Legislation Expanding CDL Testing Options Passes House
RICHMOND-On Tuesday the House of Delegates passed legislation that will make it easier for students and prospective employers to complete the last step before they can be licensed as a commercial truck driver. HB 938, patroned by Delegate Tony Wilt (R-Broadway), permits Virginia public Community Colleges that operate their own training program to also conduct the skills test that is necessary to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).
New federal policy changes in July of 2015 drastically reduced the number of DMV CDL skills testing sites from 30 to 9. Under the new federal mandate, many of the previous sites no longer qualified because the site was too small. As a consequence, this has meant that individuals seeking to take the skills test must travel farther distances to test, and in many cases, it may be a longer delay before they can get a testing appointment.
“At a time when trucking companies are experiencing driver shortages and the demand for commercial truck drivers has never been higher, we should make every reasonable effort to get new drivers employed as quickly as possible,” said Delegate Wilt. “Allowing community colleges like Blue Ridge to conduct skills testing is one solution to help address this issue.”
Locally, individuals must now travel to the Middletown Scales in Stephen City to take the test. For employers and the community college this can be a costly prospect since they must make the trip with their own trucks and be accompanied by a licensed CDL driver. If HB 938 is signed into law, community colleges like Blue Ridge Community College would be able to test students that go through a training program at their school.
Beyond this legislation, the DMV has agreed to seek out other testing locations for DMV staff to conduct testing where no nearby DMV site currently exists.
Delegate Wilt represents the 26th House District, which encompasses Harrisonburg and part of Rockingham County. He was first elected to the House of Delegates in June of 2010.