Press Release - 5-17-2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
DMV APPROVES CDTA TO CONDUCT COMMERCIAL DRIVER LICENSE ROAD TESTS UNDER NEW PROGRAM
Third Party CDL Testing Program Supports New York’s Efforts to Address Critical Commercial Driver Shortage
18- to 20-Year-Olds Now Allowed to Apply for Class A CDL
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced today that the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) is the first third-party to be approved under a new program to provide the Commercial Driver License skills test to new drivers hired by the authority. In January, Governor Kathy Hochul announced a plan to allow qualified third parties to offer the road test to help address the severe shortage of licensed commercial drivers across the state.
“Commercial drivers are essential to our communities and to our state’s economy by ensuring that vital goods are delivered on time, children get to school safely, and critical infrastructure projects move forward,” said DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder. “By approving third parties to conduct commercial road tests, we are empowering partner entities to test their drivers and expanding capacity at the existing state-run sites, making it faster and easier to get qualified commercial drivers on the road.”
Carm Basile, CDTA CEO, said, “This is a game changer for CDTA. Thank you to Governor Hochul for her leadership and vision to implement this innovative solution. By streamlining the testing process, this will allow us to get more operators out on the roads efficiently and at a quicker pace to help meet the demands of our growing industry.”
The plan is being implemented by the New York State DMV in two phases. In the first phase, the DMV is working with authorities and other state agencies with large fleets of commercial vehicles to begin conducting CDL road tests. The second phase will include qualified private entities and is expected to begin in late 2022.
The DMV has established a rigorous monitoring system to ensure that qualified CDL trainers safely administer the road tests in compliance with state and federal regulations.
In addition to the new CDL road test program, on May 14, 2022, the Vehicle and Traffic Law was amended to establish an intrastate commercial driver license (CDL) class A young adult training program. The law change will allow the DMV to issue a Class A CDL to a person who is eighteen, nineteen or twenty years old. A Class A CDL will expand employment opportunities for young drivers and provide much needed relief to trucking companies facing a shortage of drivers. A Class A CDL is required to drive combination vehicles such as tractor-trailers. Currently, drivers under the age of 21 can only obtain a Class B or Class C commercial license.
Under the new law, drivers under 21 who obtain a Class A CDL may only drive within New York State. To get a Class A CDL, they must meet all the state and federal requirements for obtaining a Class A commercial driver license, complete Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) and complete the Commercial Driver License Class A Young Adult training program established by the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles. The Commercial Driver License Class A Young Adult training program requires an additional 300 hours of supervised driving.
At the Governor’s direction, the State has also implemented a variety of measures to support the commercial driver industry. In September, Governor Hochul introduced a variety of actions by multiple state agencies to address a shortage of school-bus drivers.
As part of that effort, the DMV took advantage of a federal waiver of the 14-day waiting period between the permit test and the road tests. The state also increased capacity to administer road tests and, through cooperation with county-operated DMV offices, to increase testing capacity for written exams.
In addition, New York opened new CDL Driver Testing sites by partnering with SUNY, the Thruway Authority, New York Racing Association, and the Office of General Services to use large lots on their various sites for the road test. For school staff who held an existing CDL, the State set up expedited testing to obtain a permit that allows them to drive vans and buses temporarily.
Those interested in obtaining a Commercial Driver License can find more information at https://dmv.ny.gov/commercial-drivers.