Washington, D.C. – Congressman Darin LaHood (R-IL) introduced a bipartisan bill to help address supply chain shortages and increase the number of truck drivers transporting goods in America. The Licensing Individual Commercial Exam-takers Now Safely and Efficiently (LICENSE) Act, would streamline burdensome licensing regulations by making permanent several waivers that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) implemented in response to COVID-19.

Rep. LaHood was joined by U.S. Representatives Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Troy Balderson (R-OH), Jim Costa (D-CA), Dusty Johnson (R-SD), and Josh Harder (D-CA) as co-leads of the legislation. 

"Worker and trucking shortages continue to be a persistent challenge for small businesses in central and northwestern Illinois, and the downstream effects are harming working families," said Rep. LaHood. "As we face unprecedented supply chain challenges, this legislation will help streamline the process to obtain a commercial driver’s license and reduce unnecessary red tape. This commonsense legislation will give companies the ability to hire qualified, safe drivers and strengthen the economy in Illinois."

“The LICENSE Act is a prime example of how Congress can advance regulatory relief to addresses the driver shortage without compromising safety,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “FMCSA repeatedly granted these waivers during the pandemic, proving that they streamline the licensing process while maintaining the same high safety standards. Making them permanent will enable more professional truck drivers to focus on delivering for the American people, rather than dealing with bureaucratic red tape. We thank Representatives LaHood, Balderson, Johnson, Harder, Cuellar, and Costa for their support and leadership." 

“Given the severe shortage of truck drivers, we should be doing everything we can to streamline the training and credentialing process to get more people behind the wheel.  These waivers have been proven to reduce the complexity of obtaining a CDL while maintaining high safety standards, and it’s time to make them permanent,” said Matt Hart, Executive Director of the Illinois Trucking Association. “We thank Congressman LaHood for introducing this measure to support the trucking industry and strengthen the supply chain."

“This commonsense legislation eases the administrative roadblocks new drivers face in getting their commercial driver’s license,” said Jerome Redmond, Chairman of the Commercial Vehicle Training Association. “CVTA member schools offer safety-focused, high-quality training to 100,000 entry-level drivers each year, and these students deserve policies that have their interests in mind. The relief provided under this bipartisan proposal will allow drivers to become employed and start their driving careers more quickly and help address a workforce shortage in the trucking industry,” 

“ABMA urges Congress to pass the LICENSE ACT, which will streamline the CDL process that is so desperately needed. We need more qualified drivers behind the wheel as so many of our nation's goods primarily move on the wheels of the trucking industry. There is no downside to supporting and passing this important piece of legislation as it strengthens our supply chain and our nation's supply needs," said the American Building Materials Alliance.

“Today, the tank truck industry is experiencing similar workforce shortages affecting other segments of the American supply chain. Credentialing and licensing procedures must be streamlined to encourage more drivers to enter our specialized industry. The LICENSE Act allows a state to administer driving skills tests to any commercial driver’s license applicant, regardless of the state they live or received their training in. NTTC believes that this measure of reciprocity, coupled with the authorization of state authorized third party, increases options for drivers to efficiently join the tank truck workforce,” said Ryan Streblow, President & CEO, National Tank Truck Carriers.

"FRA strongly supports enactment of the LICENSE Act. With our country experiencing an unprecedented shortage of qualified truck drivers and the entire supply chain straining to adapt, it only makes sense that these commonsense reforms to streamline the process for obtaining a CDL be made permanent. We thank the sponsors for their leadership on this critical issue," said the Forest Resources Association.

The bill would allow state and third-party examiners who have maintained a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL) test examiner certification and have previously completed a CDL skills test examiner training course to administer the CDL knowledge test without completing a CDL knowledge test training course. The continued availability of CDL knowledge testing will help maintain an adequate and sustained supply of trained truck drivers.

The bill also would allow states to administer driving skills tests to applicants from other states. This will streamline the credentialing process and allow future truck drivers to be tested where they live, rather than solely where they received training.