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Commercial Driver's License Standards: Application for Exemption; Daimler Trucks North America (Daimler)

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Trucking Topics:  Daimler AG, Martin Zeilinger

Commercial Driver's License Standards: Application for Exemption; Daimler Trucks North America (Daimler)

Daphne Y. Jefferson
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
6 June 2017


[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 107 (Tuesday, June 6, 2017)]
[Notices]
[Pages 26220-26222]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-11647]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2012-0032]


Commercial Driver's License Standards: Application for Exemption; 
Daimler Trucks North America (Daimler)

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of final disposition; grant of application for 
exemption.

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SUMMARY: FMCSA announces its decision to grant Daimler Trucks North 
America's (Daimler) application for an exemption to allow a Daimler 
employee to drive commercial motor vehicles (CMV) in the United States 
without having a commercial driver's license (CDL) issued by one of the 
States. The driver, Martin Zeilinger, will test-drive

[[Page 26221]]

Daimler vehicles on U.S. roads to better understand product 
requirements for these vehicles in ``real world'' environments and 
verify results. He holds a valid German commercial license but lacks 
the U.S. residency necessary to obtain a CDL issued by one of the 
States. FMCSA believes that the process for obtaining a German 
commercial license is comparable to or as effective as the U.S. CDL 
requirements and ensures that this driver will likely achieve a level 
of safety that is equivalent to or greater than the level of safety 
that would be obtained in the absence of the exemption.

DATES: This exemption is effective June 6, 2017 and expires June 6, 
2022.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Thomas Yager, Chief, FMCSA Driver 
and Carrier Operations Division; Office of Carrier, Driver and Vehicle 
Safety Standards; Telephone: 614-942-6477. Email: MCPSD@dot.gov. If you 
have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, contact 
Docket Services, telephone (202) 366-9826.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Public Participation

Viewing Comments and Documents

    To view comments, as well as documents mentioned in this preamble 
as being available in the docket, go to www.regulations.gov and insert 
the docket number, ``FMCSA-2012-0032'' in the ``Keyword'' box and click 
``Search.'' Next, click the ``Open Docket Folder'' button and choose 
the document to review. If you do not have access to the Internet, you 
may view the docket online by visiting the Docket Management Facility 
in Room W12-140 on the ground floor of the DOT West Building, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

II. Legal Basis

    FMCSA has authority under 49 U.S.C. 31136(e) and 31315 to grant 
exemptions from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. FMCSA 
must publish a notice of each exemption request in the Federal Register 
(49 CFR 381.315(a)). The Agency must provide the public an opportunity 
to inspect the information relevant to the application, including any 
safety analyses that have been conducted. The Agency must also provide 
an opportunity for public comment on the request.
    The Agency reviews the safety analyses and the public comments, and 
determines whether granting the exemption would likely achieve a level 
of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be 
achieved by the current regulation (49 CFR 381.305). The decision of 
the Agency must be published in the Federal Register (49 CFR 
381.315(b)) with the reason for the grant or denial, and, if granted, 
the specific person or class of persons receiving the exemption, and 
the regulatory provision or provisions from which exemption is granted. 
The notice must also specify the effective period of the exemption (up 
to 5 years), and explain the terms and conditions of the exemption. The 
exemption may be renewed (49 CFR 381.300(b)).

III. Daimler Application for Exemption

    Daimler has applied for an exemption renewal for one of its 
engineers from 49 CFR 383.23, which prescribes licensing requirements 
for drivers operating CMVs in interstate or intrastate commerce. This 
driver, Martin Zeilinger, holds a valid German commercial license but 
is unable to obtain a CDL in any of the U.S. States due to residency 
requirements. A copy of the application is in Docket No. FMCSA-2012-
0032.
    FMCSA initially granted an exemption to Mr. Zeilinger on March 27, 
2015 (80 FR 16511). This exemption was effective March 27, 2015, and 
expired March 27, 2017. Detailed information about the qualifications 
and experience of Mr. Zeilinger was provided by Daimler in its original 
application, a copy of which is in the docket.
    The exemption renewal would allow Mr. Zeilinger to operate CMVs in 
interstate or intrastate commerce to support Daimler field tests 
designed to meet future vehicle safety and environmental requirements 
and to develop improved safety and emission technologies. According to 
Daimler, Mr. Zeilinger will typically drive for no more than 6 hours 
per day for 2 consecutive days, and 10 percent of the test driving will 
be on two-lane State highways, while 90 percent will be on interstate 
highways. The driving will consist of no more than 200 miles per day, 
for a total of 400 miles during a two-day period on a quarterly basis. 
He will in all cases be accompanied by a holder of a U.S. CDL who is 
familiar with the routes to be traveled. Daimler requests that the 
exemption cover the maximum allowable duration of 5 years.
    Daimler has explained in prior exemption requests that the German 
knowledge and skills tests and training program ensure that Daimler's 
drivers operating under the exemption will achieve a level of safety 
that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level of safety obtained by 
complying with the U.S. requirement for a CDL.

IV. Method To Ensure an Equivalent or Greater Level of Safety

    FMCSA has previously determined that the process for obtaining a 
German commercial license is comparable to, or as effective as, the 
requirements of part 383, and adequately assesses the driver's ability 
to operate CMVs in the U.S. Since 2012, FMCSA has granted Daimler 
drivers similar exemptions [May 25, 2012 (77 FR 31422); July 22, 2014 
(79 FR 42626); March 27, 2015 (80 FR 16511); October 5, 2015 (80 FR 
60220); December 7, 2015 (80 FR 76059); December 21, 2015 (80 FR 
79410); July 12, 2016 (81 FR 45217); July 25, 2016 (81 FR 48496)].

V. Public Comments

    On March 22, 2017, FMCSA published notice of this application and 
requested public comments (82 FR 14791). One respondent opposed the 
requested exemption. Mr. Michael Millard wrote, ``I feel five years is 
sufficient for Martin Zeilinger to obtain a US CDL. Please deny Daimler 
Trucks North America's request.''

VI. FMCSA Decision

    Based upon the merits of this application, including Mr. 
Zeilinger's extensive driving experience and safety record, FMCSA has 
concluded that the exemption would likely achieve a level of safety 
that is equivalent to or greater than the level that would be achieved 
absent such exemption, in accordance with Sec.  381.305(a).

VII. Terms and Conditions for the Exemption

    FMCSA grants Daimler and Martin Zeilinger an exemption from the CDL 
requirement in 49 CFR 383.23 to allow Mr. Zeilinger to drive CMVs in 
this country without a U.S. State-issued CDL, subject to the following 
terms and conditions: (1) The driver and carrier must comply with all 
other applicable provisions of the FMCSRs (49 CFR parts 350-399); (2) 
the driver must be in possession of the exemption document and a valid 
German commercial license; (3) the driver must be employed by and 
operate the CMV within the scope of his duties for Daimler; (4) at all 
times while operating a CMV under this exemption, the driver must be 
accompanied by a holder of a U.S. CDL who is familiar with the routes 
traveled; (5) Daimler must notify FMCSA in writing within 5 business 
days of any accident, as defined in 49 CFR 390.5, involving this 
driver; and (6) Daimler must notify FMCSA in writing if this driver is

[[Page 26222]]

convicted of a disqualifying offense under Sec.  383.51 or Sec.  391.15 
of the FMCSRs.
    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136(e), the exemption will 
be valid for 5 years unless revoked earlier by the FMCSA. The exemption 
will be revoked if: (1) Mr. Zeilinger fails to comply with the terms 
and conditions of the exemption; (2) the exemption results in a lower 
level of safety than was maintained before it was granted; or (3) 
continuation of the exemption would be inconsistent with the goals and 
objectives of 49 U.S.C. 31315 and 31136.

VIII. Preemption

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(d), as implemented by 49 CFR 
381.600, during the period this exemption is in effect, no State shall 
enforce any law or regulation applicable to interstate or intrastate 
commerce that conflicts with or is inconsistent with this exemption 
with respect to a firm or person operating under the exemption.

    Issued on: May 26, 2017.
Daphne Y. Jefferson,
Deputy Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2017-11647 Filed 6-5-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-EX-P

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