Arkansas panel passes third-party CDL testing proposal

| Monday, January 24, 2005

Third parties would be allowed to give skills tests required for truckers to obtain commercial driver’s licenses under legislation approved by an Arkansas House panel Jan. 20. The bill now heads to the full House for consideration.

Rep. Phillip Jackson, R-Berryville, told members of the House Public Transportation Committee that his bill would allow the Arkansas State Police to designate certain smaller trucking firms, driver training schools and technical schools to administer driving skills tests for truckers in the state. Companies that have more than 50 licensed commercial drivers already can administer the test, he said.

The legislation is intended to take some of the burden off the State Police, who have a backlog of drivers seeking to get their CDLs, the Arkansas News Bureau reported.

Under the bill – HB1077 – the State Police would continue to oversee and certify the testing process, but they could designate qualified third parties to administer the skills test for commercial licenses.

Third-party administrators, who would be required to pay a fee to be in the program, would only be eligible to direct the skills test, not the written portion of the driver’s license exam.

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