U.S. Code, Title 49, Transportation

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Author: "U.S. Congress, Office of the Law Revision Counsel"

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§ 31305. General Driver Fitness and Testing

     (a) Minimum Standards for Testing and Fitness.—The Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe regulations on minimum standards for testing and ensuring the fitness of an individual operating a commercial motor vehicle. The regulations—

     (1) shall prescribe minimum standards for written and driving tests of an individual operating a commercial motor vehicle;

     (2) shall require an individual who operates or will operate a commercial motor vehicle to take a driving test in a vehicle representative of the type of vehicle the individual operates or will operate;

     (3) shall prescribe minimum testing standards for the operation of a commercial motor vehicle and may prescribe different minimum testing standards for different classes of commercial motor vehicles;

     (4) shall ensure that an individual taking the tests has a working knowledge of—

     (A) regulations on the safe operation of a commercial motor vehicle prescribed by the Secretary and contained in title 49, Code of Federal Regulations; and

     (B) safety systems of the vehicle;

     (5) shall ensure that an individual who operates or will operate a commercial motor vehicle carrying a hazardous material—

     (A) is qualified to operate the vehicle under regulations on motor vehicle transportation of hazardous material prescribed under chapter 51 of this title; and

     (B) has a working knowledge of—

     (i) those regulations;

     (ii) the handling of hazardous material;

     (iii) the operation of emergency equipment used in response to emergencies arising out of the transportation of hazardous material; and

     (iv) appropriate response procedures to follow in those emergencies;

     (6) shall establish minimum scores for passing the tests;

     (7) shall ensure that an individual taking the tests is qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle under regulations prescribed by the Secretary and contained in title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, to the extent the regulations apply to the individual; and

     (8) may require—

     (A) issuance of a certification of fitness to operate a commercial motor vehicle to an individual passing the tests; and

     (B) the individual to have a copy of the certification in the individual’s possession when the individual is operating a commercial motor vehicle.

     (b) Requirements for Operating Vehicles.—(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, an individual may operate a commercial motor vehicle only if the individual has passed written and driving tests that meet the minimum standards prescribed by the Secretary under subsection (a) of this section to operate the vehicle and has a commercial driver’s license to operate the vehicle.

     (2) The Secretary may prescribe regulations providing that an individual may operate a commercial motor vehicle for not more than 90 days if the individual—

     (A) passes a driving test for operating a commercial motor vehicle that meets the minimum standards prescribed under subsection (a) of this section; and

     (B) has a driver’s license that is not suspended, revoked, or canceled.

(Pub. L. 103–272, § 1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1016; Pub. L. 106–159, title II, § 201(d), Dec. 9, 1999, 113 Stat. 1760.)

Historical and Revision Notes

Revised Section

Source (U.S. Code)

Source (Statutes at Large)

31305(a)     49 App.:2704(a).     Oct. 27, 1986, Pub. L. 99–570, § 12005(a), (b), 100 Stat. 3207–171.

31305(b)     49 App.:2704(b).

     In this section, the word "Federal" is omitted as unnecessary.

     In subsection (a), before clause (1), the words "Not later than July 15, 1988" are omitted as obsolete. In clause (3), the words "if the Secretary considers appropriate to carry out the objectives of this title" are omitted as unnecessary.

     In subsection (b)(1), the words "taken and" are omitted as unnecessary. The text of 49 App.:2704(b)(3) is omitted as obsolete.

Amendments

     1999—Subsec. (b)(1). Pub. L. 106–159 struck out "to operate the vehicle" after "written and driving tests" and inserted "to operate the vehicle and has a commercial driver’s license to operate the vehicle" before period at end.

CDL School Bus Endorsement

     Pub. L. 106–159, title II, § 214, Dec. 9, 1999, 113 Stat. 1766, provided that: "The Secretary shall conduct a rulemaking to establish a special commercial driver’s license endorsement for drivers of school buses. The endorsement shall, at a minimum—

"(1) include a driving skills test in a school bus; and

"(2) address proper safety procedures for—

     "(A) loading and unloading children;

     "(B) using emergency exits; and

     "(C) traversing highway rail grade crossings."

Medical Certificate

     Pub. L. 106–159, title II, § 215, Dec. 9, 1999, 113 Stat. 1767, provided that: "The Secretary shall initiate a rulemaking to provide for a Federal medical qualification certificate to be made a part of commercial driver’s licenses."

Insulin Treated Diabetes Mellitus

     Pub. L. 105–178, title IV, § 4018, June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 413, provided that:

     "(a) Determination.—Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act [June 9, 1998], the Secretary [of Transportation] shall determine whether a practicable and cost-effective screening, operating, and monitoring protocol could likely be developed for insulin treated diabetes mellitus individuals who want to operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce that would ensure a level of safety equal to or greater than that achieved with the current prohibition on individuals with insulin treated diabetes mellitus driving such vehicles.

     "(b) Compilation and Evaluation.—Prior to making the determination in subsection (a), the Secretary shall compile and evaluate research and other information on the effects of insulin treated diabetes mellitus on driving performance. In preparing the compilation and evaluation, the Secretary shall, at a minimum—

"(1) consult with States that have developed and are implementing a screening process to identify individuals with insulin treated diabetes mellitus who may obtain waivers to drive commercial motor vehicles in intrastate commerce;

"(2) evaluate the Department’s policy and actions to permit certain insulin treated diabetes mellitus individuals who meet selection criteria and who successfully comply with the approved monitoring protocol to operate in other modes of transportation;

"(3) assess the possible legal consequences of permitting insulin treated diabetes mellitus individuals to drive commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce;

"(4) analyze available data on the safety performance of diabetic drivers of motor vehicles;

"(5) assess the relevance of intrastate driving and experiences of other modes of transportation to interstate commercial motor vehicle operations; and

"(6) consult with interested groups knowledgeable about diabetes and related issues.

     "(c) Report to Congress.—If the Secretary determines that no protocol described in subsection (a) could likely be developed, the Secretary shall report to Congress the basis for such determination.

     "(d) Initiation of Rulemaking.—If the Secretary determines that a protocol described in subsection (a) could likely be developed, the Secretary shall report to Congress a description of the elements of such protocol and shall promptly initiate a rulemaking proceeding to implement such protocol."

Performance-Based CDL Testing

     Pub. L. 105–178, title IV, § 4019, June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 414, provided that:

     "(a) Review.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act [June 9, 1998], the Secretary [of Transportation] shall complete a review of the procedures established and implemented by States under section 31305 of title 49, United States Code, to determine if the current system for testing is an accurate measure and reflection of an individual’s knowledge and skills as an operator of a commercial motor vehicle and to identify methods to improve testing and licensing standards, including identifying the benefits and costs of a graduated licensing system.

     "(b) Regulations.—The Secretary may issue regulations under section 31305 of title 49, United States Code, reflecting the results of the review."

Driver Fatigue

     Pub. L. 105–178, title IV, § 4021, June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 414, provided that:

     "(a) Technologies To Reduce Fatigue of Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators.—

"(1) Development of technologies.—As part of the activities of the Secretary [of Transportation] relating to the fatigue of commercial motor vehicle operators, the Secretary shall encourage the research, development, and demonstration of technologies that may aid in reducing such fatigue.

"(2) Matters to be taken into account.—In carrying out paragraph (1), the Secretary shall take into account—

     "(A) the degree to which the technology will be cost efficient;

     "(B) the degree to which the technology can be effectively used in diverse climatic regions of the Nation; and

     "(C) the degree to which the application of the technology will further emissions reductions, energy conservation, and other transportation goals.

"(3) Funding.—The Secretary may use amounts made available under section 5001(a)(2) of this Act [112 Stat. 419].

     "(b) Nonsedating Medications.—The Secretary shall review available information on the effects of medications (including antihistamines) on driver fatigue, awareness, and performance and shall consider encouraging, if appropriate, the use of nonsedating medications (including nonsedating antihistamines) as a means of reducing the adverse effects of the use of other medications by drivers."

Section Referred to in Other Sections

     This section is referred to in sections 521, 31301, 31308, 31311 of this title.

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Chicago: "U.S. Congress, Office of the Law Revision Counsel", "§ 31305. General Driver Fitness and Testing," U.S. Code, Title 49, Transportation in U.S. Code, Title 49, Transportation (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 2002), Original Sources, accessed October 1, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=KZXBX92I86RW86Q.

MLA: "U.S. Congress, Office of the Law Revision Counsel". "§ 31305. General Driver Fitness and Testing." U.S. Code, Title 49, Transportation, in U.S. Code, Title 49, Transportation, Washington, D.C., Government Printing Office, 2002, Original Sources. 1 Oct. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=KZXBX92I86RW86Q.

Harvard: "U.S. Congress, Office of the Law Revision Counsel", '§ 31305. General Driver Fitness and Testing' in U.S. Code, Title 49, Transportation. cited in 2002, U.S. Code, Title 49, Transportation, Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C.. Original Sources, retrieved 1 October 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=KZXBX92I86RW86Q.