New Prime seeks exemption for pre-CDL holders

Updated Dec 21, 2016

New Prime, which is part of Springfield, Missouri-based Prime Inc., is seeking an exemption to allow drivers with a commercial learner’s permit who have passed the CDL skills test to drive without a CDL holder in the front seat. New Prime has asked that such pre-CDL drivers be allowed to operate with the CDL holder in the sleeper, in addition to the front seat of the truck, as is required by law.

The exemption would allow the carrier’s pre-CDL drivers to begin work before returning to their home state to receive the license. The drivers for which Prime has requested the exemption have passed all necessary tests required to receive a CDL, but simply have not received their license.

Under terms of the exemption request, a CDL holder would always be in the truck with the learner’s permit holder, just not in the front seat at all times as current regulations require.

Prime says the exemption would allow its new drivers to start work immediately while the carrier routes the drivers to their license-issuing state to receive their CDL.

C.R. England and CRST Expedited have been granted similar exemptions in the last two years.

FMCSA is seeking public comment on the request for 30 days once it is published in the Federal Register today, Dec. 20. Comments can be made by searching Docket No. FMCSA-2016-0420 at once it’s published Tuesday.