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Illinois Launches Spanish-Language CDL Testing to Address Driver Shortages

A person wearing a watch is shown driving a vehicle.
Why KEI/Unsplash

Illinois has introduced Spanish-language options for the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) written test and study guide, aiming to enhance accessibility and combat shortages of truck and school bus drivers. Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias announced this initiative, which brings Illinois in line with over 20 other states offering the CDL test in Spanish.

The decision responds to the increasing demand for qualified drivers across various sectors, including transportation and education. By providing the CDL test in Spanish, Illinois seeks to empower Spanish-speaking residents to pursue careers as licensed drivers while maintaining rigorous testing standards.

While the test's translation into Spanish facilitates comprehension of technical content, applicants must still demonstrate proficiency in English for the road test and pre-trip inspection, aligning with federal guidelines from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). This requirement ensures that drivers can understand essential verbal instructions critical for safe operation.

The initiative not only supports diversity and inclusion in licensing but also aims to alleviate ongoing shortages of CDL drivers, which impact essential services such as school transportation and agricultural operations relying on temporary workers.

For more information and to schedule appointments for CDL testing, applicants can visit the Secretary of State’swebsite or call (217) 785-3013.

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