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FMCSA Renews Transporter CDL Exemption

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) this week announced a five-year renewal of its 2015 exemption from the Federal commercial driver’s license (CDL) requirements for drivers who deliver certain newly manufactured recreation vehicles (RVs) to dealers or trade shows before retail sale (driveaway operations). The exemption renewal covers employees of all U.S. driveaway companies, RV manufacturers and RV dealers transporting RVs between manufacturing sites and dealer locations and for movements prior to first retail sale. 

RVIA requested this renewal in February, again making the argument that FMCSA should look at the actual weight of the RV when it is manifested as empty and should not require a CDL during the short time the RV is not loaded, does not carry freight and is transported from the factory where it is manufactured to a dealership site. Without the renewal, the seasonal commercial driver shortage creates delays in the delivery of product to consumers and potentially reduces RV sales. Consumers who wish to purchase an RV may have to wait weeks or months to receive delivery of their purchase because there are not enough drivers with CDLs to transport the vehicles from the factory to the dealership, especially since each RV must be individually transported.

Drivers engaged in driveaway deliveries of RVs with gross vehicle weight ratings of 26,001 pounds or more will not be required to have a CDL as long as the empty RVs have actual gross vehicle weights or combination weights that do not meet or exceed 26,001 pounds. Any RV trailer being towed by another vehicle must have an actual dry weight of 10,000 pounds or less. RV units that have a combined gross vehicle weight exceeding 26,000 pounds are not covered by the exemption.


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