A group of Senators has introduced a bill intended to streamline the process of obtaining CDLs and extending the validity of current ones.
The bill was introduced on Wednesday, February 2nd and would make permanent several FMCSA waivers implemented last November due to COVID. These waivers extended with validity of current commercial drivers licenses and learners permits (CLPs) and made obtaining these licenses faster and easier, reported Fox Business.
The new bill, called the LICENSE Act, or the Licensing Individual Commercial Exam-takers Now Safely and Efficiently Act, would allow third party license examiners to administer the CDL skills test without completing their own training course first. The bill would also allow for licensed drivers accompanying CLP holders to leave the front passenger seat and stay in the sleeper berth if desired. The bill would also allow states to administer driving skills tests to drivers who would potentially work out of state.
“The pandemic continues to impact our supply chains and Arizonans are feeling the strain of higher prices at the supermarket and the gas pump,” saud Mark Kelly, a Senator from Arizona who is in support of the bill. “Our bipartisan bill cuts red tape and boosts our trucking workforce so we can safely and quickly deliver essential supplies and goods across the country.”
“One of the first steps towards fixing our current supply chain crises is to increase the number of truck drivers delivering goods to stores around the country,” said Cynthia Lummis, a Senator from Wyoming in support of the bill. “As a rural state, Wyoming is particularly reliant on trucking, but streamlining commercial driver’s licensing and getting rid of overly burdensome regulations will benefit everyone, whether you live in Manhattan or Cheyenne.”
The American Trucking Associations is in support of the bill, writing in a letter that “in the context of the current supply chain disruptions, the LICENSE Act is a sensible remedy to the unnecessary regulatory barriers that make the CDL training and testing process so arduous.”