TITLE 92: TRANSPORTATION
CHAPTER II: SECRETARY OF STATE
PART 1030 ISSUANCE OF LICENSES
SECTION 1030.60 THIRD-PARTY CERTIFICATION PROGRAM


 

Section 1030.60  Third-Party Certification Program

 

a)         For purposes of this Section, the following definitions shall apply:

 

"Cancellation of Third-Party Certifying Entity License" − the annulment or termination by formal action of the Secretary of State of a Third-Party Certifying Entity License because of some error or defect in the license or because the licensee is no longer entitled to the license.

 

"Cancellation of Third-Party Certification Safety Officer License" − the annulment or termination by formal action of the Secretary of State of a Third-Party Certification Safety Officer License because of some error or defect in the license or because the licensee is no longer entitled to the license.

 

"Denial of Third-Party Certifying Entity License" − to prohibit or disallow the privilege to obtain a Third-Party Certifying Entity License by the Secretary of State.

 

"Denial of Third-Party Certification Safety Officer License" − to prohibit or disallow the privilege to obtain a Third-Party Certification Safety Officer License by the Secretary of State.

 

"Revocation of Third-Party Certifying Entity License" − the termination by formal action of the Secretary of State of a Third-Party Certifying Entity License; the termination shall not be subject to renewal or restoration.

 

"Revocation of Third-Party Certification Safety Officer License" − the termination by formal action of the Secretary of State of a Third-Party Certification Safety Officer License; the termination shall not be subject to renewal or restoration.

 

"Suspension of Third-Party Certifying Entity License" − the temporary withdrawal by formal action of the Secretary of State of a Third-Party Certifying Entity License for a period specifically designated by the Secretary.

 

"Suspension of Third-Party Certification Safety Officer License" − the temporary withdrawal by formal action of the Secretary of State of a Third-Party Certification Safety Officer License for a period specifically designated by the Secretary.

 

b)         The Department shall not require an actual demonstration of the ability of the driver applicant to operate and exercise ordinary and reasonable control of a motor vehicle for purposes of third-party certification programs, if the third-party certifying entity complies with the following requirements:

 

1)         License Required – No person, firm, association, partnership or corporation shall operate a third-party certification program unless a license has been issued by the Secretary of State.

 

2)         Certify Only Employees or Members – A third-party certifying entity shall certify only those driver applicants who are employed and on the payroll of the entity at the time of certification.  Third-party entities that are unions or fire departments shall certify only those driver applicants who are members at the time of certification.

 

3)         A third-party certification entity shall not enter into any agreement with employees/members they certify that provides for compensation, reimbursement or any form of consideration, including but not limited to monies, credits, services or payroll withholding, payable to the third-party entity, in exchange for training and/or testing from the employee/member who is certified.

 

4)         A third-party certification entity shall not accept compensation, reimbursement or any form of consideration, including but not limited to monies, credits, services or payroll withholding, in exchange for training and/or testing from any employee/member who is certified.

 

5)         A third-party certification entity shall not engage in or permit any type of fraudulent activity, with reference to either any certified individual or the Secretary of State.

 

c)         Licenses May Not Be Assigned.  No individual, partnership, association or corporation may sell, assign, barter or trade a third-party certification license or safety officer license issued by the Department.  When an application is submitted for an original third-party certification license or safety officer license, the applicant or applicants shall not conduct any business as a third-party certifying entity or safety officer until a license is issued by the Department pursuant to the requirements contained in subsections (d) and (i).

 

d)         Requirements – Third-Party Certification Entities

 

1)         The entity shall have at least one employee who is licensed as a safety officer for the third-party certification program.  A safety officer may only test and certify individuals in the class that is indicated on the safety officer license.

 

2)         The entity shall have a regularly established place of business in the State of Illinois, with the exception of employers having a regular place of business in a contiguous state, i.e., Indiana, Missouri, Wisconsin, Iowa and Kentucky.  Any entity having its headquarters in a border state and requesting to participate in the third-party certification program shall have an appointed agent, for purposes of this program, who is licensed as a safety officer and holds a valid Illinois driver's license or a CDL issued by a contiguous state.

 

A)        The established place of business of each third-party certifying entity must consist of at least the following permanent facilities:

 

i)          an office facility;

 

ii)         appropriate space (an area at least 15 feet wide by 100 feet long) to conduct all basic control skills tests pursuant to Section 1030.85.

 

B)        A third-party certifying entity that has an established place of business may operate a branch facility, provided the branch facility meets all requirements of the main facility pursuant to subsections (d)(2)(A) and (d)(2)(D).

 

C)        Upon receipt by the Secretary of State of a written request to open a branch facility, an authorized representative of the Secretary of State shall inspect the branch facility and, if it complies with the provisions of this Section, shall issue the appropriate license that must be displayed in a visibly prominent place in the branch facility.

 

D)        Each location must comply with public health and safety standards contained in the Public Building Egress Act [415 ILCS 55], the Natural Gas Odor Injection Act [430 ILCS 25], and the Environmental Barriers Act [410 ILCS 25].

 

3)         The entity shall submit to the Department a copy of any subcontract of services described in this Part.

 

4)         The entity shall have a prescribed physical driving course for each location and be required to meet a driving skills test with the same minimum standards as the course used for testing by the Department pursuant to Section 1030.85.

 

5)         The entity shall have access to a properly registered motor vehicle that meets the definition of the vehicle group of the classification that the employee/member operates or expects to operate.

 

6)         The entity shall provide the employee/member who takes and passes the skills tests with documented proof (Secretary of State's Road Test Score Sheet form) that shall be evidence to the Department that the individual has successfully passed the skills tests administered by the third-party certifying entity.

 

7)         The entity shall collectively submit completed application forms to the Department for each main office, branch office and safety officer.

 

8)         The entity shall have and use a business telephone listing for all business purposes.

 

9)         If a licensed safety officer is temporarily suspended, laid-off or discharged by a third-party certifying entity, the entity shall immediately notify the Department, on forms furnished by the Department, of the name, address and license number of the safety officer, the officer's termination date and reason for termination.  In all cases in which a safety officer has ceased working for the third-party certifying entity, the safety officer must surrender the third party safety officer license to the Department.

 

10)         Records – All third-party certifying entities licensed by the Secretary of State must maintain the following records for a period of four years, at the licensed location where the testing took place:

 

A)        The name and address of each employee/member certified by the entity, the instruction permit or driver's license number of every employee/member, the results of the final skills test, including endorsements, given to each employee/member, the name of the safety officer who administered the skills test, and the license plate number of the vehicle used to conduct the test.

 

B)        Proof of eligibility for certification of each employee/member certified.

 

C)        Proof of proper training for each CDL certified employee/member, who did not hold a valid CDL at the time of testing, shown on the form provided by the Department or an equivalent form approved by the Department.

 

11)         Auditing – CDL Driving Skills Test

 

A)        All third-party certifying entities must allow the Department and FMCSA or its representatives to conduct random examinations, inspections and audits without prior notice pursuant to 49 CFR 385.75, including audits of employment records of individuals certified by the third-party certification entity and any and all agreements or contracts governing the employer/employee relationship or entity/member relationship as it pertains to training or testing.

 

B)        All third-party certifying entities must allow the Department to conduct on-site inspections at least annually.

 

C)        The Department shall annually re-examine a sample percentage of the certified employees/members to compare pass/fail results and determine the percentage of certified individuals employed by, or who are members of, the third-party certifying entity.

 

i)          If the results of the random examination reflect a failure rate greater than the Department's current acceptable failure rate of 20 percent, the third-party entity will be notified in writing of the need to retrain the failed applicants.

 

ii)         The retraining must be completed within 30 days after the random examination, at which time the trainee must be referred to the Secretary of State to be skills tested.

 

iii)        The Commercial Driver Training School Section will determine the location and time of the re-testing .

 

D)       The Department may re-examine any individual who was tested and certified by a third-party certification entity.

 

12)         Display of Licenses – Each third-party certifying entity shall display in a prominent place at the established place of business the following:

 

A)        The State license issued to the third-party certifying entity; and

 

B)        Safety officer licenses of all safety officers employed by the third-party certifying entity.

 

13)         Prior to CDL certification, the third-party certification entity must provide training on the CDL skills tests as specified in subparts G and H of 49 CFR 383 to each employee/member who does not currently hold, or has never held, a valid CDL.  The training shall be given in equally scheduled intervals, over a period of not less than 14 days.

 

14)         The third-party certification entity must provide the Department with the names of all individuals it tested and certified from a non-CDL classification to a CDL classification whose employment/membership terminated within six months after the date of certification.

 

A)        The Department will cite these individuals to be retested in a properly classified vehicle in order for the individual to maintain the license classification originally certified.

 

B)        The Department will provide each entity with a Verification of Continual Employment form to assist the third-party certification entity in determining the names of the individuals who have terminated their employment/membership within six months after being certified.

 

15)         The entity may not have a current unsatisfactory rating from FMCSA as defined in 49 CFR 385.3.

 

e)         Skills Tests

 

1)         Any CDL or school bus skills tests administered by the third-party certifying entity must be conducted by a licensed safety officer as specified in subparts G and H of 49 CFR 383.

 

2)         Driving Skills – The entity shall have a prescribed physical driving course for each location and is required to administer a skills test with the same minimum standards used by the Department as provided in Section 1030.85.

 

3)         Pre-Trip Inspection – When applicable, the entity shall test and the employee/member shall demonstrate skills necessary to conduct a pre-trip inspection, which include the ability to:

 

A)        locate and verbally identify air brake operating controls and monitoring devices;

 

B)        determine the motor vehicle's brake system condition for proper adjustments and that the air system connections between vehicles have been properly made and secured;

 

C)        inspect low pressure warning devices to ensure they will activate in emergency situations;

 

D)        ascertain, with the engine running, that the system contains an adequate supply of compressed air;

 

E)        determine that the required minimum air pressure build up at the time is within acceptable limits and that required alarms and emergency devices automatically deactivate at the proper pressure level; and

 

F)         operationally check the brake system for proper performance.

 

4)         Restrictions and/or Endorsements – Third-party certification entities conducting road tests for restrictions, passenger endorsements and/or school bus endorsements must meet a skills test with the same minimum standards as a test administered by the Department as provided in Section 1030.92.

 

5)         Third-party certifying entities conducting road tests for motorcycle and non-CDL A, B or C classifications are not bound by subsections (e)(1) through (4), but instead must meet a road test prescribed by the Department as provided in Section 1030.85.

 

A)        Motorcycle skills tests must include at least the following:

 

i)          basic vehicle control skills;

 

ii)         safe driving skills;

 

iii)        visual search;

 

iv)        speed and space management; and

 

v)         mounting and dismounting.

 

B)        Non-CDL A, B or C classification road tests must include at least the following:

 

i)          basic vehicle operation;

 

ii)         safe driving skills;

 

iii)        speed and attention;

 

iv)        lane and right of way observance;

 

v)         obeying traffic control devices;

 

vi)        use of special equipment.

 

6)         Require Instruction Permit – Before an employee/member may be skills tested and certified by a third-party entity, the employee/member must obtain an instruction permit from the Department for the specific vehicle classification in which he/she intends to be licensed.  The employee/member must hold a valid instruction permit for a period of at least two weeks prior to being skills tested and certified by a third-party entity, if not currently licensed in the classification representative of the vehicle the employee/member intends to drive.

 

f)         Issuance of Third-Party Certifying Entity Licenses

 

1)         The Department shall issue a license to conduct business as a third-party certification program when satisfied the entity applying for a third-party certification license has met the requirements.

 

2)         All licenses issued to any third-party certifying entity shall remain valid unless canceled, suspended or revoked.  The Department shall send affidavits to, and conduct audits of, each licensee annually to determine that the licensee remains in compliance with the requirements.

 

g)         Denial, Cancellation, Suspension and Revocation of Third-Party Certifying Entity Licenses

 

1)         The Secretary of State shall deny an application for a third-party certifying entity license:

 

A)        to any entity that submits a fraudulent application.

 

B)        to any entity that currently employs individuals currently employed by the Secretary of State.

 

C)        to any entity that owes outstanding fees to the Secretary of State.

 

D)        to any third-party certifying entity that lacks a safety officer.

 

E)        for any third-party certifying entity's physical location that:

 

i)          fails to comply with public health and safety standards contained in the Public Building Egress Act [45 ILCS 55], the Natural Gas Odor Injection Act [430 ILCS 25], and the Environmental Barriers Act [410 ILCS 25].

 

ii)         fails to have a telephone that is registered to the third-party certification entity.

 

F)         to any third-party certifying entity with a current unsatisfactory rating from FMCSA.

 

G)        to any commercial driver training school.

 

H)        to any third-party certification entity that enters into any agreement with employees/members they certify that provides for compensation or any form of consideration, including but not limited to monies, credits, services or payroll withholding, in exchange for training and/or testing from the certified employee/member.

 

I)         to any third-party certification entity that accepts compensation or any form of consideration, including but not limited to monies, credits, services or payroll withholding, in exchange for training and/or testing from any certified employee/member who is certified.

 

2)         The Department shall cancel a third-party certifying entity license for failing to correct, after five business days, any violation of the following:

 

A)        the entity employs individuals currently employed by the Secretary of State.

 

B)        the entity owes outstanding fees to the Secretary of State.

 

C)        the third-party certifying entity lacks a safety officer.

 

D)        the third-party certifying entity fails to meet location standards by:

 

i)          failing to comply with public health and safety standards contained in the Public Building Egress Act [45 ILCS 55], the Natural Gas Odor Injection Act [430 ILCS 25], and the Environmental Barriers Act [410 ILCS 25].

 

ii)         failing to have a telephone that registers to the third-party certification entity.

 

E)        the entity currently has an unsatisfactory rating from FMCSA.

 

F)         the entity is a commercial driver training school.

 

3)         The Department shall suspend for up to one year or revoke a third-party certifying entity's license for any violation of this Section.

                                                                                                                                                 

h)         Issuance of Safety Officer License

 

1)         The Department shall issue a license to each safety officer when satisfied that the person has met the qualifications required under this Section.  Each third-party certification safety officer license shall authorize the licensee to test for only the employer indicated on the license, except when the safety officer is employed by an entity providing contractual services to the third-party certification entity.

 

2)         An individual may be issued two safety officer licenses in the following combinations:

 

A)        as a safety officer for two governmental agencies; or

 

B)        as a safety officer for a private entity and a governmental agency.

 

3)         All licenses issued to any safety officer shall remain valid unless canceled, suspended or revoked.

 

i)          Safety Officer

 

1)         Requirements. 

 

A)        A safety officer may only test and certify individuals in the class that is indicated on his/her safety officer license.

 

B)        A safety officer who intends to skills test individuals for CDLs or school bus permits must:

 

i)          complete the third-party CDL training sessions administered by the Department's Commercial Driver Training Section.  The written test will consist of 30 questions pertaining to the Secretary of State Examiners Guide for CDL and will be offered by the Department's Commercial Driver Training Section at periodic intervals.  In order to pass the written test, an individual shall answer at least 24 questions correctly.  The third-party school bus program will have an additional 10 questions and the individual must answer eight questions correctly in order to pass.

ii)         pass a CDL skills test in the classification and/or endorsements in which the individual intends to skills test.  The Department's Commercial Driver Training Section will offer this test at periodic intervals.  Each individual will be given a maximum of three opportunities in a 12-month period to pass the CDL safety officer test.  An individual applying for a CDL safety officer license may be allowed to attempt the road test a second time in the same day during normal business hours of the Driver Services Facility if he/she fails the first attempt to pass the road test.  However, an individual who demonstrates a danger to public safety during the first attempt to pass a road test will not be allowed to make a second or subsequent attempt during the same day.  An individual will not be allowed to make a third attempt to pass a road test on the same day in which he/she failed the previous attempt.  Individuals who have failed the third test must wait at least one year from the date of the third failure before making a new application.

 

C)        A safety officer must conduct skills testing in accordance with subsection (e).

 

D)        A safety officer shall not engage in or permit any type of fraudulent activity, either with reference to any certified individual or the Secretary of State.

 

E)        A safety officer must maintain records in accordance with subsection (d)(10).

 

2)         Denial of License.  The Department shall deny a safety officer's license upon evidence the individual:

 

A)        has been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol and/or other drugs (see IVC Section 11-501), leaving the scene of a fatal accident (see IVC Section 11-401), reckless homicide (see Section 9-3 of the Criminal Code of 1961 [720 ILCS 5/9-3]), reckless driving (see IVC Section 11-503), or similar out-of-state offenses within 10 years prior to the date of application; or has been convicted two or more times of any of these offenses or combination of these offenses within 20 years prior to the date of application.

 

B)        fails to properly make application for the license.

 

C)        is not employed by a third-party certifying entity.

 

D)        is currently a salaried employee of the Secretary of State.

 

E)        is not at least 21 years of age.

 

F)         submits a fraudulent application.

 

G)        owes outstanding fees to the Secretary of State.

 

H)        held a driver's license that is currently canceled, suspended or revoked.

 

I)         held a driver's license that was suspended or revoked within a period of five years prior to the date of application.  However, suspensions related to auto emissions, failure to pay child support and parking will not be considered.

 

J)         has not held, for at least two years immediately preceding application, a valid Illinois driver's license or a driver's license from a contiguous state in the classification and/or endorsement in which he/she intends to test.

 

K)        does not meet the requirements of subsection (i)(1)(B).

           

L)        is an owner or instructor of a commercial driver training school.

 

M)       has been suspended pursuant to IVC Section 11-501.1, 11-501.6 or 11-501.8 within the 10 years prior to the date of application, or has had two or more suspensions pursuant to IVC Section 11-501.1, 11-501.6 or 11-501.8, or combination thereof, within the 20 years prior to the date of application.

 

N)        violated any subsection of this Section.

 

3)         The Department shall immediately cancel a safety officer's license upon evidence that the individual:

 

A)        held a driver's license that is currently canceled, suspended or revoked.

           

B)        has not held, for at least two years immediately preceding application, a valid license in the classification and/or endorsement in which the individual intends to test.

 

C)        intends to skills test CDL employees/members, but has not received training equivalent to Driver Services Facility employees administering CDL skills tests.

 

D)        is no longer employed by the third-party certification entity or no longer has a valid license.

 

E)        is currently a salaried employee of the Secretary of State.

 

F)         owes outstanding fees to the Secretary of State.

           

G)        is an owner or instructor of a commercial driver training school.

 

4)         The Department shall suspend for up to one year or revoke a safety officer's license for any violation of this Section.

                                                                                   

5)         The Department shall have the discretionary authority to issue warning letters to third-party certifying entities or safety officers for violations of this Section.

 

j)          Hearings

 

1)         Prior to the denial of a third-party entity and/or safety officer's license, the Department shall send written notice to that person and/or entity. The third-party entity and/or safety officer may request a formal hearing contesting the denial.  The basis for denial of a license is stated in subsections (g)(1) through (3) and (i)(2)(A) through (O).

 

2)         Prior to the suspension or revocation of the license or accreditation of a third-party certifying entity or safety officer, the Department will conduct a hearing in accordance with 92 Ill. Adm. Code 1001, Subpart A and IVC Section 2-118, in which the Department will present competent evidence to establish violations of any regulations or laws governing third-party entities and/or safety officers and seek the appropriate sanctions.

 

k)         Review Under Administrative Law.  Judicial Review − The action of the Secretary of State in canceling, suspending, revoking or denying any license under this Act shall be subject to judicial review in accordance with IVC Section 2-118 and the provisions of the Administrative Review Law [735 ILCS 5/Art. III].

 

(Source:  Amended at 33 Ill. Reg. 2391, effective January 21, 2009)