This report addresses progress states are making toward testing and licensing their commercial drivers and the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA's) efforts to carry out its testing and licensing responsibilities. Findings in brief are as follows: FHWA issued minimum testing and licensing regulations in July 1988 and established the national driver information system in January 1989. The states then had about 3 years to implement their commercial driver's license (CDL) programs and to test and license all of their drivers. It was found that at least 33 states will have a difficult time completing driver testing and licensing by April 1, 1992. Specifically, 13 states, in responding to a General Accounting Office (GAO) questionnaire, indicated that they may not meet the deadline. The 20 other states said they plan the difficult task of testing and licensing one-fourth to one-half of all of their drivers during the 3-month period prior to April 1992. GAO estimates that at least 360,000 drivers in the 13 states may not be tested and licensed on time and therefore could lose their driving privileges. Some states have yet to enact legislation adopting the new federal testing and licensing requirements. Most states are experiencing problems in making computer changes needed to connect to the national driver information system. Once these problems are resolved, most states will have 2 years or less to test and license all drivers. States normally license all drivers over a 4-year period. FHWA expects that the states can meet the April 1, 1992, testing and licensing deadline. However, as of October 1, 1989, FHWA had not developed specific action plans to ensure that once the states establish CDL programs, the states will be able to test and license all drivers on time. Additional FHWA assistance is needed to ensure that the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act's primary intent of removing unsafe commercial drivers from the nation's highways is met. Measures are also needed to ensure that drivers in states that do not meet the deadline are not unduly penalized.

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 36 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00493688
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: GAO/RCED-90-78
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 30 1990 12:00AM