TRENTON — Legislation sponsored by state Sen. Steve Oroho to speed up the process of getting a commercial driver license by using private third-party vendors to administer the test is now law after it was signed by Governor Chris Christie.
“Companies are always looking to hire new drivers, but because we have trouble keeping up with that demand because of the long wait to get a CDL,” Oroho said. “We have a huge backlog of drivers just waiting to start working. This will help speed up the process of getting a CDL so we can get these people trained and on the road.”
Drivers in New Jersey have some of the longest waits to get their CDL, with some people waiting three months or longer. In the 39 other states that already allow private third-party testing, the wait time is as short as one week.
The legislation establishes a Commercial Driver License Testing Pilot Program and would allow three private, third-party vendors to administer the knowledge and skills tests for commercial licenses. One vendor would be located in the each of the southern, central and northern parts of the state.
Current New Jersey law already allows for third-party testing, but no such program exists because the State never implemented any regulations. This legislation will institute a pilot program until regulations can be formally adopted.
Nine months after the pilot begins, the chief administrator of the Motor Vehicle Commission would be required to submit an evaluation to the governor with recommendations that will facilitate the permanent use of third-party vendors.
“A three-month wait to take a test is too long,” Oroho said. “These drivers have spent the time and money to get the training they need, and we just have get them to the test in a reasonable amount of time so they can begin their careers. Other states are already seeing major reductions in those wait times, so it only makes sense for us to test it out and see if it’s a viable solution for New Jersey.”