ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced on Wednesday it has extended the validity of commercial learner permits (CLP) from six-months to one year. The extension comes as an effort to reduce barriers, and support the commercial driver industry amid the national driver shortage.

“The need for new commercial drivers is critical so we are doing all we can to facilitate the licensing of qualified applicants,” said Mark J.F. Schroeder, DMV Commissioner and Chair of the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee. “By extending the validity of the commercial learner permit from six months to one year, we are streamlining the process and making it easier and less costly for those who would have to renew to get on the road.”

Before, applicants were issued a CLP valid for 180 days, with the option of renewing it for an additional 180 days. CLPs will now be valid for 365 days. Applicants issued an original document on or after December 27 will be issued a one-year permit. Those issued a six-month document with an expiration date on or before June 26, 2023, will be given the option to renew their permit for an additional 180 days.

The state has also taken other measures to combat the national driver shortage, including authorizing third parties to offer Commercial Driver License (CDL) road tests, opening new CDL Driver testing cites, and getting rid of the 14-day waiting period between the permit test and road test.

The state has also opened new road test sites by partnering with the State University of New York (SUNY), the New York Racing Association (NYRA), and the New York State Office of General Services (OGS), being able to use their properties.