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  • § 391.2
    General exceptions.
  • § 391.11
    General qualifications of drivers.
  • § 391.15
    Disqualification of drivers.
  • § 391.21
    Application for employment.
  • § 391.23
    Investigation and inquiries.
  • § 391.25
    Annual inquiry and review of driving record.
  • § 391.27
    Record of violations.
  • § 391.31
    Road test.
  • § 391.33
    Equivalent of road test.
  • § 391.41
    Physical qualifications for drivers.
  • § 391.43
    Medical examination; certificate of physical examination.
  • § 391.45
    Persons who must be medically examined and certified.
  • § 391.47
    Resolution of conflicts of medical evaluation.
  • § 391.49
    Alternative physical qualification standards for the loss or impairment of limbs.
  • § 391.51
    General requirements for driver qualification files.
  • § 391.63
    Multiple-employer drivers.
  • § 391.65
    Drivers furnished by other motor carriers.

Part 391

Section § 391.11: General qualifications of drivers.

Below are the available interpretations for the given section. To return to the list of parts, use the Parts link above. The menu to the left provides a full list of sections that have interpretations. To view interpretations for a different section, click on the menu item.

The regulations text of the section can be found on the eCFR website. To view the regulations text, use the link below. For assistance, please send an email to FMCSA.Webmaster@dot.gov.
View regulations for Part 391

Question 1: Is there a maximum age limit for driving in interstate commerce?

Guidance:

The FMCSRs do not specify any maximum age limit for drivers.

Question 2: Does the age requirement in §391.11(b)(1) apply to CMV drivers involved entirely in intrastate commerce?

Guidance:

No. Neither the CDL requirements in part 383 nor the FMCSRs in parts 390-399 require drivers engaged purely in intrastate commerce to be 21 years old. The States may set lower age thresholds for intrastate drivers.

Question 3: What effect does the Age Discrimination in Employment Act have on the minimum age requirement for an interstate driver?

Guidance:

None. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. 621-634, recognizes an exception when age is a bona fide occupational qualification. 29 U.S.C. 623(f)(1).

Question 4: May a motor carrier be exempt from driver qualification requirements by hiring a driver leasing company or temporary help service?

Guidance:

No. The FMCSRs apply to, and impose responsibilities on, motor carriers and their drivers. The FHWA does not regulate driver leasing companies or temporary help service companies.

Question 5: May a motor carrier lawfully permit a person not yet qualified as a driver in accordance with §391.11 to operate a vehicle in interstate commerce for the purpose of attending a training and indoctrination course in the operation of that specific vehicle?

Guidance:

No. If the trip is in interstate commerce, the driver must be fully qualified to operate a CMV.

Question 6: Does the Military Selective Service Act of 1967 require a motor carrier to place a returning veteran in his/her previous position (driving interstate) even though he/she fails to meet minimum physical standards?

Guidance:

No. The Act does not require a motor carrier to place a returning veteran who does not meet the minimum physical standards into his/her previous driving position. The returning veteran must meet the physical requirements and obtain a medical examiner’s certificate before driving in interstate operations.

Question 7: Would a driver who fails to meet the hearing standard under 49 CFR 391.41(b)(11) but has obtained an exemption from that requirement, be considered unqualified under the English language proficiency requirement in 49 CFR 391.11(b)(2) if the driver cannot communicate orally in English?

Guidance:

No, if the hearing-impaired driver with an exemption is capable of reading and writing in the English language. In that circumstance, the hearing-impaired driver satisfies the English language requirement. The absence of an ability to speak in English is not an indication that the individual cannot read and write in English sufficiently to communicate with the general public, to understand highway traffic signs and signals in the English language, to respond to official inquiries, and to make entries on reports and records.


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