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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: June 17, 2015 01:47 PM
From: Senator John C. Rafferty, Jr.
To: All Senate members
Subject: CDL Permit and License Updates
In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation that would significantly update language mainly for the qualification standards for the commercial driver learner’s permit and commercial driver’s license in conformity with new regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The federal compliance date for the enactment of legislation is July 8, 2015.

The applicability for commercial driver learner’s permit will be updated to include: 1) the permit shall be valid for a period of 180 days and may be renewed for an additional period of up to 180 days without having to retake the knowledge tests, 2) an applicant must have a valid driver’s or commercial driver’s license issued by PennDOT, 3) the permit is only valid when both of the permit and the driver’s (or commercial driver’s) license are in possession, 4) a permit holder must be accompanied at all times by a commercial driver’s license holder who has a valid commercial driver’s license to operate the vehicle being driven, 5) certain restrictions for a permit holder with an N (tank), P (passenger) or S (school bus) endorsement, 6) an applicant for a permit must be at least 18 years of age, and 7) a permit holder is prohibited from operating a commercial motor vehicle transporting hazardous materials.

The qualification standards for a commercial driver’s license will be updated to include: 1) PennDOT’s acceptance of the results of skills tests administered in other states that meet the federal testing standards, 2) PennDOT’s requirement to retest a driver upon acknowledgement that the commercial driver learner’s permit holder or commercial driver’s license holder is suspected of fraudulent activity, and 3) neither interpreters nor a language other than English will be permitted during the skills test for a commercial driver learner’s permit.

Additional updates will be included to further provide for definitions, employer responsibilities, nonresident commercial driver’s license holders, additional codes to describe the commercial driver’s license restrictions and disqualifications.

If you have any questions, please contact Nolan Ritchie, Senate Transportation Committee, at nritchie@pasen.gov.

Introduced as SB925