CVTA to the Rescue

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By Aimee Napier, Napier Truck Driving Training

As a CVTA member for 13 years, I have relied upon the association to help solve problems when they arise. Generally, I am able to solve most problems on my own. However, sometimes I am not. Two weeks ago I was facing a nightmare scenario that I am happy to say was resolved because of my membership in CVTA. I am writing to all CVTA members to let them know the value of being a member in CVTA, but more important, to urge members to reach out and seek guidance if they ever face a similar scenario as I did.

Ohio is in the process of changing its Workforce system from the old WIA system to the new WIOA system. In this transition, Ohio requires all eligible training providers to fill out a set of new forms and be approved by the State. After completing my forms, I received an email that I had been denied. Since 1995 our school has trained thousands of students who come through the Workforce Program and we maintain a 94% placement rate for those students. I was baffled. When I reached out to contact the state, I learned we were denied because when we filled out the form, we were not accredited by an accreditor on the list. No matter how I tried to reason with gentleman with who I spoke, I got nowhere.

With frustration and fear setting in, I reached out to CVTA to inquire about this matter and seek their guidance on it. CVTA sprang into action for us. After reviewing the state forms, looking at the WIOA law, talking with the state officials to determine the problem, CVTA was able to connect us to the Governor’s office and to help identify the breakdown in the workforce process. The State’s form, which listed accreditors, failed to capture those programs that were also authorized and overseen by other state agencies and departments. Therefore, while some in the workforce department interpreted that a school had to be accredited in the formal, term of art sense, in order to qualify, CVTA help point out that the letter and intent of the new workforce law never intended to bar successful programs like ours to from operating. Allowing Napier and other quality programs to become eligible training providers to align training and jobs in high demand industries, like trucking, will continue to allow programs with a record of success to continue delivering this success.

CVTA advised the State to revise its criteria and approve programs that are overseen by other agencies and departments. I am happy to report that within days of raising this issue to CVTA, and through their help by conducting outreach with the Governor’s office, we were approved. While I hope your school will never have to undergo an experience like mine, but if you do, my advice is to reach out to CVTA to see if they can help. Because of CVTA’s quick action, the matter was resolved and CVTA has once again come to my rescue. A job well done!

CVTA’s Statement on the President’s FY 2017 Budget

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For Immediate Release

February 11, 2016

Cindy Atwood

Alexandria, Virginia - Commercial Vehicle Training Association's (CVTA) President and CEO Don Lefeve released the following statement on the President's FY 2017 Budget Request:

"CVTA applauds the President's Budget for its commitment to fully funding the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). WIOA enables thousands of Americans to acquire the training needed to obtain good paying jobs in trucking with high quality carriers. WIOA grants are a critical source of funding which help individuals afford the schooling and high quality training needed to become a professional truck driver. We look forward to working with the Administration and Congress in the coming months to ensure that WIOA is fully funded and more Americans are able to receive the training they seek from CVTA schools.

"While we work on the federal level, we are also focused on helping Governors and Workforce officials better understand the impact that the current driver shortage is having on the economy, both locally and nationally, and the importance WIOA grants can play addressing the shortage by supporting Americans looking to secure commercial driver training.

"CVTA is committed to policies which enable students to receive funding to attend school, and we are equally committed to addressing policies which prevent students from entering the workforce in a timely fashion."

CVTA Applauds Congress For Producing Long Term Highway Bill

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Bipartisan bill recognizes the impact skills test delays have on producing commercial truck drivers and filling critical jobs

December 2, 2015

Earlier today, CVTA President & CEO Don Lefeve released the following statement:

"CVTA commends Congress on producing a bipartisan, bicameral long term Highway bill called the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (“FAST Act”). The FAST Act is a critical step in setting transportation policy and funding America's transportation network and infrastructure moving forward. CVTA would particularly like to recognize Representatives John Duncan (R-TN), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), and their staffs, along with all conferees, for their efforts to include a provision which will help address the growing problem of skills test delays.

Commercial drivers are a key part of the engine that powers the sustainability of our economy. However, in many states, commercial drivers are prevented from going to work because they are unable to timely secure a skills test needed to acquire their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). CVTA is excited to see that Congress recognized the negative impact that skills testing delays are having on the system’s ability to train and employ the next generation of truck drivers. We look forward to working with Congress, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and other stakeholders to help solve this problem.”

Driver Examination Forms

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Attention Certified Medical Examiners

Until December 22, 2015, Certified Medical Examiners are required to continue to use current driver examination forms found on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website at

On December 22, 2015, Certified Medical Examiners will be required to use the newly revised driver examination forms discussed in the Medical Examiner's Certification Integration final rule published on April 23, 2015. A copy of this rule in its entirety can be found in the National Registry Resource Center.

FMCSA has received numerous calls and emails from various stakeholders requesting to review the newly revised driver examination forms that will go into effect on December 22, 2015. To accommodate these requests, FCMSA has posted PDF samples of the new driver examination forms on the National Registry website which can be accessed by clicking the links below. Please note that these forms are samples only and are prohibited from being used prior to the December 22, 2015 compliance date.

Medical Examination Report (MER) Form, MCSA-5875 (Sample)

CMV Driver Medical Examination Results Form, MCSA-5850 (Sample)

Medical Examiner's Certificate (MEC) Form, MCSA-5876 (Sample)

FMCSA will be announcing future Q&A sessions to address any questions that may arise from stakeholder's review of the new driver examination forms discussed in this notice. In addition, fillable PDF versions of the Medical Examination Report (MER) Form, MCSA-5875 and Medical Examiner's Certificate (MEC) Form, MCSA-5876 will be made available for download from the National Registry ( and FMCSA ( websites at a later date to be announced in the near future, by December 22, 2015.

CVTA Applauds House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee for passing a long-term Highway Bill that addresses numerous CVTA concerns, including Skills Testing Delays.

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Dear CVTA Members,

I am writing to update you on a number of very positive developments on Capitol Hill on October 22, 2015 for CVTA members.

Over the past year, CVTA has been advocating for a number of legislative changes that would enhance our members’ ability to provide quality training programs to new drivers. Specifically, CVTA has been urging Congress to: (1) reduce skills testing delays, (2) promulgate performance based Entry-Level Driver Training standards, (2) ensure that any additional federally approved drug testing options are really options, and (3) allow qualified and trained 18-year-old drivers to obtain a CDL allowing them to operate interstate.

We are pleased to report that Congress took major steps towards addressing all of these issues on October 22, 2015, as the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee conducted a mark-up of H.R. 3763, the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act (“STRR Act”). This Bill, which is the House of Representatives version of the Highway Bill, authorizes federal transportation programs, policy, and funding for the next six years. Though the STRR Act still has a long way to go until it becomes law, we are pleased to report that the Act proposes comprehensive solutions to each of the major concerns that CVTA has been raising on Capitol Hill over the past year.

Specifically, the STRR Act would:

  1. Require the FMCSA to issue a report on CDL skills testing delays, by location and month, on these delay times for tests and retests, including requiring the Administrator to describe specific steps he is taking to address test and retest delays of longer than 7 days. Furthermore, the bill authorizes the Department of Transportation (DOT) to allocate additional funds to improve a state’s implementation of its CDL programs, including expenses incurred for testing, personnel, and CL program coordinators;
  2. Put additional pressure on DOT to publish long-awaited minimum Entry-Level Driver Training Standards;
  3. Ensure that any additional federally-approved drug testing options will truly be options for our schools and carriers and will not obligate our schools and carriers to employ these more costly options for fear of lawsuit; and
  4. Create a pilot program allowing qualified and adequately trained 19½ -year-old drivers to obtain a CDL so that they could operate commercial vehicles interstate, rather than just intrastate.

CVTA applauds the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee for its commitment to ensuring that new drivers are able to access quality driver training and testing. We are particularly thankful to Representatives John Duncan (R-TN) and Representative Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), who cosponsored the language addressing skills testing delays, for their ongoing leadership and commitment to this issue.


Don Lefeve
President & CEO, CVTA

For a more detailed summary of the above sections of the STRR Act, please click HERE.

A Brief Summary of the STRR Act

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A brief summary of the STRR Act’s most relevant sections is below.

1) Skills Testing Delays

Skill Testing Delays Report

Managers Amendment

The House version included a provision which would require the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to issue a report on skills testing delays in the states. Specifically, the provision requires the report to include each state’s:

  • Average testing times, by location and month, from when an individual requests a skills test and when they actually sit for the exam;
  • Average retest times, by location and month, from when an individual requests a skills retest and when they actually sit for the exam;
  • The number of examiners employed, by location and month, in each state;
  • The number of testing locations and whether this number has increased or decreased from the past year.

Most importantly, the report also requires the FMCSA’s Administrator to describe specific steps he is taking to address test and retest delays of longer than 7 days.

Commercial Driver’s License Program Implementation

Sec. 5104

This provision establishes authorizes the Department of Transportation to administer a financial assistance program for commercial driver’s license program implementation. The Secretary may make a grant to a state agency:

  • To assist the state in complying with the section 31311 (49 U.S.C. § 31311 “Requirements for State participation”)
  • To improve the state’s implementation of its CDL program, including expenses:
    • For computer hardware and software;
    • For publications, testing, personnel, training, and quality control;
    • For CDL program coordinators;
    • Notification system to employers of suspension or revocation of CDLs.

(2) Entry-Level Driver Training Standards (ELDT)

Entry-Level Driver Training

Sec. 5301

The bill contains a provision which requires the Secretary of Transportation to explain why the ELDT rulemaking deadline has not been met (as established by law) if it is not promulgated within 30 days of enactment of the bill. If the DOT does not meet or cannot meet the deadline within 30 days of determining the deadline cannot be met, the Secretary must report back to Congress and explain why it cannot meet the deadline.

(3) Federally Approved Drug Testing Options

Drug Free Commercial Drivers

Sec. 5402

Another provision that was included in the bill would allow motor carriers the option of using hair testing as an alternative to urinalysis testing for pre-employment drug testing. CVTA concern was if this provision had become mandatory, it would add additional costs to students and schools. CVTA worked with Members of Congress to ensure that such testing should not be mandatory and the provision ensures that motor carriers (which includes schools) should be considered an alternative choice, not a mandatory requirement. The provision adds hair testing as an alternative method while also recognizing the right to choice of preferred method.

(4) 19 ½ -Year-Old Drivers

Graduated Commercial Driver’s License Pilot Program

Sec. 5404

The bill contains a provision which establishes a Graduated Commercial Driver’s License Pilot Program for individuals ages 19 ½ - 21 years old. The task force will evaluate:

  • Specified length of time for a learner’s permit stage;
  • A requirement that those under 21 must be accompanied by someone older than 21;
  • A restriction on travel distances;
  • A restriction on allowable driving hours;
  • Mandatory driver training that exceeds the requirements for drivers over the age of 21 issued by the Secretary (ELDT);
  • Use of certain safety technologies in vehicles of drivers under the age of 21;
  • Any other element the task force considers appropriate.

Opportunities for Veterans

Sec. 5401

This provision amends current law and would:

  • exempt members of the Armed Forces from all or a portion of the driving test if the individual has experience in the military driving vehicles similar to a commercial motor vehicle;
  • ensure that such individuals may apply for an exemption of the driving test or portion of the test at least 1 year from separation from the military; and
  • credit the training and knowledge the individual received in the military if the individual has experience driving vehicles similar to a commercial motor vehicle.


Member Alert 10.21.2015

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Several of our members have received the following email:
Sent: Monday, October 19, 2015 8:00 AM
Hello and how are you today? Am making inquiry on your CDL(Commercial Driver's License) training program. We want to train 3 of our personnel on CDL because We are expanding our services to trucking & Freight services. 150 hours course work will be much better for their program. Kindly advise?
More Details:
1. Number Of Students: 3
2. Arrival Date: 20th November 2015
3. National: US Citizens
4. Age: 37, 40, & 41yrs.
Kindly respond with brief explanations on how to get them registered for the program. What is the Total costs for the training?
Sincerely Yours,
Maxwell Schmidtt

We believe this is a scam as they do not provide a phone number and do not have a website. We suggest you do not respond to their requests.