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New Pennsylvania law updates CDL licensing timeline; addresses human trafficking convictions

New Pennsylvania law updates CDL licensing timeline; addresses human trafficking convictions
In addition to extending the validity of a commercial learner’s permit from 180 days to one year, a new Pennsylvania law seeks to fight human trafficking within the trucking industry.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A newly enacted Pennsylvania law, Act 131 of 2020, extends the validity period of commercial learner’s permits, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced May 25.

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In addition, the law works to address the issue of human trafficking through severe penalties levied against CDL holders, or anyone attempting to gain a CDL, who has been convicted of human trafficking.

“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 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 issuing either a 180-day commercial learner’s permit with an additional 180-day extension, or a one-year commercial learner’s permit.

According to a prepared statement from PennDOT, a one-year permit is more convenient for customers, giving them more time to prepare for their skills test. This section of the law became effective May 23, 2021.

Act 131 will also update requirements and restrictions for CDL holders, including reporting requirements for convictions and violations. One of these changes disqualifies individuals 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, 2021.

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