FMCSA Extends Waiver for Third Party CDL Examiners

Washington D.C. – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has extended a waiver of specific training requirements for third party commercial driver’s license (CDL) skills testers to allow them to administer the knowledge test.

Federal regulations require all CDL knowledge testers to complete a training course covering three specified units of instruction: Introduction to the CDL Licensing System, Overview of CDL Tests, and Knowledge Tests.




 

The FMCSA issued a waiver on Thursday, April 9 in response to the COVID-19 national emergency which waived these requirements to allow third party CDL test examiners previously authorized by the State to administer the CDL skills test to also administer the CDL knowledge test without completing a CDL knowledge test training course.

The waiver is set to expire June 30, 2020.

However, the Agency is extending this waiver from July 1, 2020, and continuing through 11:59 p.m. on September 30, 2020, or until President Donald Trump revokes his national emergency declaration.




 

In announcing the waiver, the Agency explained,

This waiver will not impact safety negatively because the CDL knowledge tests are easier to administer than the skills tests. The CDL knowledge test examiner has minimal direct involvement in administering the tests. In contrast, the CDL skills test examiner has substantial direct involvement in the administration of the tests. The skills tests require the observation and scoring of demonstrated driving maneuvers and several days of examiner training. For these reasons, trained skills test examiners would be capable of administering the knowledge tests without first taking a CDL knowledge test training course.


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The coronavirus is not only changing the administration of the knowledge test.

It is also changing how the skills test is administered as well.




 

The FMCSA raised quite a few eyebrows in April when it announced CDL examiners no longer needed to be physically present during the administering of the CDL skills testing process.

In the guidance issued to State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLA), the FMCSA said it was “encouraging SDLAs to test drivers while practicing social distancing.”

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