Alabama is lowering its minimum age requirement to obtain a commercial driver’s license.
House Bill #479 was signed last week by Governor Kay Ivey and will allow people ages 18-20 to apply for a CDL. In the past, applicants could not start training until they were 21.
There are restrictions on the younger drivers, however. The applicants are limited to a Class A CDL only with no hazmat or passenger endorsements. Drivers age 18-21 are also prohibited from operating an oversize or specialty load that requires a permit from ADEM and are limited to travel within the state of Alabama.
Backers of the bill said it would help eliminate a shortfall in eligible drivers.
“The Legislature finds that current economic conditions are such that the number of individuals willing and qualified to operate commercial vehicles is insufficient in relation to the volume of freight available,” the bill noted.
All drivers would still be required to undergo a training course and pass federal and state testing. Before the new law, Alabama was one of only two states that required drivers to be at least 21 years old to receive a CDL. The new law goes into effect in February 2020.