Commercial Driver License State Programs

To help or prevent truck and bus accidents, fatalities, and injuries by requiring drivers to have a single commercial motor vehicle license and by disqualifying drivers who operate commercial motor vehicles in an unsafe manner.

Related Programs

Examples of Funded Projects

Social Security online verification; covert and overt monitoring operations for third party testers and State examiners; automated knowledge tests; conviction automation projects; examiner and third party tester education and training .

Agency - Department of Transportation

The Department of Transportation's mission is to ensure fast, safe, efficient, accessible and convenient transportation that meets vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.

Office - State-level office of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, as listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Program Accomplishments

In fiscal year 2003, the program supported six States in connecting to the Social Security Administration's (SSA)on-line and batch verification system. Currently 42 States are using the SSA on-line and batch verification system. With States instituting this check they were able to eliminate one potential means of fraudulently obtaining a Commercial Drivers License. As of fiscal year 2007, the program has helped jurisdictions meet substantial compliance with the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999.

Uses and Use Restrictions

A State may use grants only for expenses directly related to its compliance with section 31311 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU - Public Law 109-59); except that a State that is making good faith efforts toward substantial compliance with the requirements of 31311 and 31313 of SAFETEA-LU may use grants to improve implementation of the State's commercial driver's license program, including expenses for computer hardware and software, publications, testing, personnel, training, fraud prevention, and quality control.

The grant may not be used to rent, lease, or buy land or buildings.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Only those agencies in each State or the District of Columbia that is designated as the primary driver licensing agency responsible for the administration of the CDL program may apply.

Beneficiary Eligibility

States may receive grant funds to comply with the requirements of section 31311 of SAFETEA-LU or if making good faith efforts toward substantial compliance with the requirements of section 31311 and 31313 receive grant funds to improve implementation of the commercial driver's license program.


Certification by the State that it meets the conditions for grant approval. States must submit a self assessment of their CDL program and agree to maintain CDL program expenditures at a level at least equal to the average of the past two State fiscal years that ended prior to August 10, 2005. The State is also required to submit a self-assessment of its CDL program that addresses and supports the specific requests indicated in their application for a grant. Costs will be determined in accordance with OMB Circular A-87.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

Detailed application instructions and forms are available on Applications must be submitted using after approval by the State's FMCSA Division Office.

Award Procedures

The amount of the CDL grant to a qualifying State will be determined by the CDL Division based on the documented needs of the State and the availability of funds. The Federal Register Notice will outline the current year's priorities. All proposals will be evaluated by a panel to determine which proposals have the greatest impact on the effectiveness of the CDL program in improving highway safety and reducing commercial motor vehicle related fatalities. States will be required to sign a grant agreement.


Grant applications must be approved by the FMCSA Division Administrator in the State and submitted via by the date indicated in the Federal Register Notice.


49 U.S.C. 521, 31136, 31301 et seq., 31502; Section 103, Public Law 106-159, 113 Stat. 1753; Section 214 of Public Law 106-159, 113 Stat. 1766; 49 CFR 1.73. Section 31313 of Public Law 109-59.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

60 to 90 days.


States will be notified of a denial of funding of their grant application. If denied funding, a State may revise and resubmit their application within 30 days. FMCSA will consider their revised application and may award a grant based on remaining funds at that time of consideration.


A new grant application must be made whenever a new Federal Register Notice is published.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

CDL Program Improvement grants are 100 percent federally funded and require no State matching of funds.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Grants are available for up to one year. Obligations to a state remain available until expended.

Post Assistance Requirements


Project activity reports and financial status reports (SF-269) must be submitted quarterly to the FMCSA Division office.


In accordance with OMB Circular A-133, nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards must have a single or program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in OMB Circular A-133.


Records of all program activities covered in the grant proposal. Such records must be kept for three years following the year of funding.

Financial Information

Account Identification



FY 07 $25,000,000; FY 08 $25,000,000; and FY 09 est $25,000,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Fiscal Year 2008 award range: $46,775 - $1,604,089; award median: $409,971.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

49 CFR 1.48; 49 CFR 386-399; 49 CFR 100-180.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

State-level office of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, as listed in Appendix IV of the Catalog.

Headquarters Office

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Office of Safety Programs, CDL Division (MC-ESL), 1200 New Jersey Avenue, S.E., Washington DC 20590. Telephone: (202) 366-3030.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

The set of criteria for evaluating proposals is outlined in the Federal Register notice.

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Edited by: Michael Saunders

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