FMCSA: Final Rule Updates Commercial Driver’s License Manual for States

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Effective Dec. 5, 2011, all state driver licensing agencies will be required to develop new processes for managing the Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS) driver record and qualifications clearinghouse.

The new final rule published by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) incorporates the most recent edition of the CDLIS State Procedures Manual, Release 5.2.0. By Jan. 30, 2012, state licensing agencies must comply with the new manual requirements for transmitting, receiving, recording and updating the physical descriptions of each CDL holder, commercial and non-commercial driving status, medical certification status, convictions, disqualifications, and crash history.

CDLIS was created by FMCSA and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) two years after the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986, which set minimum standards for how all states and the District of Columbia issue CDLs. FMCSA and AAMVA have jointly operated the program ever since. States risk losing federal-aid highway funds if they fail to “comply substantially” with CDL program requirements.

The state procedures manual facilitiates an information exchange between states about CDL holders by requiring the states to follow all procedures on how to obtain, track and update CDLIS driver records. FMCSA said Canadian provinces and the Mexican General Directorship of Federal Motor Carrier Operation will also adopt the new manual.

In addition to offering background information on that laws that mandate CDLIS and definitions of CDLIS user types, other updates include descriptions of new information technology security standards, medical certification information and status and state self-audit features.