New Research: Skills Testing Delays Costing US Economy $1.5 Billion Annually

January 10, 2019

New Research: Skills Testing Delays Costing US Economy $1.5 Billion Annually

6.4 million days of delays impact more than 250,000 workers 


January 10, 2019


(Alexandria, Virginia) – The Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA) has released new research showing that commercial driver skills testing delays are responsible for $1.5 billion in annual economic losses for the US economy and more than 6.4 million days of delays for new commercial drivers, leading to significant lost wages for American workers.


Commercial vehicle drivers are in high demand by the trucking and bus industries. However, in many states, Commercial Learner’s Permit holders (CLP), who must take and pass a skills test to secure their Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDL) before going to work, are being prevented from sitting for this exam in a timely manner. These delays are the result of a lack of appointments, testing personnel, or test centers.  CLP holders in states with state-run testing centers are experiencing the most significant testing backlogs. At the same time, permit holders in states with third-part testing centers, either in complement with state testing centers or third-party testing centers only, experience fewer delays and are more quickly able to enter the workforce.


Key findings from the analysis – “Economic Impact of Wait Times for Commercial Driver’s Licenses Skills Tests,” include:

  • Commercial driver testing delays resulted in $1.5 billion in economic losses across the United States.
  • $1.1 billion in direct lost wages can be attributed to testing delays.
  • Federal and local governments lost out on over $342 million in income and sales tax revenue in 2016.
  • 258,744 potential workforce entrants impacted by testing delays.
  • 6.4 million days of delays for new commercial drivers.

“This report confirms skills testing delays are a national problem costing the U.S. economy $1.5 billion annually and unnecessarily preventing hundreds of thousands of Americans from entering the workforce,” said CVTA President Don Lefeve. “With drivers in high demand, Congress has the opportunity to address this issue through a common-sense solution that requires third party testing, ultimately eliminating skills testing delays. Our drivers, and our nation, cannot afford to be sidelined as a result of limited testing options.”

CVTA commissioned NDP Analytics to conduct the research.


About CVTA

The Commercial Vehicle Training Association (CVTA) is the largest association representing commercial truck driver training programs in the United States. CVTA members represent nearly 200 training providers in 42 states and train over 50,000 commercial drivers annually. Advancing the interests of trucking’s workforce providers and employers, CVTA advocates for policies that enhance safety through commercial driver training, enable students to secure employment within the trucking and bus industries, thus further advancing driver professionalism. For more information, visit

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