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FMCSA Reduces Cost For Truckers To Upgrade From Class B CDL To Class A

In March of this year the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) announced a final rule which makes it easier and reduces the costs for truckers to upgrade from a Class B to a Class A CDL (commercial driver’s license.)  The previous rule required the same level of theory training for individuals obtaining a CDL for the first time as for those drivers who just wanted to upgrade their Class B CDL to a Class A CDL. 

According to the Federal Registration Government website, “The FMCSA has amended the entry-level-driver training (ELDT) regulations published on December 8th, 2016, titled “Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators” by adopting a new Class A theory instruction upgrade curriculum to reduce the training time and costs incurred by Class B commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders upgrading to a Class A CDL.”   

The FMCSA feels that this change in theory training requirements for Class B CDL holders wishing to upgrade their licenses to Class A, will maintain the same level of safety in the industry. The FMCSA said it doesn’t make sense for those drivers that already have experience in the industry and choose to upgrade their license have to go through the same requirements as new drivers getting a commercial driving license for the first time.

“This effort is a common-sense way of reducing the regulatory burdens placed on CDL applicants and their employers.  FMCSA continues to strategically reform burdensome regulations to improve the lives of ordinary Americans by saving them valuable time and money – while simultaneously maintaining the highest level of safety,” said FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez.

The FMCSA also expects be able to reduce the annual cost savings by $18 million dollars.  Eligible driver trainees and motor carriers will be greatly benefited by this reduced cost.  FMCSA estimates that over 11,000 driver-trainees will benefit annually by this rule and see an average reduction of 27 hours in time spent completing their theory instruction.  This results in substantial time and cost savings to these driver-trainees, as well as to the motor carriers that employ these drivers.