[Federal Register: August 5, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 151)]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
Commercial Driver's License: Commonwealth of Virginia, Department
of Motor Vehicles; Application for Exemption
AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.
ACTION: Notice of application for exemption; request for comments.
SUMMARY: FMCSA has received an application from the Commonwealth of
Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (Virginia DMV) for an exemption
from provisions of the Agency's commercial driver's license (CDL)
requirement that each CDL issued by the State contain a color
photograph of the driver. Virginia DMV proposes that it be allowed to
use a black and white, laser-engraved photograph in lieu of a color
photograph. Virginia DMV believes that the issuance of CDLs with laser-
engraved black and white photographs would enhance the security of the
credential and assist law enforcement officials with the identification
of the CDL holder. The FMCSA requests public comment on Virginia DMV's
application for exemption.
DATES: Comments must be submitted on or before September 4, 2008.
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by Federal Docket
Management System Number [FMCSA-2008-0232] by any of the following
- Web Site: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the
instructions for submitting comments on the Federal electronic docket
- Fax: 1-202-493-2251.
- Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of
Transportation, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington,
- Hand Delivery: Ground Floor, Room W12-140, DOT Building,
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.
Instructions: All submissions must include the Agency name and
docket number. For detailed instructions on submitting comments and
additional information on the exemption process, see the Public
Participation heading below. Note that all comments received will be
posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information provided. Please see the Privacy Act heading
Docket: For docket access to read background documents or comments
received, go to http://www.regulations.gov at any time or to the ground floor, room W12-140, DOT Building, New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington,
DC, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. e.t., Monday through Friday, except
Privacy Act: Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all
comments received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review DOT's
complete Privacy Act Statement in the Federal Register published on
April 11, 2000 (65 FR 19476), or you may visit http://www.regulations.gov.
Public participation: The http://www.regulations.gov Web site is
generally available 24 hours each day,
365 days each year. You can get electronic submission and retrieval
help and guidelines under the "help" section of the http://www.regulations.gov Web site and also at the DOT's http://docketsinfo.dot.gov Web site. If you want us to notify you that we
received your comments, please include a self-addressed, stamped
envelope or postcard, or a copy of print the acknowledgement page that
appears after submitting comments online.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Thomas Yager, Chief, FMCSA Driver
and Carrier Operations Division, Office of Bus and Truck Standards and
Operations. Telephone: 202-366-4325. E-mail: MCPSD@dot.gov.
Section 4007 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century
(Pub. L. 105-178, 112 Stat. 107, June 9, 1998) amended 49 U.S.C. 31315
and 31136(e) to provide authority to grant exemptions from motor
carrier safety regulations. Under its regulations, FMCSA must publish a
notice of each exemption request in the Federal Register (49 CFR
381.315(a)). The Agency must provide the public an opportunity to
inspect the information relevant to the application, including any
safety analyses. The Agency must also provide an opportunity for public
comment on the request.
The Agency reviews the safety analyses and the public comments, and
determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a level
of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be
achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The decision of
the Agency must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR
381.315(b)) with the reason for denying or, in the alternative, the
specific person or class of persons receiving the exemption, and the
regulatory provision or provisions from which the exemption is granted.
The notice must also specify the effective period of the exemption (up
to 2 years), and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The
exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)).
Request for Exemption
Virginia DMV requests an exemption from 49 CFR 383.153(a)(4), which
requires each CDL to contain a color photograph of the driver. A copy
of the exemption application is in the docket referenced at the
beginning of this notice. Virginia DMV proposes that it be allowed to
use a black and white, laser-engraved photograph on Virginia-issued
CDLs in lieu of a color photograph. In its application for exemption,
Virginia DMV explains that in January 2008, the Department of Homeland
Security (DHS) issued the final rules on the REAL ID Act of 2005. As
provided in the DHS rules 6 CFR 37.17(e)(2) provides that the
photographs on REAL ID compliant driver's licenses and identification
cards "may be in black and white or color."
Virginia DMV believes that a black and white photograph is more
effective than a color photograph in providing security and
facilitating the proper identification of the license holder. It
explains that a black and white photograph created with a laser cannot
easily be altered. In addition, Virginia DMV explains that a black and
white photograph enhances the identification of an individual since it
places the focus on the actual facial features of the individual rather
than on characteristics that can easily be altered, such as hair or eye
color. Virginia DMV believes that the issuance of CDLs with black and
white photographs would enhance the security of the credential and
assist law enforcement officials with the identification of the CDL
holder. In its application for exemption Virginia DMV provides
information from its contractor, CBN Secure Technologies, Inc., that
offers further explanation regarding the advantages of using black and
white photographs on CDLs.
Virginia DMV's proposed exemption would apply to all CDLs issued by
the Commonwealth of Virginia. Presently, approximately 216,000
Virginians hold valid CDLs. Virginia DMV anticipates that, if the
requested exemption is granted, it would begin issuing CDLs with black
and white photographs in January 2009.
Request for Comments
In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(b)(4) and 31136(e), FMCSA
requests public comment on Virginia DMV's application for an exemption
from 49 CFR 383.153(a)(4).
The Agency will consider all comments received by close of business
on September 4, 2008. Comments will be available for examination in the
docket at the location listed under the ADDRESSES section of this
notice. The Agency will consider to the extent practicable comments
received in the public docket after the closing date of the comment
Issued on: July 25, 2008.
Larry W. Minor,
Associate Administrator for Policy and Program Development.
[FR Doc. E8-17860 Filed 8-4-08; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P