New York passes law to allow under-21 intrastate truck drivers

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Updated Nov 27, 2021

Trucking news and briefs for Friday, Nov. 26, 2021:

New York passes law to become final state to allow under-21 CDL holders

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Nov. 15 signed a bill into law that will allow 18-20-year-olds to obtain commercial driver’s licenses in the state, with certain requirements.

New York’s new law requires under-21 CDL applicants to complete a “CDL Class A Young Adult Training Program,” as well as a minimum number of hours of supervised driving.

The law requires that the training program “be no less than the Entry-Level Driver Training requirements prescribed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.” It will include no less than 300 hours of behind-the-wheel training under the immediate supervision and control of an experienced driver. The law defines an “experienced driver” as a CDL holder at least 21 years old who has not had a reportable accident or violation for at least a year, and has a minimum of one year of commercial driving experience.

New York was the last state in the U.S. to require CDL holders to be 21 or older. Alaska requires drivers to be 19 to hold a CDL and drive intrastate. All other states allow intrastate CDL holders at 18.

The new law has no bearing on federal interstate driving laws, which currently require a CDL holder to be at least 21 to cross state lines. The infrastructure package signed into law earlier this month calls on the DOT to establish an apprenticeship pilot program for under-21 CDL holders to drive interstate.