Kentucky Law Aims to Attract Nonresident Truck Drivers

Gov. Andy Beshear Signs Package of Workforce Bills
One bill will make it easier for the state to attract more truck drivers. (kali9/Getty Images)

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Kentucky’s Gov. Andy Beshear has signed a package of five workforce development bills, including legislation to entice out-of-state truckers to move there.

Among the bills enacted recently were legislation to support truck drivers, health care workers, military families, school employees and students.

“For the first time in my lifetime, some of the biggest, most advanced companies on the planet are picking us for the biggest investments they’ve ever made. Our small businesses are also thriving and growing,” Beshear remarked, adding that he is enacting the laws to bolster workforce development and the state’s economy.

Beshear signed House Bill 320 (an act relating to commercial driver licenses) to make it easier for the state to attract more truck drivers by allowing a commercial driver license applicant who has a nonresident operator’s license and a commercial driver instruction permit to take the CDL skills test in Kentucky.

New Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear


He said the CDL legislation “shows we are interested in attracting more of these jobs to Kentucky and supporting the trucking industry.”

The new law also establishes a nonresident CDL testing fee of $150 and mandates that applicants must be in compliance with all necessary federal requirements.

The CDL bill, sponsored by state Rep. Chris Freeland (R), attracted strong support in the current regular session of the Kentucky General Assembly. It passed unanimously (97-0) in the House on March 9 and went unopposed (37-0) on March 16 in Senate before being signed by the governor March 22.

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Kentucky employed 28,260 heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers, according to May 2021 U.S. Census statistics, and ranked in the second-highest national tier (25,740 to 44,800) for truck drivers in that category. The top-level states have between 45,780 and 202,270 drivers in the classification.

Figures indicated the state with highest employment in heavy and tractor trailer truck drivers was Texas (202,270) followed by California (179,450), Florida (88,980), Pennsylvania (87,390) and Ohio (86,200).