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Oregon DOT Seeks a CDL Compromise for its FAS Residents

The Oregon DOT seeks a CDL compromise for Freely Associated State residents. The change would help them get standard CDLs without usual proof of citizenship.

Oregon DOT Seeks a CDL Compromise for its Non Citizens

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) wants to make it easier for some residents to get commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs). They have asked for a special rule change from the federal government. This change would help people from Freely Associated States (FAS) who live in Oregon. If approved, these residents could get standard CDLs without the usual proof of citizenship.

What Are Freely Associated States?

Freely Associated States include the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau. People from these countries have a special agreement with the United States. This agreement, called the Compact of Free Association (COFA), allows them to live and work in the U.S. without a visa.

Current CDL Rules

Right now, federal rules say that you need to show proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent residency to get a CDL. If you can’t show this proof, states can only give you a non-domiciled CDL. These non-domiciled CDLs are often harder to use for work.

Oregon’s DOT Seeks a CDL Compromise

ODOT has asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to let them accept different documents for FAS citizens. They want to allow a valid passport from one of the FAS countries and an I-94 form. This form shows that the person entered the U.S. legally.

Why This Matters

If FMCSA approves this request, FAS citizens in Oregon could get regular CDLs. This change could help more people become truck drivers, which could be good news for trucking companies. They often need more drivers to keep their operations running smoothly.

How to Comment

FMCSA wants to hear from the public about this request. They are accepting comments for 30 days. You can send your comments in several ways:

  • Online at Regulations.gov. Enter Docket No. FMCSA-2023-0266.
  • By mail to Dockets Operations, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, West Building, Ground Floor, Washington, DC 20590-0001.
  • Hand delivery to the same address, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • By fax to (202) 493-2251.

Legal Background

FMCSA can give exemptions from federal rules if they think it will keep safety levels the same or better. They have to publish a notice about each request and allow the public to comment. After reviewing the comments, they decide whether to grant or deny the request.

Looking Ahead

Oregon DOT seeks a CDL compromise, this could make a big difference for the trucking industry in the state. By making it easier for FAS citizens to get CDLs, more people could become eligible truck drivers. This could help meet demand for drivers and support the industry’s growth. Trucking companies and drivers are encouraged to share their thoughts on this important decision.

For more details, check the public docket.

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