A new law in Utah that allows non-residents to obtain CDLs
is a violation of federal law. Not that it matters, because officials with the
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have said they have no plans to
enforce the law.
The Utah law, sponsored by state House Majority Leader Jeff
Alexander, R-Provo, states that “an applicant for a temporary CDL is not
required to be a Utah resident or provide a Utah residential address.”
The law also allows the state to issue permanent CDLs to
out-of-state students. However, that is in direct violation of a federal law
that requires drivers to be residents of the state in which they receive their
training and their CDL.
In a letter obtained by The Deseret Morning News newspaper earlier this year, the FMCSA stated that it was not going to enforce
the federal law because it was working on a new version of the law. The
Morning News reported on Wednesday, May 3, that federal officials continue
to maintain that position.
Thus far, no new law has been issued. Representatives from
the FMCSA did not return Land Line’s calls for this story.
The furor about the law in Utah began when it was discovered
that nearly 1,900 out-of-state drivers were claiming the headquarters of C.R.
England’s training school in West Valley City, UT, as their residence in the
The Utah Attorney General ruled in 2005 that the practice
was illegal. But C.R. England officials complained to state and federal
officials, saying that enforcing the law would shut down their driving school.
The Morning News reported that was enough to delay
state enforcement of the law until the legislature could make changes, which it
has now done.