Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee has signed a bill into law granting third parties authority to give skills tests required for truckers to obtain commercial driver’s licenses.
The new law, previously HB1077, passed the House and Senate by unanimous voting margins.
Rep. Phillip Jackson, R-Berryville, said the legislation would allow the Arkansas State Police to designate certain smaller trucking firms, driver training 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 effort 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.
State Police will continue to oversee and certify the testing process, but they can designate qualified third parties to administer the skills test for commercial licenses.
Third-party administrators, who are required to pay a fee to be in the program, would be eligible only to direct the skills test, not the written portion of the driver’s license exam.
The new law is scheduled to go into effect this summer.