SPRINGFIELD- Soon, operators of farm vehicles will no longer have to apply for commercial driver’s licenses.

State Senator Scott Bennett passed House Bill 2515 to ensure Illinois is compliant with federal regulations that would exempt operators and vehicles such as tractors, trucks or trailers that are registered as farm vehicles with the state from the following:

•    Commercial Driver Licenses
•    Controlled substance/alcohol use and testing
•    Physical qualifications and examinations
•    Driver’s hours of service
•    Inspection, repair and maintenance pertaining to the covered farm vehicle

The legislation also addresses changes to gross combination weight ratings to conform to the federal definition.

“Illinois farmers are the backbone of our economy. It’s our duty to meet the needs of our farmers,” said Bennett. “To advance good agribusiness in Illinois we need to streamline regulations and remain consistent with states across the country.”

In 2012, the US Congress passed “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century,” a major transportation bill that included two substantial regulatory exemptions for agriculture dealing with Hours of Service and covering a broad range of farm exemptions from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for vehicles classified as covered farm vehicles (CFV).

In order to comply with the federal law, Illinois needs to pass HB 2515 or risk ineligibility for Motor Carrier Safety Administration Program grants and other federal highway funds.  

HB 2515 passed out of the Senate and House with bipartisan support.

 

 
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