U.S. DOT Considers Lowering Truck-Driver Age Requirements

Washington, D.C. — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation is soliciting comments on a proposal to allow 18- to 20-year-olds to drive commercial trucks.

Under current federal law, commercial drivers must be at least 21 years old. However, in an effort to address driver-recruiting concerns, the Truckload Carriers Association (TCA) has proposed a pilot program to study the merits of recruiting younger drivers. The proposal would require each applicant driver to undergo 48 weeks of intensive training before becoming a full-time driver.

Up to 20 motor carriers and 10 schools would participate in the program, which would train and evaluate 1,000 young drivers.

Comments on the proposal must be submitted by May 21, 2001.