Trucking Schools, Mega Carriers Say Urgent Action Needed on CDL Testing Amid Pandemic
Washington D.C. – A large group of trucking schools along with mega carriers, and even some trucking media outlets, are requesting urgent action on commercial driver’s license (CDL) testing.
Currently, 22 states have shuttered its State Driver’s License Agency (SDLA) and 28 states are operating under reduced hours due to the COVID-19 mitigation policies enacted by State governors.
A broad coalition of trucking stakeholders led by the Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA) contend the widespread closures represent a “critical threat to our nation’s ability to move medical supplies, food, and other freight.”
As a consequence, CVTA and its coalition partners are requesting emergency legislation to allow the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to administer CDL testing in lieu of SDLAs.
Additionally, the group is calling for the DOT to have the authority to issue temporary commercial learner’s permits (CLPs) or CDLs to be valid across the country for 180 days during the COVID-19 national emergency.
Under the group’s proposed legislation, following the expiration date, any individual who has obtained a temporary CLP or CDL from the DOT, and desires to remain licensed, will be required to take and pass the applicable CLP or CDL testing or examinations in the State in which the individual is domiciled.
Further, the coalition is asking for the DOT to also be granted the power to authorize CDL schools or third-party training programs to conduct training and certify applicant’s knowledge and skills in lieu of issuing a CLP or CDL.
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The group’s efforts don’t end there though.
On Tuesday, CVTA and its coalition partners also sent a letter to the National Governors Association urging each governor to ensure CDL Schools and SDLAs are considered “essential services.”
“Given that the duration of the pandemic is unknown, it is all the more important that action be taken immediately to maintain the supply chain’s necessary resource: trained and licensed CDL drivers,” the letter states. “Our nation desperately needs to continue training and testing new professional CDL drivers.”
The letter is signed by 23 trade associations; dozens of trucking companies including Knight-Swift, U.S. Xpress, Maverick Transportation, Werner Enterprises, and Schneider National; along with major truck stop chains T/A Petro and Pilot Flying J.
Trucking’s largest driver recruitment advertising agency, Conversion Interactive, also signed on.
Trucking media companies Randall Reilly Publishing and CDL Life, which rely heavily on revenue from its driver recruitment advertising and placement services to many of the nation’s largest trucking companies, also joined in the effort.
Read the entire letter and all signatories HERE.
Photo courtesy Knight-Swift