Truck Safety:

Implementation of the Single Driver's License and Notification Requirements

RCED-89-30: Published: Feb 13, 1989. Publicly Released: Feb 13, 1989.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Federal Highway Administration's (FHwA) efforts to implement and enforce the single driver's license and violation notification requirements of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986.

GAO found that: (1) FHwA, the states, and commercial motor carriers responded to the single license requirement with a major information campaign to identify multiple license holders, resulting in commercial drivers voluntarily surrendering over 42,000 multiple licenses; (2) after FHwA identified and notified potential multiple licensed holders of their noncompliance, it accepted drivers' statements, without accompanying evidence of license surrender, as proof of their compliance; and (3) FHwA will limit enforcement until states fully implement their participation in a national licensing information system. GAO also found that FHwA did not enforce the act's notification requirement, since: (1) commercial drivers did not routinely report their out-of-state convictions to their licensing states; (2) states did not use the information in their licensing decisions; and (3) it did not identify and penalize drivers who violated the requirements.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: FHwA does not plan any action on this recommendation because it believes that the CDLIS program will accomplish the intended results. FHwA stated that CDLIS is designed to detect multiple license holders and its efficiency will improve as more states begin to participate. GAO believes that the action is not fully responsive because CDLIS will not be fully operational for several more years.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FHwA, to require potential multiple license holders to submit to FHwA either evidence that they surrendered their excess licenses or a letter authorizing the state to cancel them.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

  2. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: FHwA does not plan any action on this recommendation because it believes that the CDLIS program will accomplish the intended results. FHwA stated that CDLIS is designed to identify out-of-state convictions when fully implemented. GAO believes that the action is not fully responsive because CDLIS will not be fully operational for several more years.

    Recommendation: The Secretary of Transportation should direct the Administrator, FHwA, to enforce the notification requirement by, at a minimum, comparing states' records of more serious traffic convictions to other states' lists of commercial drivers reporting out-of-state convictions, in order to identify drivers who did not report such convictions. FHwA could then use this information to take actions against drivers who failed to comply with the notification requirement and had unsafe (disqualifying) offenses.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

 

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