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FMCSA searching for carriers to participate in Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program

FMCSA searching for carriers to participate in Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is conducting a three-year commercial driver apprenticeship program, in accordance with Section 23022 of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

This program will allow qualified drivers ages 18-20, who hold intrastate commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs), to explore interstate trucking careers. 

FMCSA will grant apprentice drivers approval to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce while they are under 21 years of age. During the pilot program’s probationary periods, apprentice drivers can operate in interstate commerce only when accompanied by a qualified, experienced driver in the passenger seat. 

Apprentice and experienced drivers must meet all criteria specified in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Apprentice drivers must operate vehicles equipped with onboard monitoring systems (OBMS) that include forward-facing and in-cab driver-facing cameras, an automatic or automatic manual transmission, active braking collision mitigation system, and a governed speed of 65 miles per hours at the pedal and under adaptive cruise control. Apprentice drivers cannot transport passengers or hazardous materials or operate double- or triple-trailer combinations or cargo tank vehicles while participating in this program, regardless of any license endorsements they hold.

According to FMCSA, this program was created to also help trucking companies hire and train new drivers.

Participating motor carriers must: 

  • Have proper operating authority, if required, and registration; 
  • Have at least the minimum levels of financial responsibility required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs); 
  • Not be a high- or moderate-risk carrier; 
  • Not have a conditional or unsatisfactory safety rating; 
  • Not have any open enforcement actions in the previous 6 years; 
  • Not have a crash rate above the 2021 national average (0.96 crashes per million vehicle miles traveled); 
  • Not have a driver out-of-service (OOS) rate above the 2021 national average (5.30%); 
  • Not have a vehicle OOS rate above the 2021 national average (19.40%);
  • Have a registered apprenticeship (RA) program through the Department of Labor; 
  • Provide proof of insurance for under 21 drivers prior to being issued an exemption from FMCSA for the age requirements requirements found in 49 CFR 391.11(b)(1). 

To learn more visit:

You can also contact FMCSA division administrator Chris Henry with any questions at:


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