Hochul looks to fill truck and bus driver shortage

Posted 12 January 2022 at 9:44 pm

Will expand availability of road tests for CDL applicants

Photo by Tom Rivers: School buses are lined up in May 2017 at the middle school parking lot in Albion.

Press Release, Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Office

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a plan to help address a critical shortage of truck and bus drivers by significantly expanding the availability of road tests for Commercial Driver License (CDL) 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 on Wednesday, January 26, to hear and review comments on the plan. The hearing will take place virtually via WebEx from 10:00 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 January 18 to February 4.

“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,” Governor Hochul said. “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.”

During the public hearing, the DMV will provide an overview of the proposal that calls for a phased roll out 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 rigorous 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.

“We at DMV know how important it is to have qualified truck and bus drivers on the road, and we are committed to doing what we can to address the need,” said DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder. “We look forward to gathering public input at this hearing and then acting to enable qualified third parties to offer CDL road tests to give New Yorkers greater opportunity to take the test and to get good jobs driving these essential vehicles.”

Those interested in obtaining a Commercial Driver License can find more information by clicking here.