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Commercial Driver's License: Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Motor Vehicles; Application for Exemption

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Commercial Driver's License: Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Motor Vehicles; Application for Exemption

Larry W. Minor
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
April 7, 2014


[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 66 (Monday, April 7, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 19170-19171]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-07695]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2014-0096]


Commercial Driver's License: Commonwealth of Virginia, Department 
of Motor Vehicles; Application for Exemption

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

ACTION: Notice of application for exemption; request for comments.

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

SUMMARY: FMCSA announces that it has received an application from the 
Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (Virginia DMV) 
for a limited exemption from the Agency's commercial driver's license 
(CDL) regulation. Section 383.77(b)(1) allows a State to waive the CDL 
skills test described in 49 CFR 383.113 for applicants regularly 
employed or previously employed within the last 90 days in a military 
position requiring operation of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). 
Virginia DMV proposes that it be allowed to extend the 90-day timeline 
to one year following the driver's separation from military service. 
Virginia DMV believes the 90-day timeframe is too short to take 
advantage of the waiver for many of the qualified discharged veterans 
reentering and settling into civilian life. FMCSA requests public 
comment on Virginia DMV's application for exemption. In addition, 
because the issues concerning the Virginia DMV request could be 
applicable in each of the States, FMCSA requests public comment whether 
the exemption, if granted, should cover all State Driver's Licensing 
Agencies (SDLAs).

DATES: Comments must be received on or before May 7, 2014.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Federal Docket 
Management System Number FMCSA-2014-0096 by any of the following 
methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: www.regulations.gov. Follow 
the online instructions for submitting comments.
     Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
     Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of 
Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., West Building, Ground 
Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
     Hand Delivery or Courier: West Building, Ground Floor, 
Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. 
E.T., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
    Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and 
docket number. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and 
additional information on the exemption process, see the Public 
Participation heading below. Note that all comments received will be 
posted without change to www.regulations.gov, including any personal 
information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading below.
    Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or

[[Page 19171]]

comments received, go to www.regulations.gov, and follow the online 
instructions for accessing the dockets, or go to the street address 
listed above.
    Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all 
comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review a 
Privacy Act notice regarding our public dockets in the January 17, 
2008, issue of the Federal Register (73 FR 3316).
    Public participation: The Federal eRulemaking Portal is available 
24 hours each day, 365 days each year. You can obtain electronic 
submission and retrieval help and guidelines under the ``help'' section 
of the Federal eRulemaking Portal Web site. If you want us to notify 
you that we received your comments, please include a self-addressed, 
stamped envelope or postcard, or print the acknowledgement page that 
appears after submitting comments online. Comments received after the 
comment closing date will be included in the docket and will be 
considered to the extent practicable.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Pearlie Robinson, FMCSA Driver and 
Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle 
Safety Standards; Telephone: 202-366-4325. Email: MCPSD@dot.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Background

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

Request for Exemption

    Virginia DMV requests an exemption from 49 CFR 383.77(b)(1), which 
allows States to waive the skills test described in section 383.113 for 
applicants regularly employed or previously employed within the last 90 
days in a military position requiring operation of a CMV. Virginia DMV 
proposes that it be allowed to extend the 90-day timeline to one year 
following the driver's separation from military service.
    Virginia DMV has a comprehensive Troops to Trucks program that 
assists service members in obtaining a Virginia CDL and civilian 
employment in the motor carrier industry. Feedback from the Troops to 
Trucks military partners has identified the 90-day limit as an obstacle 
to service members transitioning to civilian life.
    Virginia DMV contends that the 90-day timeframe is too short for 
many of the qualified veterans to utilize while reentering civilian 
life.
    According to Virginia DMV, since July 2012 183 service members have 
utilized the 90-day waiver through the Virginia Troops to Trucks 
program. It anticipates that an exemption would allow an additional 60 
to 100 recent veterans to participate in the program per year. The one-
year timeframe is consistent with FMCSA's November 2013 Report to 
Congress regarding a program to assist veterans to acquire CDLs. The 
American Trucking Associations has estimated that the motor carrier 
industry needs about 96,000 new drivers every year. Providing 
additional flexibility in section 383.77(b)(1) will help to expedite 
the transition of fully trained military truck drivers to civilian 
employment.
    Virginia DMV believes this goal is in the Nation's best interest. A 
more accessible waiver period would greatly benefit returning veterans. 
This is consistent with FMCSA's belief that the skills test waiver 
serves an important function for military personnel returning to the 
civilian workforce, as stated in the May 9, 2011 Federal Register 
notice that created the 90-day waiver (76 FR 26864).
    In addition, because the issues concerning the Virginia DMV request 
could be applicable in each of the States, FMCSA requests public 
comment on whether the exemption, if granted, should cover all State 
Driver's Licensing Agencies (SDLAs).
    A copy of Virginia DMV's application for exemption is available for 
review in the docket for this notice.

Request for Comments

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315(b)(4), FMCSA 
requests public comment on Virginia DMV's application for an exemption 
from 49 CFR 383.77(b)(1).
    The Agency will consider all comments received by close of business 
on May 7, 2014. Comments will be available for examination in the 
docket at the location listed under the ADDRESSES section of this 
notice. The Agency will consider to the extent practicable comments 
received in the public docket after the closing date of the comment 
period.

    Issued on: March 31, 2014.
 Larry W. Minor,
 Associate Administrator for Policy.
[FR Doc. 2014-07695 Filed 4-4-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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