May 8, 2020: Iowa Driver Becomes One of the First to Use Technology for CDL Test

Lonnie Orr recently became the first person to take advantage of the federal emergency declaration that allows drivers to take their CDL driving test while still maintaining the social distancing order associated with COVID-19. This emergency declaration, which is in effect through June 30, 2020, allows the new driver to be evaluated by a state examiner observing from a trailing vehicle. According to FMCSA, “Bluetooth, in-cab cameras and cellphones may be used to administer the CDL skills test in a way that allows the examiners to not be physically present in the cab of the vehicle with the driver applicant while conducting the on-road test segment.”
Mr. Orr, who passed his test on April 30th, stated ““For me, being in the truck alone kind of helped a little bit. I was kind of excited about being tested alone…The examiner would tell me where to turn and switch lanes. I had to get instructions on everything I was doing. Plus, I had to tell when I was downshifting, what gear I was going to and keep within the speed limit.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has lead to 17 states closing their DMV offices and many more are only partially open. This emergency declaration will allow drivers to enter the job market quickly and ensures supplies and equipment are able to make it to the consumers.
Bill Bartelson, CDL quality assurance officer for the Iowa Department of Transportation, said “Right now, Iowa realizes the need in the industry for drivers,…Also, since we are an agricultural state, with spring planting coming on, there’s always an increased need for drivers for the farmers.”

Iowa Driver Among First in US to Use Technology for CDL Skills Test