November 10, 2014
DMV Now Testing Commercial Drivers with Missing or Impaired Limbs
Virginia is first state granted exemption from FMCSA
The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles is making it easier for qualified disabled citizens to obtain the required certification to drive commercial motor vehicles (CMV). DMV is now issuing Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE) certificates previously only issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Drivers with physical impairments are required to obtain SPE certificates to demonstrate they can safely operate CMVs. The SPE certification allows drivers with missing or impaired limbs to drive commercial motor vehicles across state lines if they have been fitted with and are wearing the proper prosthetic devices, and the driver can demonstrate the ability to drive the truck or bus safely by completing on-and off-road activities. Drivers that pass the evaluation receive an SPE certificate.
FMCSA granted an exemption to the Virginia DMV allowing Virginia-licensed drivers to fulfill federal requirements with a state-issued SPE certificate. Virginia is the only state authorized to issue SPE certificates. Virginia licensed drivers who receive the state-issued SPE certificates are allowed to operate CMVs in interstate commerce anywhere in the United States.
Virginia DMV’s driver licensing specialists, who are all certified commercial examiners and certified driver examiners through the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, recently underwent special training to administer the SPEs based on processes and procedures comparable to those used by FMCSA.
Drivers that receive SPE certifications in Virginia will not only carry the Virginia-issued SPE Certificate but a copy of the Federal Register granting Virginia the exemption. That document can be viewed at www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-08/pdf/2014-15954.pdf.