What is MAP 21 and How Will it Affect My School District?

Alan Schmitt, ARM-P – Area Vice President, Loss Control

MAP 21 is federal legislation scheduled to go into effect February 7, 2020.  The legislation changes the requirements for all new CDL drivers or current CDL drivers who wish to change classifications or endorsements.

The regulation outlines the following items:

  • Every facility location (school district or contractor) and its trainers of commercial driver’s license (CDL) drivers must comply and be registered with the FMCSA. Current CDL drivers will not be affected unless they change a classification or endorsement on their CDL.
  • This training is to take place during a new driver’s initial training prior to getting their CDL. All new drivers must take this training before they can go to their DMV to take the skills test. THIS DOES NOT TAKE THE PLACE OF IN-SERVICE DISTRICT TRAINING.
  • The deadline to comply with MAP-21 regulations is Feb. 7, 2020. California is the only exempt state, because state troopers there provide training for school bus drivers.
  • There are three main areas of impact in the legislation: Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT), Training Provider Registry (TPR), and Safety Management System (SMS).

ELDT -The ELDT sets general training guidelines, but doesn’t specify how to train or the number of training hours required. It is intended to standardize topics at a national level to improve safe outcomes. ELDT sets that baseline for training criteria for Class A and B CDL license holders. There are a total of 93 required topics to be trained on to become a school bus driver holding a basic CDL, passenger endorsement, and school bus endorsement. The requirements are a total of 63 topics of theory, and a total of 30 topics of behind-the-wheel range training.

The TPR is an electronic compliance notification system. Each training location will be required to comply with the system and will be given a specific location training identification number. The TPR provides a record for the FMCSA that minimum training has been achieved and identifies the certifying location through the training ID number. Each driver trainer is not required to register. A training location is required to register.

Each training location will be required to fill out a four-page federal document and submit it to the FMCSA to obtain the location-specific training identification number. This form affirms that the training location teaches an FMCSA-prescribed curriculum and holds the location accountable to those training standards. That document has to be submitted to the FMCSA before Feb. 7, 2020.

Driver trainers will then certify that the required training on the 93 topics has been completed for their entry-level drivers. That will be done through the electronic notification system on the TPR with the training location’s ID number listed. The driver will be required to pass a proficiency test with a passing score of 80% or higher, confirming that they have trained at that registered training location. The FMCSA has not specified how that test is going to be administered, how many questions to ask, or what materials to use; it just requires a record of the trainee passing a proficiency exam with 80% or higher.

Note on Driver Instructors –

Both the classroom and behind-the-wheel instructors:

  • Holds a CDL of the same (or higher) class and with all endorsements necessary to operate the CMV for which training is to be provided and has at least two years of experience driving a CMV requiring a CDL of the same (or higher) class and/or the same endorsement and meets all applicable State qualification requirements for CMV instructors
  • Holds a CDL of the same (or higher) class and with all endorsements necessary to operate the CMV for which training is to be provided and has at least two years of experience as a BTW CMV instructor and meets all applicable State qualification requirements for CMV instructors.

The bottom line is this will not affect current CDL drivers within your district unless they wish to change classifications or endorsements.  This is, however, a big change for any district that hires non-CDL drivers and provides the training necessary to become a CDL driver.

MUSIC is monitoring the implementation of the legislation and will provide additional information as it becomes available.