FMCSA Solicits Opinions on Graduated License

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is seeking public comment about beginning a graduated commercial driver’s license program.

The agency wants respondents to complete a questionnaire that gauges what truckers and carriers think of starting a graduated CDL program. It describes GCDL as a means to gradually progress new drivers into commercial driving “under controlled exposure to progressively more difficult driving experiences.”

This would help new drivers improve with less risk as they progress through driver licensing stages before reaching unrestricted licensure.

Also, the agency wants to know what restrictions a new driver should have with a GCDL, such as type of cargo or equipment.

The FMCSA has surveyed truck and bus drivers, who supported a GCDL, but they were divided on whether drivers ages 18-21 should be eligible for the program.

Questions include:

  • Approximately how many months/years of entry-level training and experience should new drivers receive before graduating to an unrestricted CDL?
  • Should an applicant’s past driving record be considered in issuing a GCDL?
  • Should a fully licensed CDL driver be required to accompany and observe a driver with a GCDL?
  • What is the minimum age at which the holder of a GCDL should be eligible to graduate to an unrestricted CDL?

    Persons should submit comments on the notice, “Inquiries Regarding Graduated Commercial Driver’s Licensing; Qualifications, Testing and Licensing Standards,” by May 27. More information, including the questionnaire, is available at

    Comments may be submitted electronically at and should include docket number FMCSA-2002-12334.

    Bush Nominating Sandberg as FMCSA Chief

    President Bush announced his intention to nominate Annette Sandberg to fill the vacant administrator position heading the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

    Sandberg has served as the agency’s deputy director since Nov. 25, when U.S. Transportation Sec. Norman Mineta announced former administrator Joseph Clapp’s plans to retire in December.
    Sandberg had served the previous nine months as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s deputy director. Before joining the federal agency, she had been chief of the Washington State Patrol for six years. Sandberg holds a law degree and a master’s in business administration.