Bill Introduced in Congress to Streamline the Process in which Drivers Apply for CDLs

February 16 2022
4 min read

A shortage of 80,000 commercial drivers in the United States has led to the introduction of a bill in Congress that would attempt to feed more drivers into the hiring pipeline. On Feb. 2nd, the American Trucking Association hailed the introduction of a bill that will ease a number of onerous and unnecessary burdens.

Bill Makes it Faster and Less Expensive for TSA Commercial Driver Applications and Renewals

Representatives Adam Smith (D-Washington) and John Katko (R-New York), introduced the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Threat Assessment Application Modernization Act. The act will allow drivers to use a single valid background check from a TSA Security Threat Assessment to satisfy the vetting requirements for participation in any TSA program, including the Transportation Worker Identification Credential, Hazardous Materials Endorsement, and PreCheck programs.

“Many transportation workers across the country are required by law to hold multiple TSA credentials, yet the application and renewal process for the credentials is not streamlined. I have heard from workers in my district who end up spending a significant amount of time and money to keep their credentials up to date – this process clearly needs to be fixed,” said Rep Adam Smith. “The bipartisan legislation introduced today will require TSA to make it easier and less costly for workers to maintain their credentials, taking some of the burdens off of our transportation workers who are critical to keeping our economy running. I appreciate Ranking Member Katko for working with me on this commonsense bill.”

Importantly, this legislation does not make any modifications to the back-end security assessment conducted on individual applicants, ensuring that applicants must undergo the same level of review as they do under current law. This bill simply modernizes the consumer-facing applicant process to reduce the burden on American transportation workers who must maintain more than one TSA credential.

Endorsements by Numerous Transportation Organizations and Leaders

The TSA Security Threat Assessment Application Modernization Act is endorsed by several organizations representing transportation workers and industry including: Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, Teamsters, American Trucking Association, Washington Trucking Associations, American Short Line & Regional Railroad Association, Association of American Railroads, Border Trade Alliance, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), and National Tank Truck Carriers.

"Our coalition of transportation labor unions applauds this important legislative effort to reduce the amount of time and money that transportation workers dole out to maintain multiple TSA security credentials as a requirement of their frontline jobs. Best of all, we can streamline this administrative process for workers without making any modifications to each individual security assessment. We commend Representatives Adam Smith and John Katko for their continued commitment to national security and America's transportation workers", said Greg Regan, President of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO.

The President and CEO of National Tank Truck Carriers, Ryan L. Streblow stated, “The American supply chain crisis is now a prominent topic of national conversation, and NTTC firmly believes that this legislation is one crucial step needed to resolve logistics inefficiencies by streamlining background checks needed by certain truck drivers."

A Shortage of 80,000 Commercial Truck Drivers Highlights the Importance of Fast Background Checks and Onboarding

“With a shortage of roughly 80,000 drivers, we should be making the process of becoming a professional truck driver as user-friendly as possible,” said ATA President and CEO Chris Spear. “By making common-sense changes to the CDL testing process and eliminating redundant background checks, we can cut red tape so these hardworking men and women can get on the road navigating our nation’s highways instead of navigating its bureaucracies.”

The industry seems grateful that the Government is actively pursuing methods to reduce bottlenecks in the background screening process. Many transportation companies have their own internal requirements for drug testing and employment background checks. Orange Tree Employment Screening is an industry leader in turnaround times, customer service, and compliance. 

Orange Tree Provides Fast and Easy Background Screening so you can Hire Drivers Quickly

At Orange Tree, we create custom background check packages designed for transportation and trucking needs. We know the many challenges that you face during the hiring process and can help you decide what screening programs are best to meet your unique hiring goals. 

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The foregoing is not legal advice, express or implied.  We recommend you seek the advice of your own legal counsel for all aspects of employment law.

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