New CDL Laws went into effect today that change the process people need to go through in order to get their commercial driver’s license or CDL. These new changes, says AgWeb, could have a major impact on hauling livestock, grain, or equipment more than 150 miles from your farm.

Entry-level drivers will now need to complete a prescribed program on theory and behind-the-wheel instruction provided by a school or entity on FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry before taking the test.

The new regulations mean it will take a little more time to get your CDL says Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association, ILFA.

No longer will be the days of obtaining a learner’s permit, driving with a CDL holder for as little as a few hours and then taking the CDL road test. This new process will become more detailed and will take more time than the previous CDL process.

These new rules will not affect those who already have their CDL. Those that need to renew an existing CDL and aren’t changing the class of their license, or adding an endorsement will not need to do the training.

Could This Worsen The “Trucker Shortage”?

The new training regiment for entry-level drivers was first passed back in 2016. According to KXMA, the pandemic is one of the reasons the implementation of the regulation was held back to now.

However, there is concern that the timing of it is sure to a shortage of truck drivers and supply chain crisis. And because the classes need to be taught by certified trainers on the FMCSA registry, there is also concern about the number of trainers available in areas.

Getting Younger People Into The Business:

A new federal pilot program could help combat concerns with the trucker shortage. The program would allow people as young as 18 to drive commercial trucks across state lines to help achieve the goal of getting thousands of new drivers trained.

The pilot program would allow as many as 3,000 young truckers to complete 400 hours of cumulative probationary time with a driver in the passenger seat until they turn 21 when they can start to drive solo.

The legal age to drive across state lines is 21- those that are 18 and older can drive commercial trucks within state lines everywhere except Hawaii.

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