Less Red Tape for Professional Drivers
Melbourne, Fla.—Recently this month the American Trucking Associations hailed the introduction of a pair of bills that are expected to streamline the credentialing process for millions of professional truck drivers, easing a number of onerous and as they call them, unnecessary burdens.
The first of these bills, the Transportation Security Administration Security Threat Assessment Application Modernization Act will allow drivers to use a single valid background check from a TSA Security Threat Assessment to satisfy the vetting requirements for participation in any TSA program, including the Transportation Worker Identification Credential, Hazardous Materials Endorsement and PreCheck programs. The second bill, the Licensing Individual Commercial Exam-takers Now Safely and Efficiently Act, or LICENSE Act, will make permanent two waivers issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration seven times over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the LICENSE Act, third-party CDL skills test examiners are permitted to administer a state’s CDL knowledge test, in addition to the skills test. This provision gives license seekers additional avenues to take both required tests from a state-certified third-party, thus minimizing potential testing delays. Furthermore, the bill allow states to administer the driving skills test to out-of-state license seekers regardless of where they received their training. Lastly, the LICENSE Act allows commercial learners permit holders who have already passed the required CDL skills test, but who have not yet received their physical credentials, to drive with a CDL holder anywhere in the truck, rather than requiring them to sit in the front seat next to the qualified CLP holder. Making these waivers permanent will reduce regulatory burdens in the CDL testing process without compromising the safety of our roadways.
These changes are expected to save drivers, not just the time involved in submitting to multiple background checks or waiting to take their CDL tests, but potentially hundreds of dollars in fees according to ATA’s President and CEO.
The two bills are in due diligence processes and Congress must adopt them to materialize change.
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