FMCSA renews CRST exemption allowing pre-CDL truckers to drive team

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration this week published a notice in the Federal Register announcing that it has renewed the exemption for CRST Expedited that allows commercial learner’s permit holders who have passed the CDL skills test to drive teams without a CDL holder in the front seat.

The company has held the exemption since 2016 and filed for a renewal in August.

Regulations state a CLP holder must be accompanied by a CDL holder in the front seat of a truck while driving on public roads or highways. However, under the exemption, as long as the CLP holder has passed the CDL skills test, he or she can drive in team operations until returning to his or her home state to receive a CDL. FMCSA says through the end of 2016, CRST reported zero accidents to the agency involving drivers operating under the exemption.

In its renewal notice, FMCSA says because these drivers have passed the CDL skills test but have yet to return home to get their CDL, “their safety performance is expected to be the same as any other newly-credentialed CDL holder.”

The exemption is now valid through Sept. 24, 2023. The agency says if there is a deterioration of CRST’s safety record, it can revoke the exemption at any time.

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