FMCSA launches Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program

Source: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

On July 26, 2022, the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot (“SDAP”) program opened its application portal for participation. The SDAP is a three-year program, which was established under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Section 23022. It allows drivers between the ages of 18 and 20 with an intrastate commercial driver’s license to operate interstate commerce under very specific conditions, and helps trucking companies hire and train new drivers through a strictly supervised apprenticeship pilot program, which includes pairing each young driver with an experienced mentor.

To qualify for participation in the SDAP, motor carriers must meet the following standards:

  1. must have proper operating authority, if required, and registration;
  2. must have at least the minimum levels of financial responsibility required by the FMCSRs;
  3. must not be a high or moderate risk motor carrier as defined in the Agency’s Federal Register notice titled, “Notification of Changes to the Definition of a High Risk Motor Carrier and Associated Investigation” published on March 7, 2016 (81 FR 11875);
  4. must not have a conditional or unsatisfactory safety rating;
  5. must not have any open enforcement actions ( e.g., Imminent Hazard, Operations Out-of-Service (OOS) Orders, Patterns of Safety Violations) in the previous six years;
  6. must not have a crash rate above the national average;
  7. must not have a driver OOS rate above the national average; and
  8. must not have a vehicle OOS rate above the national average.