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Truck and bus regulators enacted some significant changes in 2022, from new driver qualification standards to higher penalties and more.

Here’s a recap of the biggest news of the year related to motor carrier safety regulations (as of late November 2022):

When?What happened?What does it mean?
Jan. 14FMCSA announced the creation of a Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program to allow younger drivers to enter the industry.Motor carriers may apply to join the program and allow drivers between 18 and 21 years of age to operate commercial vehicles across state lines, including a 400-hour probationary period.
Jan. 20FMCSA granted its fourth exemption allowing the use of pulsating brake lamps on certain vehicles.The latest exemption puts the FMCSA one step closer to allowing all commercial vehicles to be equipped with pulsating brake lamps.
Jan. 21A new rule changed the standards for qualifying drivers with monocular vision and revised the road-test certificate to offer more privacy.Drivers with monocular vision must follow the new process described in §391.44, and motor carriers no longer need to obtain a driver’s Social Security or license numbers on a road-test certificate.
Feb. 3FMCSA reversed course to allow third-party knowledge testing.States can allow drivers to obtain their CDL knowledge test from a third-party examiner.
Feb. 7New entry-level driver training rules went into effect.Drivers must seek training from a registered provider before obtaining a CDL or an S, P, or H endorsement.
Feb. 25New guidance clarifies whether an x-ray after a crash makes the crash recordable.The revised guidance explains that an x-ray is a diagnostic procedure, not medical treatment, so it would not make a crash recordable in an accident register.
Feb. 28DOT proposed a rule to allow oral-fluid drug testing. Once the Part 40 rule is finalized and FMCSA updates its Part 382 rules, motor carriers should have the option to perform saliva-based drug tests in certain situations.
Mar. 7FMCSA expanded the area of the windshield where safety technologies may be mounted, and expanded the list of eligible devices.Vehicle safety technologies (as newly defined in §393.5) may now be mounted up to 8.5 inches below the upper edge of the windshield, per §393.60.
Mar. 9A new rule removed the need for drivers to provide an annual list of their traffic convictions and expanded the MVR requirement.As of May 9, 2022, drivers no longer need to provide an annual list of their traffic convictions, and driving records (MVRs) must be obtained from Canada and Mexico for drivers licensed in those countries.
Mar. 21DOT increased its fines due to inflation.The cost of non-compliance went way up. The FMCSA’s maximum civil penalties increased by about 6.2 percent.
Mar. 29New DOT medical forms were issued.Examiners may still use older forms, but the latest version is dated 3/31/2025.
Apr. 26FMCSA made numerous changes to its Household Goods regulations.The changes in Part 375 make compliance easier overall. They were not enforced until Oct. 31.
May 4FMCSA sought comments (again) on potential speed limiter rules.The agency set off a firestorm when it asked for more public input, but a final rule is a long way off.
Aug. 5DOT began the process of updating its drug and alcohol testing rules to allow for electronic recordkeeping.The final changes may be a year or more away, but eventually, Part 40 will be updated to allow electronic signatures and recordkeeping.
Aug. 16FMCSA sought comments on a new Medical Examiner’s Handbook.When the new handbook is finalized, it could alter the way certain parts of the DOT medical exam are performed.
Sept. 1Lower registration (UCR) fees were announced for 2023 and beyond.The new fees will save motor carriers between $18 and $17,688 per year.
Sept. 12An ELD exemption for rental trucks was renewed for another five years.Drivers using the exemption for eight-day (or shorter) rentals must carry a copy of the exemption notice.
Sept. 14FMCSA announced changes to the way the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse will work.Once implemented in early 2023, the changes will help to more quickly alert motor carriers about drivers who have violated the drug or alcohol rules.
Sept. 16FMCSA began collecting input on changes to the ELD rules.When they become final, the changes may affect the way drivers use electronic logs, and which vehicles need to have them.
Sept. 23FMCSA collected input on the idea of equipping CMVs with electronic IDs.Many see it as “big brother” levels of intrusion, but if the rule is finalized it will make it easier for enforcement officials to track and target unsafe carriers.
Sept. 29The livestock exemption from the hours-of-service rules was expanded.The exemption in §395.1(k) now applies within 150 air miles of the destination as well as the source.
Nov. 15FMCSA issued a new “interpretive rule” to explain how its regulations apply to various passenger-carrier operations.If you operate passenger-carrying CMVs of any kind, review the new Appendix A to Part 390 to see how the FMCSA’s rules apply.
Nov. 16FMCSA clarified the definitions of “broker” and “bona fide agents.”If you’re not sure whether you engage in brokering, be sure to review the new guidance at https://bit.ly/3U93y20.
Nov. 19A new exemption was granted for the use of video in place of rear-view mirrors.The exemption allows use of the Rosco Vision Digital Camera Monitor System. This is the fourth such exemption granted for rear-vision video systems.
Dec. 8FMCSA proposed changes to the exemption for drivers providing emergency relief.The changes would limit many drivers to being exempt only from the hours-of-service rules, not all safety rules, when providing emergency assistance after hurricanes, droughts, etc.