New Mexico Senate Bill Designed To Spur More Commercial Truck Drivers

Feb 7, 2014

  Senator Steven Neville (R-Farmington) said his bill, SB 41,  will solve the tremendous need for  commercial truck drivers in the Northwest and Southwest sections of New Mexico. More truck drivers are needed because of the booming oil and gas industry.  The current law is severely limiting truck drivers from getting their Commercial Drivers’ License (CDL) in New Mexico.

The bill allows those who have invested money in becoming drivers  to have an unlimited opportunity to take the written portion of the CDL exam. Currently, they are limited to taking the written test to three times a year in New Mexico, while other states and the Federal government have no limits on re-testing.  The skills portion would still need to be passed within three attempts within a year.

“The current law is preventing good, skilled drivers from getting jobs if they are poor test-takers, but good drivers,”  Senator Neville said. “This gives applicants who might be limited in English or in reading  multiple chances to pass and secure a job. We should encourage jobs, not deprive people of them. It will help the drivers and the industries that are anxious to employ them with great paying opportunities.  Some drivers can earn up to $100,000 a year.”

The bill:

  • Amends Commercial Driver's License Act (Section 66-5-60 NMSA):
  • Clarifies applicant needs to pass two separate tests: (1) a knowledge test and (2) a skills test for
  • Commercial Driver's License (CDL).
  • If applicant fails knowledge test, can repeat it no more than 2 times/week.
  • If applicant fails skills test, can take it no more than 3 times a year.

Currently, there are over 77,000 CDL licenses in New Mexico.