Lawmakers in Missouri say that they are considering a plan to address the “truck driver shortage” by ending the practice of revoking a driver’s CDL if he or she fails to pay child support.
According to current Missouri law, a driver who fails to pay child support for three months is subject to losing their CDL or other non-commercial driving license.
But Missouri Governor Mike Parson is looking to make a change to this law in order to address what has been called a nationwide truck driver shortage (though many within the trucking industry point out that it is more accurately described as a driver turnover and pay problem).
“Today, we are tremendously short on drivers. Let’s find another way to serve up that punishment,” Parson told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Though it isn’t clear what alternative punishment Parsons would recommend for failure to pay child support, he says that he believes that punishing drivers with CDL revocation is not a smart solution. “For a non-driving offense, that’s not practical,” said Parson.
Parson will reportedly attempt to change the child support legislation during the 2019 session.
In 2017. more than 7000 drivers (both commercial vehicle drivers and passenger vehicle drivers) in Missouri lost their licenses due to failure to pay child support. In 2016, the number was higher — 8,080.
Parsons also expressed interest in a plan to use Missouri Department of Transportation trucks to train inmates for careers in trucking when they re-enter the work force.