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May 2014

How has your jurisdiction found success in becoming CDL compliant? What works for you?


Terry Montalbano
CDL Administrator, Illinois Office of the Secretary of State

Illinois successfully comes into CDL compliance in two main ways.

We have a great relationship with FMCSA. As a matter of fact, FMSCA offices are located within two city blocks of us. We ask our Illinois FMCSA partners any questions that arise from functionality of proposed rules that come out in a final rule to make sure we know exactly what is being asked of us. They then answer our questions and concerns, allowing us to immediately put a plan in place to come into full compliance, which we always succeed in.

All proposed rules are shared as they come out with all Illinois Trucking Related Associations (approx. 40) so we can begin a dialog with our trucking industry. This way, we have three years to get the industry’s feedback and suggestions, which gives us the best way to comply totally with the FMCSA mandate.

This approach on all CDL-related matters always makes a triangle: Office of the Secretary of State, Illinois Industry, FMCSA.

Alice Ike
CDL Coordinator, Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration

At the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, regularly scheduled CDL meetings contribute to our success. Once a week, staff from the CDL-related business units gather together to review, discuss and plan. Status updates are shared, and “roadblocks” examined. Subcommittees report on specific tasks. Copies of new and existing laws, regulations and legislation are distributed. Benchmarks and deadlines are compared and reconciled. Occasionally, guests are invited to present. These meetings provide a practical forum for the exchange of information and help ensure that we remain on target, with everyone on the same page. The team approach, with regular communication, has led to our successful implementation of CDL requirements.

Debra Hall

Driver’s License Program Supervisor, Driver Services, Idaho Transportation Department

The Idaho Transportation Department decided to implement program changes to the current DMV system after notification that the modernization project for a new system would not be complete by the Medical Certification deadline of January 30, 2014. In January 2013, all the players that would work on the project were brought together to outline the project scope.

The scope included CDLIS Modernization 5.2, the federal CDL driver self-certification, federal medical certification requirements, new CDL restrictions and finally CDLIS Modernization 5.3.2. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) CDL program improvement grant funding was made available for certain development costs.

In March 2013, a project manager was selected and assigned tasks to the teams comprised of programmers, business partners and training teams. A web-based self-certification program was finished by June. A web-based Medical Card entry was ready in September, and by November ITD had successfully completed CDLIS 5.2 structured testing. Idaho met the January 31, 2014, Medical Certification deadline and implemented the program changes for the new CDL restrictions in March. In April 2014, structured testing started for CDLIS 5.3.2.

ITD’s success with this project stems from having a complete project analysis, dedicated employees working on all parts of the project, weekly team meetings and combined project team meetings. Team members were able to prioritize their work and devote the needed time (including weekends and working from home) to the project, allowing deadlines to be met. Capable contractors, technical and business experts, a highly effective project manager, AAMVA coordination and FMCSA guidance/funding were key elements of success.