commercial drivers had to pass knowledge and skills tests that met 
standards established by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), 
FMCSA's predecessor agency. At that time, FHWA began working with the 
American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) to develop 
and maintain a CDL test system.
    As a result of this work, a document entitled ``Requirements for a 
CDL Test Maintenance System'' was developed. This document required 
that a CDL knowledge test meet the requirements in Subpart G of Part 
383 of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and AAMVA's ``Manual 
for the Administration and Development of CDL Knowledge Test.'' 
Additionally, AAMVA and FHWA developed a ``Requirements Document for 
the Development of Computer-Generated Multiple Choice CDL Knowledge 
Tests.'' This document was used by AAMVA to select vendors for the 
development of automated testing software.
    The contractor developed software generated tests from a pool of 
600 questions. Requirements of the algorithm for each test included 
that the difficulty level must fall within a 10-point range determined 
by AAMVA; that each test had to contain 25 percent new questions from 
the previous test; and that the locations of identical questions had to 
be different from the previous test.
    In 1998, Congress passed the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st 
Century which required the Secretary to evaluate CDL testing practices 
to determine if they were an accurate reflection of the knowledge and 
skills required by CDL drivers. As a result, in 2000, an analysis was 
completed indicating a need to update the 600-question pool with 
additional knowledge areas concerning the following:
     Dealing with aggressive drivers, road rage, and running 
red lights.
     Dealing with distractions in the vehicle, such as cell 
phones, on board records, and its equipment.
     Driver fatigue, sleep, and rest.
     Anti-lock braking systems.

2005 Test System

    In 2005, AAMVA released the updated version of the CDL knowledge 
and skills testing system, including the knowledge question pool. The 
2005 CDL Test System was the result of 6 years of research by AAMVA, 
with assistance from several State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLA) and 
driver training schools. The test system was piloted by Delaware, 
Indiana, and New York.
    All three parts of the skills test, including the passenger 
endorsement skills test, were revised and updated to better evaluate 
the applicant's skills in operating a commercial motor vehicle. The 
scoring of all three parts of the skills test, including the passenger 
endorsement skills test, was revised to create more scoring 
opportunities requiring the applicant to be more precise in 
demonstrating his/her skills in operating a commercial motor vehicle. 
After the 2005 CDL Test System was developed, the SDLAs were given 
opportunities in 2008 and 2009 to review and suggest edits and 
revisions before the 2010 version was released.

Previous FMCSA Rulemaking

    On April 9, 2008, FMCSA published a notice of proposed rulemaking 
(NPRM) titled, ``Commercial Driver's Licensing Testing and Commercial 
Learner's Permit Standards'' [73 FR 19282]. The comment period was 
extended to July 8, 2008. The NPRM proposed requiring the States to 
fully implement the July 2010 version of the 2005 CDL Test System. A 
copy of this document is included in the docket referenced at the 
beginning of this notice.
    The final rule version published on May 9, 2011, added more CDL 
driver restrictions for applicants who did not take the skills test in 
a vehicle equipped with a full air brake system or no air brakes and 
for applicants who did not take the skills test in a vehicle equipped 
with a manual transmission [76 FR 26854]. The final rule also 
reemphasized the fact that a passenger endorsement is class specific. 
The rule also required the SDLA to restrict the applicant for a 
passenger endorsement to the class of passenger vehicle in which the 
applicant took the skills test and any lower class of passenger 
    The May 2011 final rule required States to be in compliance with 
the new requirements in 49 CFR Part 384 Subpart B by July 8, 2014. The 
Agency received 34 petitions for reconsideration of the rule. As a 
result, on March 25, 2013, the Agency published a final rule that set a 
new compliance date for these requirements of July 8, 2015.

III. Request for Public Comments

    Section 32709 of MAP-21 requires the Secretary to review and assess 
the current knowledge and skill testing requirements for a CDL 

[[Page 55528]]

endorsement to determine what improvements to the knowledge test, the 
examination of driving skills, and the application of such requirements 
are necessary to ensure the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles 
designed or used to transport passengers. FMCSA requests public 
comments on whether improvements to the knowledge and skills tests, 
beyond those in the 2005 CDL Test system that will become effective 
next year, are necessary. The Agency will consider all comments 
received in preparing its report to Congress.

    Issued on: September 8, 2014.
T.F. Scott Darling, III,
Acting Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2014-21995 Filed 9-15-14; 8:45 am]