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DOT Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program Accepting Applications

On Sept. 10, 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed a pilot program to allow persons ages 18, 19 and 20 to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce. That pilot was never implemented. However, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which was signed into law on November 15, 2021, requires the FMCSA to establish a pilot program that would allow employers to establish an apprenticeship program for certain 18-, 19- and 20-year-old drivers to operate commercial vehicles in interstate commerce.

The Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot (SDAP) is now open and runs for three years until July 2025. The program is seeking up to 1,000 motor carriers to participate, with up to 3,000 apprentices enrolled at any given time. Applications are now open. Wholesalers can apply to participate as motor carriers through the program and the application is here. Note that wholesalers must be registered with the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Registered Apprenticeship Program to participate.