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Locals say DMV delays in CDL testing impacting workers, businesses

Chris Caya/WBFO News

Transportation companies looking to hire new workers are hitting roadblocks at the state DMV. Erie County Clerk Chris Jacobs says the wait time for a Commercial Driver License road test can be as long as three months. The wait impacts people who want to take the truck driver's exam, as well as potential employers. Jacobs says the Department of Motor Vehicles is short staffed, even though his office sends Albany nearly $50 million in license and registration fees.

"I even know that some of these businesses have offered, in desperation, to say 'We'll pay for overtime,'" Jacobs said Thursday. 

Perry's Ice Cream Chairman Brian Perry says he is hopeful the Department of Motor Vehicles and others in Albany will work to find a solution.

"If New York wants to be friendly and increase business here, they've got to make it easier for us," Perry said. "We've been in business for 98 years and this is one of the regulatory issues that's really starting to bog us down."

National Tractor Trailer School director Lisa Tucker says waiting several months for a CDL road test is a huge financial burden on students who can not get a job without a license. The interested parties want the DMV to increase the number of examiners in Western New York and identify an appropriate site to conduct the CDL driving tests.

DMV spokesman Joe Morrissey issued the following statement in response to Thursday’s press conference:

“Mr. Jacobs’ comments regarding the issue of delays in CDL road tests are not based in reality.  In DMV’s Buffalo district, which actually extends beyond Erie County, our lag at CDL road site tests is five weeks, which is actually within our standard of four to six weeks.  The four to six week lag is by design a responsible effort to improve highway safety and provide drivers enough time to practice prior to their road tests.  Further, Salamanca, which stands at a six week lag, is far below the eight to twelve weeks that have been wrongly alleged.  We have been able to maintain these levels due to adequate staffing in Western New York.  As we have expressed to Mr. Jacobs, we invite him to help us secure and utilize an additional CDL site at an Erie County-owned parking lot at Ralph Wilson Stadium.”