A bill aimed at relieving a shortage of truck drivers by lowering the minimum age for a commercial driver’s license was introduced this week with broad bipartisan support.
HB 479 by Rep. Dexter Grimsley, D-Newville, would permit Alabama to issue Class A commercial drivers’ licenses, limited to intrastate travel, to applicants at least 18 years of age and under 21 years of age. The measure has about 60 cosponsors.
“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 text of the bill states.
Class A commercial drivers under 21 years of age would still be required to comply with state and federal laws and safety regulations. The license could only be used within the state unless federal law changes allowing drivers under 21 to operate a commercial vehicle in interstate commerce.
HB 479 has been assigned to the House Transportation Utilities and Infrastructure Committee chaired by Rep. Lynn Greer, R-Rogersville.