DMV to Review Elimination of 2-Q Licensing Program

Several months ago it came to the Commission on Fire Prevention and Control’s attention that the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) planned to discontinue the 2-Q fire apparatus licensing program to more clearly comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act.    

As a result of this information, the Joint Council of Connecticut Fire Service Organizations met with representatives of DMV to discuss its concern with the planned changes.  The primary concerns were that elimination of specific licensing standards and requirements for persons who operate fire apparatus could compromise safety and negatively impact insurance rates.  Following the meeting, the Joint Council sent a letter to DMV Commissioner DeFilippo requesting that he consider a special license designation and testing requirements for those that drive fire apparatus in excess of 26,001 pounds.   

On September 27, 2004 Commissioner DeFilippo wrote back indicating that he has directed his Legal Services Bureau Chief to draft a regulation to accomplish the Joint Council’s request.  The regulation would provide for a so-called “Q” endorsement for a Class D (formerly Class 2) license for fire apparatus drivers who do not possess a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).  As most are aware, the federal regulations concerning CDL’s do not allow for additional license restrictions or endorsements beyond those that have been established for national and interstate use.  Therefore, the “Q” designation will be for non-CDL licensing only.  DMV anticipates it will continue to perform testing for applicants for this endorsement, with such testing to require the use of representative vehicles.

It is important to note that fire apparatus will continue to be exempt from CDL requirements.    

As more information becomes available on this issue it will passed along.