FMCSA Proposes to Ease Vets’ CDL Access

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While federal law currently permits states to waive the driving skills test that qualifies a driver for a Commercial Drivers License for military personnel who have operated a similar vehicle during their service and who apply for the CDL within 90 days of discharge, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposes to extend that window to a full year and to consider administering CDL tests on military bases for active-duty service members.

 

FMCSA explicitly acknowledged the current shortage of qualified truck drivers and noted that more than 60,000 service members from the Army, Air Force, and Marines are trained to operate heavy vehicles. FMCSA’s review of the 90-day window suggested that the period is generally too brief to permit a discharged veteran to consider his or her future sufficiently and also constrains the time required to obtain the necessary affidavits from a former commanding officer.