California DMV speeding up process to become a commercial driver

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Instead of that 12-week wait, the Department of Motor Vehicles has eased the backlog by allowing tests to also be conducted on Saturdays. (KFSN)

The trucking industry hopes to benefit from a push at the state capitol to speed up the process to get more drivers on the road.

Whether they were prospective truck drivers or bus drivers, the wait to take a commercial driving test exam left many frustrated. Drivers on a Fresno County Welfare to Work program hope to soon get paid for delivering goods.

But the time it has taken to finish training until recently has frustrated not only applicants but instructors like Glenn Wills with RGW Trucking School.

"Our guys were waiting," he said. "They were ready to go in six or seven weeks but they had to wait another six or seven weeks to even get tested, so they lost interest. They walked off, they quit."

There are 119 drivers who have been trained by the program which is run through West Hills College. Instead of that 12-week wait, the Department of Motor Vehicles has eased the backlog by allowing tests to also be conducted on Saturdays.

"The wait time is less," Lee Ann Eager with EDC said. "We have folks that are able to get in on Saturdays where they weren't able before."

A bill co-authored by Fresno assemblyman Jim Patterson to allow third party testing failed last week but Patterson says the attention over the issue led the DMV to make changes.

"If truck driving students in Fresno finish up their course, get ready to take their test they might have to wait two weeks, three to four weeks."

Wills says the trucking industry has plenty of work. Companies just need more drivers so anything to speed up the process will get more truck and bus drivers on the road.

"They want to get in here, get out of here and get a job," he said.

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