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Commercial Drivers License Reciprocity With Canada, Notice and Technical Amendment to Part 383

Title: Commercial Driver's License Reciprocity with Canada.

Agency: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). DOT.

Action: Notice.

Summary: Notice is hereby given that the Federal Highway Administration has determine that commercial drivers' licenses issued by Canadian jurisdictions under the Canadian National Safety Code meet the commercial driver testing and licensing standards contained in 49 CFR Part 383. Accordingly, a commercial driver's license issued by a Canadian jurisdiction in conformity with the Canadian National Safety Code will be considered to be the single commercial driver's license for operation in the United States by Canadian drivers. Also, a Canadian driver holding a commercial driver's license issued under the Canadian National Safety Code will be prohibited from obtaining any driver's license from a State or other licensing jurisdiction of the United States.

Date: The enabling agreement between the Governments of Canada and other United States took effect on December 29, 1988.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Ms. Jill L. Hochman, Office of Motor Carrier Standards, (202) 366-4001 or Mr. Paul L. Brennan. Office of Chief Counsel, (202) 366-1350, Federal Highway Administration. 400 Seventh Street, SW., Washington, DC 20590. Office hours are from 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday, except legal holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Federal Highway Administrator (Administrator) has authority under 49 CFR Part 383 to determine the compatibility of the commercial driver testing and licensing standards of jurisdictions of foreign countries (foreign jurisdictions) with those of the United States. Specifically, 382.23(b) requires that a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operator who is domiciled in a foreign jurisdiction which, as determined by the Administrator, does not test drivers and issue a commercial driver's license (CDL) in accordance with, or similar to the standards in Subparts F, G, and H of Part 383, obtain a Nonresident CDL to a person domiciled in a foreign country if the Administrator has determined that the CMV testing and licensing standards in the foreign jurisdiction of domicile do not meet the standards contained in Part 383.

On the basis of an examination of the Canadian classified license system and related implementing regulations, as set forth in the Canadian National Safety Code, the Administrator has determined that Canadian provinces and territories in conformance with the Canadian National Safety Code do, indeed, test drivers and issue a CDL in accordance with, or similar to, the standards contained in Subparts F, G, and H of Part 383. Also, the Administrator has determined that the CMV testing and licensing standards in the Canadian jurisdictions in conformance with the Canadian National Safety Code meet the standards contained in Part 383.

Therefore, CDLs issued by Canadian jurisdictions in conformance with the licensing standards established in the Canadian National Safety Code will be honored in the United States. Canadian drivers will not be required to obtain Nonresident CDL in order to operate commercial vehicles in this country. Moreover, to ensure the single license concept, Canadian drivers holding a commercial driver's license issued by a Canadian Jurisdiction will be prohibited from obtaining a driver's license, commercial or noncommercial, from a State or other licensing jurisdiction of the United States. Appendix A contains the text of the Administrator's determination as made in a letter to the Canadian Government on December 23, 1988.

By letter of December 29, 1988, the Canadian Government has made an analogue determination with respect to 49 CFR 383, and thus, once implementation at the State level is complete, is extending similar reciprocity to CDLs issued by the States in conformity with the United States standards. The complete letter from the Canadian Government appears as Appendix B. Taken together, Appendix A and B constitutes an understanding between the United States and Canada relating to the reciprocal recognition of CDLs.

The FHWA is continuing its review of the commercial driver testing and licensing standards of other foreign jurisdictions. Until this review is complete, or until April 1, 1992, whichever is earlier, the foreign license or other license issue by a State in keeping with State requirements can continue to be accepted as the single licensed while the operator drives CMV in the United States.

The substance of this notice is incorporated as a footnote in the regulatory text of 49 CFR Part 383 by means of a technical amendment published in today's Federal Register, entitled "Commercial Driver Testing and Licensing Standards."

Issued on May 16, 1989.

R. D. Morgan. 
Executive Director.

Appendix A- Letter of December 23, 1988, from the Administrator to the Government of Canada.

Dear Mr. Lagult: I have the honor to refer to the discussions among representative of our Government relating to the Commercial Motor Vehicle operators. To comply with the Act, Federal Highway Administration recently compile a rule making (49 C, F, R, Part 383) that establishes a classified license system for commercial motor vehicles; details that knowledge, skills and abilities that drivers of different types of commercial vehicle must possess; and outline licensing and testing procedures. The states will issue commercial driver's licenses in according with Federal Standards.

The commercial driver's license regulations require the Federal Highway Administrator to make a determination as to whether the commercial vehicle operator as to whether the commercial vehicle operator testing and licensing standards of foreign jurisdictions meet the United States requirements. When the Administrator determines that the Standards of a foreign jurisdiction do not meet those of the United States, a foreign driver will be required to obtain a nonresident commercial vehicle in the United States.

We have completed our examination of the Canadian classified license system and related implementing regulations, as set forth in the Canadian National Safety Code, and have determined that they are equivalent to those of the United States. Accordingly, commercial driver's license issued by Canadian jurisdiction in conformance with the licensing standards established in the Canadian National Safety Code will be honored in the United States. Canadian drivers will not be requirement to obtain a nonresident commercial driver's license in order to operate commercial vehicles in this country. Moreover, to ensure the single license concept, Canadian drivers holding a commercial driver's license issued by a Canadian jurisdiction will be prohibited from obtaining a driver's license, commercial or noncommercial, from a state or other licensing jurisdiction of the United States.

I propose that, if the foregoing is acceptable to the Government of Canada, this letter and your confirmatory reply constitute an understanding between our Governments. The agreement will be effective upon receipt of your reply. I look forward to a continued cooperative relationship with Canada concerning the compatibility of Canadian and United States commercial driver information systems, as well as all other aspects of commercial motor vehicle safety.

Sincerely yours, 
(signed) 
Robert E. Farris 
Federal Highway Administrator.

Appendix B-Letter of December 29, 1988, From the Government of Canada to the Administrator

Mr. Robert E. Farris. 
Federal Highway Administrator, 
U.S. Department of Transportation, 
Washington. DC 20590

Dear Mr. Farris: I refer to your letter dated December 23, 1988 concerning discussion among representatives of our two Governments relating to the United States' implementation of the licensing provisions of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986. After consultation among the appropriate Canadian provincial territorial and federal authorities, I wish to confirm that the Canadian authorities welcome your extension of reciprocity to Canadian commercial drivers' license issued by the province and territories in accordance with the Canadian National Safety Code.

It is our understanding that implementation by U.S. states of the classified license system established by the recently completed Federal Highway Administration regulations will be phased in over the next several years, with the driver coverage not required until April 1, 1992. During this implementation period, the Canadian jurisdiction will continue to accept driver's license issued by the individual states of the United States.

Following examination of the classified license regulations issued by your agency, the appropriate Canadian authorities have determined that the standards set forth in those regulations are equivalent to those of the Canadian National Safety Code. Accordingly, once implementation at the state level is complete, the Canadian jurisdictions will extend full reciprocity to the commercial drivers' licenses issued by the states in conformity with U.S. standards. Consistent with the single license concept, American drivers holding a commercial driver's license issued by a U.S. state will be prohibited from obtaining a driver's license, commercial or non-commercial from a Canadian Jurisdiction.

I have the honor to confirm that your letter and this reply constitute an understanding between our two Governments relating to the reciprocal recognition of commercial drivers' licenses. This understanding shall be effective as of the date of this reply.

My authorities share you commitment to the commercial vehicle safety. The Government of Canada looks forward to further exchange of information and continued cooperation in working towards greater compatibility in our respective approaches to transportation regulatory matters.

Yours sincerely, 
(signed) 
L. H. Legault 
Minister (Economic) and Deputy Head of Mission,

(FR Doc, 89-12256 Filed 5-22-89; 8:45 am) 
BILLING CODE 4010-23-16

Updated: Tuesday, June 17, 2014