FMCSA Seeking Public Input on new Entrant Testing

The FMCSA has announced the agency will hold public listening sessions on January 13, 2014 on how to assess applicants’ knowledge of regulations and industry practices for persons seeking registration authority.

“On July 6, 2012, the President signed MAP–21 into law. The new law included certain requirements concerning the registration of motor carriers (property, passenger, and household goods (HHG)), freight forwarders and brokers. Section 32101 of MAP–21 includes requirements for a written proficiency examination to assess motor carrier registration applicants’ knowledge of applicable safety regulations, standards, and orders of the Federal government. Section 32916 includes requirements that applicants for freight forwarder and broker registration authority employ, as an officer, an individual with 3 years of relevant experience who ‘provides the Secretary with satisfactory evidence of the individuals’ knowledge of related rules, regulations, and industry practices,'” the FMCSA stated.

During the listening sessions, the FMCSA plans to ask participants to consider the following questions and prepare comments for feedback and suggestions:

• 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?

The first listening session will be held on January 13, 2014 at the American Bus Association Marketplace in Nashville, Tennessee.