ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York Governor Kathy Hochul has signed into law legislation to create the Young Adult Commercial Driver’s License, a Class A program for 18 to 20 year olds. Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo said the program will help ease the ongoing truck driver shortage.

Currently, New York allows 18 to 20 year old’s to obtain a CDL Class B license to drive within state lines. However, they are ineligible to apply for a CDL Class A license until they are 21 years old.

This bill will allow 18 to 20 year old’s to obtain their CDL Class A to drive tractor-trailers and other larger vehicles. Lupardo said New York is the last state in the country to allow this opportunity.

“New York’s trucking industry is central to our state’s economy, ensuring that products make it to market in a timely manner. This legislation will help address the shortage of truck drivers by attracting younger drivers, at a time when many are in the process of choosing their careers,” said Lupardo.

According to the American Transportation Research institute, the trucking industry is responsible for 1 out of every 27 jobs in New York state. However, due to an aging workforce, there is a need for new drivers, but it is becoming more difficult to recruit commercial drivers.