The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will be busy in 2023 with several rulemakings
DHS Extends REAL ID Deadline
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended the deadline for full enforcement of the REAL ID by 24 months. The deadline had been May 3, 2023. The new deadline is May 7, 2025.
Truck drivers do not need a REAL ID just to operate a commercial motor vehicle on the highway. A CDL (commercial driver’s license), with appropriate endorsements for the type of vehicle and cargo, remains the standard legal requirement.
However, truck drivers may wish to obtain a REAL ID for these reasons:
- Beginning May 7, 2025, a REAL ID license will replace the standard driver’s license or CDL as the proof of identification accepted by TSA (Transportation Security Administration) for boarding a domestic air flight.
- Beginning May 7, 2025, the REAL ID will also become the recognized proof of identification for entering federal facilities, military bases and nuclear power plants while on business. Even if you do not currently handle government or military freight, the REAL ID in your drivers’ hands may open doors for you.
May 2025 could seem a long way off – but states can issue a REAL ID today to anyone who voluntary requests one. We suggest you not delay in applying for a REAL ID, especially because the process can take several weeks for CDL holders. The application process is handled by state driver licensing agencies (aka, departments of motor vehicles, DMVs). Typically, an appointment is required at the DMV office for a REAL ID application, and, typically, because of their work schedule, truck drivers must plan appointments well in advance.
At that time, federal law requires important documents be presented for a REAL ID:
- Proof of identity and date of birth
- Proof of legal presence in the United States
- Proof of Social Security Number
- Two proofs of residency in the state
Congress has provided the state driver licensing agencies some flexibility in the documentation they can accept and how they can receive it – but the surest way to be prepared is to check your state’s DMV website for what that state requires for REAL ID.
Federal agencies may accept other forms of identification for their own purposes. TSA, for example, has a list of additional documents it will recognize for boarding domestic air flights. The Maritime Administration requires the TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Credential) for access to secure areas of maritime facilities and vessels. The REAL ID is not a requirement for driving – but it will be required for identification at critical times.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to change the financial responsibility requirements of brokers and freight forwarders. The changes are intended to benefit motor carriers.
In the last Regulatory Roundup, ICSA Director of Operations Shawn Nelson wrote about the challenges posed by California’s Assembly Bill 5. By adopting the “ABC” test to determine employee or independent contractor status, California hoisted most owner-operators on prong “B,” which deems a worker an employee if engaged in the usual course of business of a company.