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Introduced by   Committee on Transportation


Subject:  Motor vehicles; commercial driver license; nonresident commercial license; air brakes; out-of-service orders; railroad crossing violations

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to address issues raised by an audit of the commercial driver license program conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.  The bill:

(1)  Amends the commercial driver license definitions to conform to federal rules.

(2)  Allows the issuance of nonresident commercial driver licenses under certain circumstances.

(3)  Restricts commercial driver licenses to the operation of vehicles without air brakes when the licensee either fails the written air brake test or performs a skills test in a vehicle without air brakes.

(4)  Requires disqualification issued by other jurisdictions to Vermont drivers to be recorded.

(5)  Increases the fines for violation of an out-of-service order so that they are within the range required by federal rule.

(6)  Clarifies the allowable content of the administrative rule regarding the reduction of the term of a life disqualification.

(7)  Provides that a disqualification shall be concurrent with a disqualification issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

(8)  Provides a penalty when an employer allows or requires a driver to commit a railroad grade crossing violation.


It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  23 V.S.A. § 4103(4)(D)(iii), (10), (12), and (18) are amended to read:

As used in this chapter:

* * *

(4)  “Commercial motor vehicle” means a motor vehicle designed or used to transport passengers or property:

* * *

(D)  the term shall not include:

* * *

(iii)  military equipment owned or operated by the United States Department of Defense, including the National Guard national guard, and operated by noncivilian personnel or by national guard military technicians (civilians who are required to wear military uniforms) and active duty U.S. Coast Guard personnel;

                                                                  * * *

(10)  “Hazardous materials” has the same meaning as the term has under section 103 of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act (49 App. U.S.C. 1801 et seq.) means any material that has been designated as hazardous under 49 U.S.C. § 5103 and is required to be placarded under subpart F of 49 C.F.R. part 172 or any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 C.F.R. part 73.

(12)  “Out-of-service order” means a temporary prohibition against driving a commercial motor vehicle.

(18)  “Out-of-service order” means a declaration by the Federal Highway Motor Carrier Safety Administration or an authorized enforcement officer of a federal, state, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Canadian, Mexican, or local jurisdiction, that a driver, or a commercial motor vehicle, or a school bus, or a motor carrier operation, is out-of-service out of service.

Sec. 2.  23 V.S.A. § 4109 is amended to read:


The commissioner may issue a nonresident commercial driver license to a resident of a foreign jurisdiction if the United States secretary of transportation has determined that the commercial motor vehicle testing and licensing standards in the foreign jurisdiction do not meet the testing standards established in 49 C.F.R. part 383.  In addition, the commissioner may issue a nonresident commercial driver license to a person domiciled in a state while that state is prohibited from issuing commercial driver licenses in accordance with 49 C.F.R. part 384.405.  The word “nonresident” must appear on the face of the nonresident commercial driver license.  An applicant shall surrender any nonresident commercial driver license issued by another state.  Prior to issuing a nonresident commercial driver license, the commissioner shall establish the practical capability of revoking or suspending the nonresident commercial driver license.

Sec. 3.  23 V.S.A. § 4111(b)(2)(B) is amended to read:

(b)  Classifications, endorsements and restrictions.  Driver licenses may be issued with the following classifications, endorsements, and restrictions;:

* * *

(2)  Licenses may be issued with appropriate endorsements and restrictions noted thereon.  The commissioner shall determine the manner of notation.  Endorsements and restrictions may include, but are not limited, to those which:

* * *

(B)  restrict the driver to vehicles not equipped with airbrakes air brakes when the person either fails the air brake component of the knowledge test or performs the skills test in a vehicle not equipped with air brakes;

Sec. 4.  23 V.S.A. § 4115 is amended to read:


(a)  Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a person may drive a commercial motor vehicle in this state if the person has a valid commercial driver license issued by any state of the United States or, any province or territory of Canada in accordance with the minimum federal standards for the issuance of commercial motor vehicle driver licenses, or commercial driver licenses the Licensia Federal de Conductor issued by states in the Republic of Mexico, if the person’s license is not suspended, revoked, or canceled and if the person is not disqualified from driving a commercial motor vehicle or subject to an out‑of‑service order.

(b)  The commissioner shall give all out-of-state convictions full faith and credit and treat them for sanctioning purposes under this chapter as if they occurred in this state.

(c)  The commissioner shall record disqualifications and convictions received from other jurisdictions regarding Vermont operators.

Sec. 5.  23 V.S.A. § 4120(a) and (b) are amended to read:

(a)  Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, any driver who violates or fails to comply with an out-of-service order is subject to a penalty of $1,000.00 $1,500.00, in addition to disqualification under this chapter.

(b)  Any employer who violates an out-of-service order, or who knowingly requires or permits a driver to violate or fail to comply with an out-of-service order, is subject to a penalty of $2,500.00 $4,000.00.

Sec. 6.  23 V.S.A. § 4116(g) is amended to read:

(g)  The commissioner shall adopt rules establishing guidelines, including conditions, under which a disqualification for life under this section, except for a disqualification issued pursuant to subsection (e) of this section, may be reduced to a period of not less than ten years.

Sec. 7.  23 V.S.A. § 4116(k) is added to read:

(k)  A person shall be disqualified for a term concurrent with any disqualification issued by the administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration pursuant to 49 C.F.R. part 383.52.

Sec. 8.  23 V.S.A. § 4123 is added to read:



Any employer who knowingly allows, requires, permits, or authorizes a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle in violation of section 1076 of this title is subject to a penalty of not more than $10,000.00.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont