New York Allows Trucking Companies to Give CDL Road Tests

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The state of New York is now permitting trucking companies and other qualified third parties to administer road tests for commercial driver licenses, a move to help address a shortage of commercial drivers in the state.

“We are doing more than just getting drivers licensed and on the road ­— we are creating new avenues that will keep New York moving,” Gov. Kathy Hochul said of the initiative, announced Sept. 23. “By allowing third parties to offer road tests for truck and bus drivers, we will help get children to school, get vital goods where they need to go, and much more. My administration is committed to continuing efforts that will address commercial driver shortages, helping drive the state’s economy forward.”

Hochul is taking the action as part of an effort to tackle shortages for bus and truck drivers. The goal is to increase the number of testing sites statewide and lower wait times so more CDL drivers can get on the road faster.

Earlier this year, New York opened new CDL driver testing sites by partnering with the State University of New York, the Thruway Authority, New York Racing Association and New York State Office of General Services to use large lots on their various sites for road tests.

The state’s department of motor vehicles also expedited the CDL process by removing a 14-day waiting period between the permit and road tests, and increased capacity for written exams through cooperation with county-operated DMV offices.

New York also amended its Vehicle and Traffic Law in May to establish an intrastate CDL Class A young adult training program, which enables DMV to issue a Class A CDL to a person aged 18 to 20. This move, the state said, can help expand employment opportunities for young drivers and help trucking companies hire drivers. Previously, drivers under 21 years old could only obtain a Class B or C commercial license because a Class A CDL is required to drive combination vehicles such as tractor-trailers.

Qualified third parties may apply for certification to administer tests via the state DMV website. Entities whose applications are accepted must sign a memorandum of understanding provided by the DMV. Nongovernmental entities are required to maintain a $20,000 surety bond.

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From there, a detailed route for their CDL road test course must be created, with assistance from DMV. All approved examiners must receive DMV training on conducting road tests, and department staff will monitor road testing by third-party entities. The department has established a training and monitoring system to qualify CDL examiners to administer road tests in compliance with state and federal regulations. The DMV also stipulated that any examiner associated with a driving school cannot test an individual trained by anyone employed by the driving school.

“By approving these third parties to conduct commercial road tests, we are giving trucking and transportation companies the tools to get their newest drivers licensed and qualified to work, faster,” said DMV Commissioner Mark Schroeder. “These drivers are crucial to almost every aspect of life in New York in every corner of the state, and we need more of them. DMV will be taking all measures possible to ensure the road tests administered by the third parties are done properly.”