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FMCSA Proposes Pilot Plan to Allow Younger Drivers to Obtain CDL for Interstate Commerce

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is proposing a program that would allow a limited number of military veterans between 18 and 21 years old to operate commercial motor vehicles for interstate commerce, according to a notice of proposed rulemaking published in the August 22 Federal Register. 

The purpose of this proposed 3-year pilot program is to determine whether persons under the age of 21 can safely operate CMVs in interstate commerce, and to enhance opportunities for persons with relevant military training to enter the CMV industry.

The program would compare roughly 200 individuals, ages 18-21 years old, against a control group of participants age 21 and older with roughly the same training for CDL operation. Study applicants will be required to have obtained specific training and experience operating heavy duty vehicles while in the military.  Participants will also be required to obtain sponsorship by a voluntary participating motor carrier.

The study proposes to collect data by tracking citations, violations, incidents, driving and service logs as well as other factors that would be compared between the test study group and the control group.  The FMCSA would use the data collected to determine whether age plays a critical safety factor in CMV operation for interstate commerce.

Previous efforts to conduct test programs that would allow younger drivers to obtain their CDL have failed due to push-back from both the public and motor carriers but petitioners for the proposed plan hope the pilot will address the shortage of CMV drivers in the industry. The FMCSA has requested public comments on the proposed pilot.  For instructions on posting feedback select here.

The Integrated Group will track the development of the FMCSA’s proposed pilot plan and provide updates as they are announced. For more information feel free to contact The Integrated Group at 425.822.8500 or

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