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FMCSA's under-21 driver pilot program opens: Here's how it works

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Starting Tuesday, July 26, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will allow carriers to register to participate in the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program, a combined effort with the Department of Labor that acts on the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Law's mandate to explore allowing younger drivers to operate interstate. 

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The FMCSA proposed such a program as far back as September 2020, and now its time has come. Under the pilot program, carriers can register as apprenticeships with the DOL and recruit under-21 drivers to drive commercial vehicles interstate. 

The program seeks to provide the trucking industry with access to a younger driver pool, and allows drivers under the age of 21 to operate beyond state lines while keeping safety in focus by requiring specific training actions, supervision, and reporting. 

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