Alabama lawmakers lower intrastate driving age from 21 to 18

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Lawmakers in Alabama passed a bill Wednesday, May 15, that lowers the age for intrastate truck drivers to 18 years old.

Before the passing of the bill, Alabama was one of only two states (the other being Hawaii) to require drivers to be 21 to obtain a commercial driver’s license to drive intrastate.

The bill states that the number of people “willing and qualified” to drive trucks is insufficient in relation to freight volume and allowing 18-year-old drivers would help fill that gap.

“This legislation is a win-win for motor carriers, shippers and consumers,” said Alabama Trucking Association President Frank Filgo. “The ongoing truck driver shortage, now estimated to be more than 60,000 nationally, is a burden to the economy. With the passage of this bill, additional drivers will help advance long-term, sustainable profitability for Alabama motor carriers and suppliers.”

Truckers under the age of 21 will still be restricted from hauling hazmat and/or oversized loads that require permitting from the Alabama Department of Transportation.

The bill has been sent to the desk of Gov. Kay Ivey for her signature for it to become law. Once the bill is signed, it will go into effect on Feb. 7, 2020.