Oberlander Alerts CDL Holders, Permit Seekers of New Changes
HARRISBURG – To comply with federal regulations, a new state law is now in effect that may affect individuals who hold commercial driver licenses (CDL) or those who will be seeking them, said Rep. Donna Oberlander (R-Clarion/Armstrong/Forest). Many of the new changes went into effect Dec. 21.

Oberlander noted that the changes are a result of Act 49 of 2015, which was signed into law at the end of October.

“Many of the new provisions seek to enhance public and driver safety while making the process a bit simpler for those who are seeking to renew a CDL,” Oberlander said. “It’s important to be aware of these changes, especially if someone is new to the process.”

The new law affects both license and permit holders.

Most notably, all new CDL applicants and current holders required to renew or make any changes or upgrades to their CDL will need to do so in person. License holders are required to prove citizenship or legal presence in the form of a birth certificate, passport, naturalization documents or current immigration documents in person. The requirement to prove citizenship or legal presence for permanent residents and citizens will only need to be done once as a notation will be made on the customer’s record confirming the verification was made and the date it was made.

Additionally, residency documents will be required initially, at renewal and any time an address change occurs. Proof of residency can be accomplished by providing tax records, lease agreements, mortgage documents, W-2 form, current weapons permit, current utility bills (water, gas, electric, cable, etc.), a letter from PennDOT or a current license.

Other significant changes highlighted are as follows:

• The time period for annual physical and vision examination requirements for school bus drivers has been extended from every 12 months to every 13 months.
• Codes used to describe CDL classifications, endorsements and restrictions will change, and a listing of the new codes is now on the Department of Transportation website at dmv.pa.gov.
• If a driver applicant wants to remove any of the restrictions on his or her current license, the applicant may not have to retake the complete skills tests. The state may administer a modified test which will include a knowledge test and skills test depending on the restriction to be removed. The applicant’s permit will reflect the needed testing.
• Any Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) issued on or after Dec. 21 will be valid for no more than 180 days. Additionally, if a permit expires or was renewed once and needs to be renewed again, all knowledge tests must be retaken.
• Training permits (a precursor to the learner’s permit) will no longer be issued to school bus drivers.
• The 15-day training period will be reset any time an endorsement or restriction removal is added to a permit, if it also requires a skills test. This includes existing CDL holders.
• A CLP will not be issued to anyone who does not hold a current and valid driver’s license.

Anyone needing further information can contact Oberlander’s district offices in Clarion at (814) 226-9000 or Elderton at (724) 354-3500. More information is also available via PennDOT’s website at dmv.pa.gov by typing “CDL” in the search bar.

Representative Donna Oberlander
63rd District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Jennifer Keaton
RepOberlander.com / Facebook.com/RepOberlander
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