Senate Approves Resolution to Lift Restrictions on Qualified CDL Drivers Ages 18-20

A resolution urging the U.S. Congress to lift restrictions for holders of Commercial Driver’ Licenses (CDLs) who are 18-20 years old received Senate approval today.  The measure, introduced by Sen. Rothman (R-34) seeks to allow these drivers to transport goods across state lines.

“The trucking industry is vital to the economy of our nation, our region, and our Commonwealth,” Rothman said. “We have well trained CDL drivers who are safely and successfully driving across Pennsylvania, from Erie to Philadelphia and back–but are prohibited from driving the same truck with the same load across the state line,” he continued.  “The current restrictions are arbitrary and are contributing to driver shortages, shipping delays, and higher prices for consumers.”

Currently, the nation is facing a shortage of nearly 78,000 qualified commercially licensed drivers. This shortage is only expected to increase with the need for new drivers rising to 1.2 million over the next decade. To ensure Pennsylvania’s economic security and supply chain efficiency, we must expand the pool of qualified drivers.

To date, 49 states, including Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. allow CDL holders ages 18-20 to operate Commercial Motor vehicles in intrastate commerce. Yet, current Federal regulations require CDL drivers to be at least 21 years old to operate in interstate commerce.

Allowing CDL drivers who are 18-20 years old to participate in interstate commerce will significantly broaden the pool of qualified drivers to address the current shortage while mitigating the future need for CDL drivers. Not only will this benefit the Commonwealth, but it will also benefit the CDL drivers who will have earlier access to career opportunities, enabling them to establish themselves in the industry and find family-sustaining jobs.

“Making this change at the federal level would grow our workforce, help the economy, stabilize the supply chain and bring down the cost of goods for consumers,” Rothman said. “We look forward to Congressional action.”

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