New York Gov. Kathy Hochul Wednesday announced a plan she said "will help address a critical shortage of truck and bus drivers by significantly expanding the availability of road tests for Commercial Driver License applicants." The initiative would allow qualified third parties to offer the road tests, which would create more testing locations statewide and expand capacity at the existing state-run sites, reducing the time it takes to get qualified CDL drivers on the road.
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles will hold a public hearing Jan. 26, to hear and review comments on the proposed plan. The hearing will take place virtually via WebEx from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It will be open for public comments following a brief introduction by DMV representatives. Written comments may be submitted to CDLThirdPartyTesting@dmv.ny.gov from Jan. 18 to Feb. 4.
During the public hearing, the DMV will provide an overview of the proposal that calls for a phased rollout of this initiative that would initially allow other state agencies and authorities that have large fleets of commercial vehicles to begin conducting CDL road tests. The second phase would include qualified private entities. The DMV will establish a monitoring system to ensure that qualified CDL trainers safely administer the road tests in compliance with state and federal regulations. The DMV will use the feedback gathered during the public hearing to evaluate and develop an implementation plan.
"As we continue to fight this pandemic, we remain committed to expanding opportunities for New Yorkers, supporting our schools, and doing all we can to address the supply-chain issues that have affected many businesses throughout our state and country," said Hochul. "By enabling third parties to give the road test for truck and bus drivers, we will create new avenues for New Yorkers to begin exciting careers, for our children to get to school, and to ensure that vital goods get where they need to be."
Those interested in obtaining a Commercial Driver License can find more information at https://dmv.ny.gov/commercial-drivers.