Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds Signs Law Expanding CDL Testing
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Iowa is making it easier for people to enter trucking careers with a new law expanding third-party testers for commercial driver licenses.
Gov. Kim Reynolds signed House File 257 into law on March 22 to broaden the state law on authorized parties who can be third-party testers able to administer the knowledge and driving skills tests required for a commercial driver learner’s permit or CDL.
The legislation was promoted by the Iowa Department of Transportation through Susan Fenton, its state legislative liaison. It was led through the state General Assembly by Republican legislators Rep. Ray Sorensen (who serves on four House committees including one on transportation) and Sen. Adrian Dickey (vice chair of the Senate transportation committee).
The legislation removed past requirements limiting third-party testers to an Iowa-based motor carrier/subsidiary operating a permanent commercial driver training facility, a nonprofit trade association for state motor carriers, or a public or regional transit system or community college.
Brenda Neville, president and CEO of Iowa Motor Truck Association, noted that IMTA, founded in 1942, favored the bill, which had no problems getting passed.
“By allowing other entities, we hopefully are eliminating any barriers of entry for anyone that wants to get into the trucking industry,” Neville said.
She noted that the previous law limited third-party CDL testing to IMTA, a few carriers with their own training programs and the community colleges.
“This bill opens it up for other entities to offer third-party testing. For example, the public transit authority now has a statewide training program and would like to be able to be a third-party tester, too. Under the previous bill they couldn’t do that and now they can,” she added.
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This new law is the last effort by Reynolds get more truck drivers on the road in Iowa. Last year she announced $6 million to reimburse eligible employers to help remove financial obstacles for new truck drivers seeking an entry-level CDL. State grants are available through the Iowa Entry-Level Driver Training Program for state-based employers, employer consortia and nonprofits who hire Iowa CDL drivers and provide entry-level driver training either in-house or with third-party certified training providers.
In announcing the new program in December, Reynolds noted, “Truck drivers play such a critical role in meeting our supply chain demands — ‘If you got it, a truck driver brought it.’ Like the rest of the nation, Iowa, too, has a high demand for truck drivers; and in order to meet that demand, we need innovative solutions that reduce barriers for anyone interested in obtaining a CDL.”
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