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Agency Information Collection Activities; Approval of a New Information Collection Request: Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Skills Testing Delays

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Agency Information Collection Activities; Approval of a New Information Collection Request: Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Skills Testing Delays

G. Kelly Regal
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
21 March 2017

[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 53 (Tuesday, March 21, 2017)]
[Pages 14597-14599]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-05523]



Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2016-0275]

Agency Information Collection Activities; Approval of a New 
Information Collection Request: Commercial Driver's License (CDL) 
Skills Testing Delays

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

ACTION: Notice and request for comments.


SUMMARY: In accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, FMCSA 
announces its plan to submit the Information Collection Request (ICR) 
described below to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review 
and approval. This ICR is to collect data on the delays, by State, that 
applicants face when scheduling a CDL skills test. This information 
collection and subsequent data analysis is required by section 5506 of 
the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, 2015 (FAST Act).

DATES: Please send your comments by April 20, 2017. OMB must receive 
your comments by this date in order to act quickly on the ICR.

ADDRESSES: All comments should reference Federal Docket Management 
System (FDMS) Docket Number FMCSA-2016-0275. Interested persons are 
invited to submit written comments on the proposed information 
collection to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office 
of Management and Budget. Comments should be addressed to the attention 
of the Desk Officer, Department of Transportation/Federal Motor Carrier 
Safety Administration, and sent via electronic mail to 
oira_submission@omb.eop.gov, or faxed to (202) 395-6974, or mailed to 
the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Office of Management 
and Budget, Docket Library, Room 10102, 725 17th Street NW., 
Washington, DC 20503.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nicole Michel, Office of Analysis, 
Research, and Technology/Research Division, Department of 
Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 6th Floor, 
West Building, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001. 
Telephone: 202-366-4354; Email Address: nicole.michel@dot.gov. Office 
hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal 

    Title: Survey on CDL Skills Test Delays.
    OMB Control Number: 2126-00XX.
    Type of Request: New information collection.
    Respondents: Annual survey: State CDL Coordinators; Optional 
quarterly report of delay time at each test site: State CDL 
Coordinators and State CDL test location staff.
    Estimated Number of Respondents: Annual survey: 51 State CDL 
Coordinators, one from each of the 50 States, and one from Washington, 
DC. Optional quarterly report of delay time at each test site: 1,230 
(51 State CDL Coordinators and 1,179 State CDL testing location 
    Estimated Time per Response: Annual survey: 2.3 hours (120 minutes 
to gather data + 17.5 minutes to respond to survey). Optional quarterly 
report of delay time at each test site: 30 minutes for State CDL 
Coordinator to gather information and 1 minute for State CDL test 
location representative to report current delay time at test site.
    Expiration Date: N/A. This is a new information collection.
    Frequency of Response: Annually; In addition, respondents have the 
option to report delay time at test sites on a quarterly basis.
    Estimated Total Annual Burden: Annual survey: 116.9 hours (2.3 
hours x 51 respondents = 116.9 hours). Optional quarterly report of 
delay time at each test site: 180.6 hours [4 quarters x (30 minutes x 
51 State CDL Coordinators + 1 minute x 1179 State CDL test location 
representatives) = 180.6 hours] .


    Section 5506 of the FAST Act (Pub. L. 114-94, Dec. 4, 2015, 49 
U.S.C. 31305 note) requires FMCSA to produce a study on CDL skills test 
delays on an annual basis. The requirements of the study are to submit 
a report describing:
    ``(A) the average wait time from the date an applicant requests to 
take a skills test to the date the applicant has the opportunity to 
complete such test;
    (B) the average wait time from the date an applicant, upon failure 
of a skills test, requests a retest to the date the applicant has the 
opportunity to complete such retest;
    (C) the actual number of qualified commercial driver's license 
examiners available to test applicants; and
    (D) the number of testing sites available through the State 
department of motor vehicles and whether this number has increased or 
decreased from the previous year.''
    The report is also required to describe ``specific steps the 
Administrator is

[[Page 14598]]

taking to address skills testing delays in States that have average 
skills test or retest wait times of more than 7 days.'' If this 
information collection does not occur, FMCSA will not be able to 
fulfill its mandate as directed by the FAST Act, noted above, by 
conducting a study on CDL skills test delays, as there is currently no 
repository of information on skills tests and the required data is not 
available for all States at this time. If information collection occurs 
on a less-than-annual basis, beyond negating its statutory duties, as 
discussed above, FMCSA will not be able to make observations on yearly 
trends or analyze differences in each State on a year-to-year basis.
    FMCSA has met with several stakeholders, including the American 
Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), the Commercial 
Vehicle Training Association, and State Driver Licensing Agencies to 
ensure that the information being collected in this survey has not 
already been collected, is not currently available to FMCSA, and is not 
in the process of being collected. Extensive background research was 
conducted to ensure the study was not duplicative. A previous study, 
done by the Government Accountability Office in 2015, asked for similar 
information but did not produce specific enough data to be used in this 
    The survey will be sent out via email, with the option for online 
completion using SurveyMonkey[supreg]. Each State can respond via email 
or the online survey depending on which method is more convenient for 
the respondent. The welcome letter will indicate that FMCSA prefers 
responses via the online survey tool.
    The information collected will be published annually in a report to 
the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate 
and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of 
Representatives. The first report is due to Congress no later than June 
1, 2017. FMCSA plans to have a draft report available by June 1, 2017, 
with the finalized report submitted to congress in August 2017. 
Subsequent reports will be published on an annual basis thereafter.

Summary of Public Comments Received

    On October 5, 2016, FMCSA published a notice in the Federal 
Register (81 FR 69184) with a 60-day public comment period to announce 
this proposed information collection. The agency received eight 
comments in response to this notice.
    Four commenters provided insights into States' current CDL skills 
testing delays, including an applicant's average wait time to complete 
a skills test; an applicant's average wait time to complete a retest; 
the number of qualified commercial driver's license examiners; and the 
number of State testing sites. FMCSA appreciates this information, and 
encourages each State to fill out the complete survey when it is 
    Two commenters indicated that they believe the information 
collection is necessary and can provide useful information. One 
commenter noted that FMCSA's primary mission is to reduce crashes, 
injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses, and that 
this survey does not advance FMCSA's mission. While FMCSA agrees that 
the correlation between CDL skills test and increased safety is not 
immediately apparent, FMCSA believes skills testing is an integral part 
of truck and bus safety mission. In addition, as discussed above, FMCSA 
is required to collect this information at this interval based on the 
    While two commenters indicated that they believe the burden 
estimate seems reasonable, one commenter strongly disagreed. The 
commenter estimated that annual burden would be between 200 and 270 
hours because the State does not currently track the information 
subject to the ICR. FMCSA has re-evaluated the burden estimate based on 
this feedback and feels that the new burden estimate accurately 
reflects the commenter's concerns. FMCSA also believes the commenter 
was accounting for a much more in depth analysis, which FMCSA 
appreciates but does not plan to require. FMCSA has revised the 
instructions and definitions accordingly to ensure States do not feel 
unduly burdened by the information collection.
    FMCSA received valuable feedback on ways to enhance the quality, 
usefulness, and clarity of the collected information. Specific 
suggestions related to the inclusion of additional questions and better 
defined terms and phrases.
    One commenter requested that FMCSA ensure data is as detailed as 
possible. FMCSA believes the data will become more robust after the 
first year, as States will be able to better prepare for the annual 
    One commenter suggested FMCSA inquire as to the source of States' 
reported estimates, while another commenter voiced concern that there 
may not be enough space for providing feedback on how estimates were 
developed, thereby introducing error in the analysis portion of this 
study. FMCSA has revised the survey to include questions pertaining to 
how the data was collected and calculated, and the sources used to 
calculate delays, thereby allowing for more meaningful analysis and 
more meaningful future data collection.
    Several commenters indicated that FMCSA should inquire about 
mandatory waiting periods for skills testing and retesting. FMCSA has 
covered this area in multiple questions in the survey to ensure 
mandatory waiting periods are accurately understood in addition to 
skills testing delays, as both contribute to the time it takes an 
applicant to receive their CDL. FMCSA has ensured that mandatory wait 
times are collected separately from delay periods throughout the ICR.
    One commenter requested FMCSA include a question pertaining to 
shortest and longest wait times. FMCSA has revised the survey to 
include this question, but has also included an option for States to 
indicate they cannot collect this information. FMCSA understands that 
some States will not be able to produce information pertaining to this 
    One commenter was concerned with the definition of ``average wait 
time,'' when it should be calculated, and how it should be calculated. 
In addition, the commenter noted that ``average wait time'' will vary 
by region, or by testing location. FMCSA has included detailed 
instructions in the survey to address these concerns. Furthermore, it 
has provided the option for States to either provide wait times for all 
testing locations, or to provide a minimum wait time (i.e. the wait 
time at a rural, non-popular test site), the maximum (the wait time at 
the busiest test site), and the average wait time for medium-density 
test sites. Finally, FMCSA is providing an option for seasonal surveys 
tailored to each State to minimize burden, as discussed in further 
detail below.
    The commenter also requested FMCSA clarify what is meant by 
``opportunity to complete such test.'' While FMCSA understands some 
applicants may choose a later test date for personal reasons, a delay 
incurred by the applicant's personal reasons is not something the State 
has control over and should not be reflected in this study, to the best 
ability of the State. FMCSA understands some States may not be able to 
separate the two, in which case personal delays may be grouped together 
with test scheduling delays.
    One commenter recommended the AAMVA add the required information to 
additional reports in Commercial Skills Test Information Management 
System (CSTIMS) to satisfy the information collection request. During

[[Page 14599]]

previous conversations with AAMVA, FMCSA determined that an additional 
field to determine if the delay is due to a customer request or actual 
delay would require funding and time that is not currently available. 
Furthermore, given that not all States currently use CSTIMs, FMCSA 
cannot justify pursuing this route at this time, but will continue 
discussions with AAMVA for future efforts, as appropriate.
    Several comments addressed how the burden could be minimized 
without reducing the quality of collected information. One commenter 
indicated that they believe the burden is minimal as it stands. Another 
commenter suggested that as States become accustomed to this annual 
data collection, States will be able to collect data in a timelier 
    One commenter suggested the burden could be minimized by not 
requiring a year's worth of data to be accumulated and calculated. The 
commenter suggested that FMCSA distribute a quarterly ``snapshot'' 
survey to collect wait times across different seasons and different 
locales, or to work with AAMVA to readily produce this information in 
CSTIMs. FMCSA did not intend for every CDL skills test to be included 
in the average and has provided more concrete instructions for States 
to collect data that is meaningful while not being overly burdensome. 
FMCSA has considered the suggestion for a quarterly snapshot survey, 
and will include a voluntary quarterly survey after the first annual 
survey. This has been accurately updated in burden estimates and in the 
information collection package.
    Finally, one commenter reported that if they are required to modify 
their systems to provide the information subject to this ICR, grant 
funding would be necessary and it would require a long time period to 
complete these efforts. FMCSA does not intend for States to be required 
to modify their existing systems, and believes most of the information 
required should be readily available to a certain degree of 
    Public Comments Invited: You are asked to comment on any aspect of 
this information collection, including: (1) Whether the proposed 
collection is necessary for the FMCSA to perform it's functions; (2) 
the accuracy of the estimated burden; (3) ways for the FMCSA to enhance 
the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the collected information; and 
(4) ways that the burden could be minimized without reducing the 
quality of the collected information.

    Issued under the authority delegated in 49 CFR 1.87 on: March 9, 
G. Kelly Regal,
Associate Administrator for Office of Research and Information 
[FR Doc. 2017-05523 Filed 3-20-17; 8:45 am]

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