TOPEKA, Kan. — A recent federal change is making a big impact for professional drivers.

Now, younger professional drivers will be able to take commercial trucks over state lines. The change has trainers and drivers at White Lines CDL excited for the future.

Previously, professional drivers had to be 21 years old to cross state lines. The recent switch will allow 18, 19 and 20-year-olds to join those ranks and drive commercial trucks outside of Kansas.

In Topeka, a driving education center is looking forward to what the federal program will mean for already established drivers.

For younger Kansas drivers, it will allow them to pick up many more routes. Previously, they had to pass on major areas like Kansas City, Missouri that were just out of reach.

“I personally think it’s amazing,” Owner of White Lines CDL Training Justin Losson said. “We’ve trained a lot of 18-year-olds who previously couldn’t leave the state but now could be able to. I think it’s an amazing thing, these guys they’re motivated, they’re young, they’re uninhibited by families and children — and they can really go out there and get the experience they need without worrying about what’s going on at home.” 

The federal update aims to address the national truck driver shortage, an issue made worse by the pandemic over the last two years.

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