Arkansas takes measures to address CDL testing backlog

May 27, 2022

Ryan Witkowski


The Arkansas Trucking Association says the wait to complete CDL testing in Arkansas is too long. The trucking group, in collaboration with the Arkansas State Police, is working to remedy the problem.

Citing staffing issues, coupled with a limited number of testing sites, the state is facing a backlog of tests. Arkansas has six sites for potential CDL candidates to complete the skills portion of the test. Depending on the testing site, drivers are experiencing wait times after completing the written test of 16 days to over four weeks before taking the skills test.

Shannon Newton, president of the Arkansas Trucking Association, said the current backlog affects more than just the trucking industry.

“Our industry desperately needs more safe and qualified drivers to be able to stock grocery shelves and deliver all of life’s essentials,” Newton said in a statement. “With ongoing supply chain and workforce issues, delaying the certification of fully trained drivers impacts everyone—not just trucking.”

The collaboration between the Arkansas Trucking Association and state police will use a multiprong approach to reduce the wait times. The state will begin using the Saline County Fairgrounds for a period of 45 days for overflow testing, beginning May 31. Only one testing site, the Little Rock branch, will use the overflow site, increasing their daily capacity from six to 12 tests.

The Arkansas State Police also is considering the expansion of additional third-party testing options. The first step in that process is already underway. The Arkansas Trucking Association tells Land Line that state police are engaging with training providers who had previously expressed interest in becoming certified as third-party testers.

To maximize the current staff, overtime has been approved for CDL examiners through the end of June. Additionally, CDL examiners are being directed to focus on CDL skills test candidates. According to a statement, to address the staffing shortage, “ASP is aggressively attempting to fill examiner vacancies with qualified testing personnel.”

“We commend the Arkansas State Police for implementing swift and decisive resolutions to address the backlog of CDL skills tests,” Newton said. “Our economy needs people to go to work and these drivers are ready and willing to do so, with the support of the Arkansas CDL examiners.” LL


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