Home Politics New law updates CDL licensing requirements, aims to address human trafficking

New law updates CDL licensing requirements, aims to address human trafficking

Act 131 disqualifies an individual from operating a commercial motor vehicle for life if they are convicted of using such a vehicle to commit certain forms of severe human trafficking

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation announced that a recently enacted state law, Act 131 of 2020, extends the validity period of a commercial learner’s permit and helps address the issue of human trafficking through severe penalties levied on commercial drivers or those who wish to obtain a commercial driver’s license.

“This law helps ensure commercial drivers have adequate time to prepare for their commercial driving test while also addressing punishment for a serious crime,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian.

Act 131 of 2020 extends the validity period of a commercial learner’s permit from 180 days to one year. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration recently changed regulations to allow a jurisdiction the choice of the 180-day commercial learner’s permit with an additional 180-day extension or a one-year commercial learner’s permit. A one-year permit is more convenient for customers, said Gramian, giving them more time to prepare for their skills test. Additionally, a longer validity period means that fewer customers will need to extend their permit, which will help decrease customer traffic in driver license centers. This section of the law became effective May 23.

Act 131 also updates requirements and restrictions for commercial driver’s license holders, including reporting requirements for convictions and violations. One of these changes disqualifies an individual from operating a commercial motor vehicle for life if they are convicted of using a commercial motor vehicle to commit certain forms of severe human trafficking. This section of the law became effective May 25.

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