A pilot program in New Jersey to allow three third-party vendors to administer the test required to obtain a commercial driver’s license will soon be reality.
New Jersey law already allows for third-party testing, but no program exists because the state never put into effect regulations.
Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill into law on Jan. 6 to institute a pilot program until regulations can be formally adopted. The Legislature previously approved the bill by unanimous consent.
Specifically, S2364 establishes a CDL testing pilot program to allow three private, third-party vendors to administer the knowledge and skills tests for commercial licenses. One vendor will be located in the southern, central and northern parts of the state.
Sen. Steve Oroho, R-Sussex, has said the state cannot keep up with new federal guidelines because reliance on state-administered tests has created a backlog of people waiting to get their licenses.
He says the new law offers a common-sense solution to speed up the process and get truck drivers to work.
Assemblyman John Burzichelli, D-Cumberland, added whereas drivers in most other states can set an appointment and take the test for a CDL in the span of a few weeks, New Jersey drivers often must wait months.
“There are people in New Jersey who are capable of driving for a living and want to pursue good job opportunities but can’t, because they have to wait months for a chance to take the CDL examination,” Burzichelli said in prepared remarks. “That doesn’t just hurt them as individuals; it hurts our entire economy.”
Third-party vendors are supposed to be fully operational and administering CDL tests within 90 days.
The Motor Vehicle Commission is required to submit an evaluation of the pilot program to the governor and the Legislature by this November. The evaluation must include recommendations that would facilitate the permanent use of third-party vendors.
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