[Federal Register Volume 67, Number 93 (Tuesday, May 14, 2002)]
[Pages 34515-34516]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 02-12036]



Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

[Docket No. FMCSA-2002-12162]

Commercial Driver's License Standards; Exemption Application From 
Joest Racing USA, Inc.

AGENCY: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice of application for exemption; request for comments.


SUMMARY: The FMCSA has received an application from Joest Racing USA, 
Inc. (petitioner), a private carrier based in Tucker, GA, for an 
exemption from the commercial driver's licensing (CDL) requirements. 
Petitioner states an exemption is necessary to enable four drivers it 
employs to engage in interstate commerce transporting private property, 
comprised of race cars and related parts. Petitioner points out that 
its drivers are citizens and residents of Germany who would only enter 
the United States on average three times a year, for up to three months 
per trip. In support of its application, petitioner asserts that 
granting the exemption would have no impact on public safety because 
the drivers involved presently hold valid Germany-issued CDLs. In 
addition, petitioner states the comprehensive training and testing, 
that drivers holding German CDLs must undergo, ensures a greater level 
of safety. FMCSA invites interested parties to submit comments on the 
merits of the application, including whether FMCSA should grant or deny 

DATES: Comments must be submitted by June 13, 2002.

ADDRESSES: You may submit your comments to the Docket Clerk, Docket No. 
FMCSA-2002-12162, U.S. Department of Transportation, Dockets Management 
System (DMS), Room PL-401 (Plaza Level), 400 Seventh Street, SW., 
Washington, DC 20590. Please note that due to delays in the delivery of 
U.S. mail, we recommend sending your comments by fax at (202) 493-2251, 
via the Internet using the DMS Web site at http://dmses.dot.gov/submit, 
or by professional delivery service. If you would like the DMS to 
acknowledge receipt of your comments, you must include a self-
addressed, stamped postcard, or you may print the acknowledgment page 
that appears after you submit comments electronically. The DMS is open 
for examination and copying, at the above address, from 9 a.m. to 5 
p.m. e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Ms. Teresa Doggett, (202) 366-2990, 
Office of Bus and Truck Standards and Operations (MC-PSD); or Mr. 
Charles Medalen, (202) 366-0834, Office of the Chief Counsel (MC-CC), 
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, DOT, 400 Seventh Street, 
SW., Washington, DC 20590. Office hours are from 7:45 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. 
e.t., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.


Electronic Access and Filing

    All comments and related documents in the docket are also available 
for inspection and copying through the DMS Web site at http://dms.dot.gov.


    Section 4007 of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century 
(TEA-21) (Public Law 105-178, 112 Stat. 107, now codified at 49 U.S.C. 
31315 and 31316), requires FMCSA to publish a notice in the Federal 
Register for each exemption requested explaining that the request has 
been filed, provide the public with an opportunity to inspect the 
safety analysis and any other relevant information known to the agency, 
and provide an opportunity to comment on the request. Prior to granting 
a request for an exemption, the agency must publish a notice in the 
Federal Register identifying the person or class of persons who will 
receive the exemption, the provisions from which the person will be 
exempt, the effective period, and all terms and conditions of the 
exemption. The terms and conditions established by FMCSA must ensure 
that the exemption will likely achieve a level of safety that is 
equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved by 
complying with the regulation.
    On December 8, 1998, FMCSA published an interim final rule 
implementing section 4007 of TEA-21 (63 FR 67600). The regulations at 
49 CFR part 381 establish the procedures to be followed to request 
waivers and to apply for exemptions from the FMCSRs, and the provisions 
used to process them.

Exemption Request

    Joest Racing USA, Inc., a private motor carrier of property as 
defined by 49 CFR 390.5, filed an application for an exemption from the 
commercial driver's licensing rules in 49 CFR part 383, that would 
allow drivers--Peter Ungar, Michael Schlemmer, Udo Wilhelm, and Hubert 
Neumann--to operate two commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) within the 
United States. According to its application, Joest has no employees in 
the United States; for economic reasons, its German CMV drivers double 
as race car mechanics; the value of its race cars is over $1 million 
each; it requires CMV drivers that are professionally trained in 
Germany in the loading and bracing of racing cars and parts; and to 
employ U.S. commercial drivers and train them would require 
considerable time and expense. A copy of the application for exemption 
is in the docket.
    FMCSA is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the 
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), including the 
commercial driver's license requirements. Section 383.23(a)(2) states 
that no person shall operate a CMV unless such person possesses a CDL 
issued by his or her jurisdiction of domicile. There is an exception to 
this rule which states that CMV drivers domiciled in other 
jurisdictions that do not test drivers and issue licenses in accordance 
with Federal regulations must obtain a nonresident CDL from a State 
which does comply with the Federal testing and licensing standards.
    Joest Racing USA, Inc. seeks an exemption because the drivers it 
employs are citizens and residents of Germany. These drivers are not 
able to obtain nonresidential CDLs in the United States because the 
States generally do not issue nonresidential CDLs to foreign drivers. 
The drivers hold valid CDLs issued by German authorities that meet 
license testing and driver qualification standards, including medical 
examinations, which are comparable with U.S. standards, and they have 
behind the wheel experience operating Joest's special type of CMV. 
Joest has two CMVs which are used to transport its private property 
(i.e., race cars and related equipment) around the United States to 
participate in the ``American Le Mans Series'' racing circuit. The four 
drivers are only in the United States during certain periods.
    Joest Racing USA, Inc. does not anticipate any adverse safety 
impacts from this exemption due to the fact that the German CDLs and 

[[Page 34516]]

authorities adhere to very strict testing procedures.
    There will always be two qualified drivers in each motor vehicle. 
The drivers employed by Joest Racing USA, Inc. are fully qualified CMV 
operators with valid German CDLs. The company ensures that the 
qualifications are maintained and all current German laws are followed. 
Due to strict regulations in Germany for drivers holding German CDLs, 
Joest Racing USA, Inc. believes there will be a greater level of safety 
than by using United States drivers unfamiliar with its special type of 
    Drivers applying to obtain a German CDL must take both a knowledge 
test and skills test before a license to operate CMVs is issued. Prior 
to taking the tests, drivers must complete approximately 40 hours of 
driving lessons. The required driving lessons are generally considered 
by licensing experts to be among the most difficult in the world. 
Therefore, the process for obtaining a CDL in Germany is considered to 
be comparable to, or as effective as the requirements of Part 383 of 
the Federal requirements and adequately assess the driver's ability to 
operate CMVs in the United States.
    Once a driver is granted a German CDL he is allowed to drive any 
CMV currently allowed on German roads. There are no limits to types or 
weights of vehicles that may be operated by the drivers. The drivers 
affected by the exemption will be operating tractor-trailer units. The 
drivers expect to operate CMVs through the States of Alabama, Arkansas, 
Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, 
Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Nebraska, 
New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, 
Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.

Request for Comments

    In accordance with 49 U.S.C. 31315(b)(4) and 31136(e), FMCSA is 
requesting public comment from all interested persons on this exemption 
application. All comments received before the close of business on the 
comment closing date will be considered and will be available for 
examination in the docket at the location listed under the address 
section of this notice. Comments received after the comment closing 
date will be filed in the public docket and will be considered to the 
extent practicable, but FMCSA may make its decision at any time after 
the close of the comment period. In addition to late comments, FMCSA 
will also continue to file, in the public docket, relevant information 
that becomes available after the comment closing date. Interested 
persons should continue to examine the public docket for new material.

    Authority: 49 U.S.C. 31136 and 31315; and 49 CFR 1.73.

    Issued on: May 3, 2002.
Julie Anna Cirillo,
Assistant Administrator and Chief Safety Officer.
[FR Doc. 02-12036 Filed 5-13-02; 8:45 am]