DOT Automatic Vs Standard Laws

Topic 12259 | Page 1

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RebelliousVamp 's Comment
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Our head instructor told us over the weekend that we would be doing our exam with the trooper in an automatic. I didn't react to it, at that moment. Then it occurred to me that people mentioned if you take the exam in an automatic, your license will state that you cannot drive standard. So I asked him about it over Facebook, and he told me the law had not changed in MA, and that we could still drive standard even if we take the exam with an automatic. Anyone can confirm?

RebelliousVamp 's Comment
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Please read: this is for MA state.

Robert B. (The Dragon) ye's Comment
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I wouldn't worry about it. Your instructors are or should be constantly kept up to date on state changes. If they're saying you're still good to go and won't have a restriction, I'd imagine you'll be ok.

Steve_HBG's Comment
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Our head instructor told us over the weekend that we would be doing our exam with the trooper in an automatic. I didn't react to it, at that moment. Then it occurred to me that people mentioned if you take the exam in an automatic, your license will state that you cannot drive standard. So I asked him about it over Facebook, and he told me the law had not changed in MA, and that we could still drive standard even if we take the exam with an automatic. Anyone can confirm?

I could be wrong, but the standardized FMCSA Regulation specifically states the following:

If the driver takes the Skills Test in a vehicle that has an automatic transmission, then an "E" no manual transmission restriction is placed on their license.

If the above Federal Regulation is true, does that make what the instructor told RV false or does Massachusetts Law supersede Federal Law?

CSA:

Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA)

The CSA is a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) initiative to improve large truck and bus safety and ultimately reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities that are related to commercial motor vehicle

FMCSA:

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

The FMCSA was established within the Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000. Their primary mission is to prevent commercial motor vehicle-related fatalities and injuries.

What Does The FMCSA Do?

  • Commercial Drivers' Licenses
  • Data and Analysis
  • Regulatory Compliance and Enforcement
  • Research and Technology
  • Safety Assistance
  • Support and Information Sharing

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Fm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Phil C.'s Comment
member avatar

You are fine in the sense that you will get a cdl but you will have a manual restriction. Ask someone else to be sure like call your DMV

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

RebelliousVamp 's Comment
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Instructor said no restriction on license.

Kevin H.'s Comment
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Well, when I google that rule I see people talking about it back in 2012, and I know in Maine it only started this past July, so it seems possible for it not to have taken effect in all states yet.

RebelliousVamp 's Comment
member avatar

I was just surprised, as everyone know MA is supposed to be the hardest state to get your CDL...

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
∆_Danielsahn_∆'s Comment
member avatar

I was just surprised, as everyone know MA is supposed to be the hardest state to get your CDL...

Actually, I have heard quite a few people mention the same thing, about whatever state they got their CDL from. The comments were usually during "one up" conversations.

But regardless, I would check with your state's DMV , to confirm it. Or just take him at his word, ace the test, and get ready for your new company.

Stay safe

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

Phox's Comment
member avatar

Federal law ALWAYS supersedes state law. so just cause a state law doesn't say you'll get the restriction doesn't mean jack diddly if there's a federal law. Now a state law can be more strict than a federal one but never less so and still be enforced.

Federal law being stronger than state = federal law rules state law being stricter than federal = state law rules.

That's why some states have a min wage lower than the federal but still have to pay the federal min wage, because the federal over rules the state in that case, but if the state has a higher min wage than federal then the state min wage must be paid.

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