Agency seeking public input on testing of new carriers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is holding a listening session Jan. 13 in Nashville, Tenn., to seek input from industry stakeholders and the public at large on the entry level motor carrier testing rule it must craft, stipulated by the MAP-21 highway funding act.

MAP-21 requires the agency to put in place a written exam to test motor carrier applicants for proficient knowledge of “safety regulations, standards and orders of the Federal government,” according to an entry posted last week in the Federal Register.

To create the test, FMCSA says it plans to hold a series of listening sessions — open to the public — to gather feedback on the rule.

Below are the quetsions from the Federal Register entry that FMCSA says it would like to hear input on:

  • Should the exam be limited to the applicable FMCSA regulations or include both the regulations and industry best practices?
  • If the exam covers industry best practices, what specific best practices should be included on the exam?
  • What industry best practices manuals/publications are available for new entrants to study prior to taking a proficiency exam?
  • Are private-sector training courses available to teach new entrants industry best practices?
  • Should FMCSA limit the exam to company officers or employees responsible for safety and compliance, or should the agency allow safety consultants to complete the exam on behalf of the new entrant?
  • Should the test results be linked to specific individuals identified on the registration application with a requirement that the new entrant entity have a “certified” individual who passed the exam in a position responsible for safety and compliance? And should the new entrant be required to update their registration information whenever these individuals are replaced/reassigned during the new entrant monitoring/oversight period?
  • MAP-21 requires freight forwarders and brokers to renew their registration authority every 5 years. Should the new entrant testing rule require a new test (i.e., recertification test) to accompany the freight forwarder or broker renewal application?
  • Should the FMCSA develop and deliver the test directly to the new entrant applicants, or should the Agency rely on a private sector entity to handle the testing, with the results being transmitted directly to FMCSA?
  • Do private sector companies or organizations currently conduct testing concerning industry best practices?
  • Should the testing be conducted at testing centers, or should FMCSA allow on-line testing?

This month’s listening session will be held at the American Bus Association’s Marketplace conference at the Music City Center, 201 Fifth Ave. South, Nashville, Tenn., in Room 202 C from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

It will also be broadcasted live via a webcast. Specific information on the webcast will be posted closer to the session date, FMCSA says.

You can also give feedback to FMCSA prior to the session by going to and using Docket ID FMCSA-2001-11061.

Comment can also be mailed to Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, Washington, D.C., 20590. Comments can also be hand delivered to the same address.

Comments can also be faxed to 202-493-2251.

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