CVTA Study Concludes Skills Testing Delays Costing U.S. Economy $1.6 Billion Annually

Alexandria, Virginia The Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA) has released new research showing that commercial driver skills testing delays costing the U.S. economy $1.5 billion in annual economic losses and more than 6.4 million days of delays for new commercial drivers, leading to significant lost wages for American workers.

The trucking and bus industries are eager to put new drivers to work. However, in many states, Commercial Learner’s Permit holders (CLP), who must take and pass a skills test to secure their Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDL) before going to work, are being prevented from sitting for this exam in a timely manner, CVTA says.

In a statement, CVTA contends these delays are “the result of a lack of appointments, testing personnel, or test centers.” CVTA put forward that “CLP holders in states with state-run testing centers are experiencing the most significant testing backlogs, while at the same time; permit holders in states with third-part testing centers, either in complement with state testing centers or third-party testing centers only, experience fewer delays and are more quickly able to enter the workforce.”


Key findings from the analysis – “Economic Impact of Wait Times for Commercial Driver’s Licenses Skills Tests,” include:

– Commercial driver testing delays resulted in $1.5 billion in economic losses across the United States.

– $1.1 billion in direct lost wages can be attributed to testing delays.

– Federal and local governments lost out on over $342 million in income and sales tax revenue in 2016.

– 258,744 potential workforce entrants impacted by testing delays.

– 6.4 million days of delays for new commercial drivers.

“This report confirms skills testing delays are a national problem costing the U.S. economy $1.5 billion annually and unnecessarily preventing hundreds of thousands of Americans from entering the workforce,” said CVTA President Don Lefeve.

“With drivers in high demand, Congress has the opportunity to address this issue through a common-sense solution that requires third party testing, ultimately eliminating skills testing delays. Our drivers, and our nation, cannot afford to be sidelined as a result of limited testing options,” Lefeve stated.


The study was conducted by NDP Analytics, a Washington-based strategic economic and communication research firm. Conducting the research was Nam D. Pham, managing partner of the firm and Mary Donovan, a principal at NDP Analytics.

The study used data from 33 states, and the researchers estimated that nearly half of the approximately 669,688 initial CDL skills tests and retests experienced delays in 2016, totaling over 6.4 million days of delays.

Image courtesy of Roadmasters Driver School

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