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April 06, 2020 | National Grain and Feed Association

NGFA Urges States to Issue New CDLs During Pandemic

Asks governors to implement emergency, temporary alternative process to enable new drivers to obtain licenses

The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) urged U.S. governors to adopt measures to allow the issuance of new commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) during shutdowns or reduced operations of state motor vehicle offices in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are concerned that if driver’s license agencies continue to not issue new CDLs or limit service, trucking capacity may be inadequate to ensure continuity of operations for human and animal food supply participants,” notes NGFA’s April 6 letter.  

Seasonal CDLs, restricted agricultural CDLs and CDL endorsements for new hires are particularly important during the busy spring planting season, NGFA says, because the agricultural industry hires seasonal drivers to help in the timely delivery of farm supplies to farmers and ranchers.

“The agricultural industry depends on a steady flow of new (CDL) drivers to maintain its supply chain,” NGFA noted. “Often, the agricultural industry serves as a pathway for many of the nation’s full-time truck drivers, thus the loss of a process to issue new CDLs may impact the food and agricultural industry disproportionately hard.”

NGFA urged governors — if they have not already done so — to create alternative online or appointment-only processes to issue new CDLs, or to issue an emergency and temporary alternative process to enable new drivers to obtain licenses, if necessary.

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