49 U.S.C. § 20135 - Licensing or certification of locomotive operators

Cite as49 U.S.C. § 20135

(a) GENERAL.-The Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe regulations and issue orders to establish a program requiring the licensing or certification, after one year after the program is established, of any operator of a locomotive.

(b) PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS.-The program established under subsection (a) of this section-

(1) shall be carried out through review and approval of each railroad carrier's operator qualification standards;

(2) shall provide minimum training requirements;

(3) shall require comprehensive knowledge of applicable railroad carrier operating practices and rules;

(4) except as provided in subsection (c)(1) of this section, shall require consideration, to the extent the information is available, of the motor vehicle driving record of each individual seeking licensing or certification, including-

(A) any denial, cancellation, revocation, or suspension of a motor vehicle operator's license by a State for cause within the prior 5 years; and

(B) any conviction within the prior 5 years of an offense described in section 30304(a)(3)(A) or (B) of this title;

(5) may require, based on the individual's driving record, disqualification or the granting of a license or certification conditioned on requirements the Secretary prescribes; and

(6) shall require an individual seeking a license or certification-

(A) to request the chief driver licensing official of each State in which the individual has held a motor vehicle operator's license within the prior 5 years to provide information about the individual's driving record to the individual's employer, prospective employer, or the Secretary, as the Secretary requires; and

(B) to make the request provided for in section 30305(b)(4) of this title for information to be sent to the individual's employer, prospective employer, or the Secretary, as the Secretary requires.


(1) The Secretary shall prescribe standards and establish procedures for waiving subsection (b)(4) of this section for an individual or class of individuals who the Secretary decides are not currently unfit to operate a locomotive. However, the Secretary may waive subsection (b)(4) for an individual or class of individuals with a conviction, cancellation, revocation, or suspension described in paragraph (2)(A) or (B) of this subsection only if the individual or class, after the conviction, cancellation, revocation, or suspension, successfully completes a rehabilitation program established by a railroad carrier or approved by the Secretary.

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