WASHINGTON, D.C., April 6, 2020 — The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) urged U.S. governors to adopt measures to allow the issuance of new commercial driver’s licenses (CDL) during shutdowns or reduced operations of state motor vehicle offices in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are concerned that if driver’s license agencies continue to not issue new CDLs or limit service, trucking capacity may be inadequate to ensure continuity of operations for human and animal food supply participants,” noted NGFA’s April 6 letter.
Seasonal CDLs, restricted agricultural CDLs and CDL endorsements for new hires are particularly important during the busy spring planting season, NGFA said, because the agricultural industry hires seasonal drivers to help in the timely delivery of farm supplies to farmers and ranchers.
“The agricultural industry depends on a steady flow of new (CDL) drivers to maintain its supply chain,” NGFA noted. “Often, the agricultural industry serves as a pathway for many of the nation’s full-time truck drivers, thus the loss of a process to issue new CDLs may impact the food and agricultural industry disproportionately hard.”
NGFA urged governors — if they have not already done so — to create alternative online or appointment-only processes to issue new CDLs, or to issue an emergency and temporary alternative process to enable new drivers to obtain licenses, if necessary.
NGFA, established in 1896, consists of more than 1,000 grain, feed, processing, exporting and other grain-related companies that operate more than 7,000 facilities and handle more than 70 percent of all U.S. grains and oilseeds. Its membership includes grain elevators; feed and feed ingredient manufacturers; biofuels companies; grain and oilseed processors and millers; exporters; livestock and poultry integrators; and associated firms that provide goods and services to the nation’s grain, feed and processing industry. NGFA also consists of 33 affiliated State and Regional Grain and Feed Associations, and NGFA is co-located and has a strategic alliance with North American Export Grain Association, and a strategic alliance with Pet Food Institute.