Agency extends CDL skills test waiver for former military members

| July 09, 2014

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Fit for duty: Vets find new life in trucking

Carriers are looking for a few good men – and women – to drive their trucks. Military veterans fill the bill.

Former military members who operated commercial-type vehicles in the service can now obtain their commercial driver’s license in any state without having to take a skills test within the first year of their separation from the military, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced this week.

FMCSA had previously granted a 90-day skills test exemption in 2011, but Virginia said that timeframe was too short and asked the agency to extend it to a year earlier this year.

The agency did follow Virginia’s request, and the agency’s extension of the waiver is in line with a report it submitted to Congress in November that said outlined steps the agency planned to take to help U.S. veterans and former military personnel transition easily into trucking.

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FMCSA making rule changes to ease military transition to truck driving

FMCSA says it wants to enact rule changes to make obtaining a civilian CDL based on military experience and training easier.

The plan included extending the Military Skills Test Waiver to a year, along with allowing service members in heavy vehicle operation to immediately qualify for a CDL after leaving the service and allowing military members stationed in one state but licensed in another to obtain a CDL before being discharged.

The agency also announced last July it had allotted $1 million for six driving schools across the country to train former military members to become drivers.

  • dum truck driver

    That is stupid. Don’t have to know how to drive an 18 just because you can drive a hummer. If you have the skill, prove it with a 15 minute test. That is a deadly loophole.

  • Rouge

    You are obviously a anti american and dont care that you can drive in a free country! We have went out and put our lives on the line your you dumb ass and you think that we shouldnt get benefits! You need yo rethink your life and comments you make when talking about vets and service embers

  • Cliff Downing

    Well, I spent 7 years in the Army, and I have driven commercially for over 30 years, and I feel for those that get suckered into driving this way after leaving the military. This is but another way for the mega fleets to put bodies in the seats because they cannot keep bodies in the seats the regular way. They still have over a 90% turnover rate at the mega fleets. That should speak volumes. They have pushed for the fast track CDL thing for military personnel so that they can have another source of folks they can throw in the trash. This is not some sort of “we care for the troops” stuff as it is marketed. It is pure selfishness on the part of the carriers. The best fleets that have low turnover wouldn’t pick up these GI to CDL candidates because they have no real OTR experience. So that leaves the shake and bake carriers that go thru drivers like candy.

  • William McKelvie

    It’s a TOOL, come on people. It’s a tool for another group of people to make them and others FEEL GOOD about a branch of our government. What is the ONE thing that most of us older experienced folks bark at Ferro to make the starting driver companies do? MORE, standardized, accredited training. And now once again FERRO has thrown the proverbial egg back at us and now we are wearing it. Want to explain to me how MORE untrained drivers with 80 thousand pound loads of whatever on the nations roadways is safe?? ANYONE??

  • Matthew Grills

    I have all the respect and humility for the honor these troops have brought to themselves, and our great country. But…..that being said, have you ever watched these dolts driving their convoys down the highway? And worse, driving those military vehicles solo? These are not professionally trained drivers yet, and the VA should be sponsoring a good quality GI to civi CDL training to these youngsters so they can get good jobs and not be the seat fillers mentioned in earlier posts. I apologize right now to any and all that I just insulted, but have to know that the military prepares you for a lot of stuff, but not everyday life on America’s highways.

  • s36ryan

    They do a skills test in the military , I had a military drivers liscence when I was in, we weren’t hauling freight though. Whens the last time your ass went to iraq and manage a manuver to not get hit by rpgs or and ied or small arms fire.

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  • Mark Hayward

    Get the Proper Training and take a road test and prove that you can drive safely. heck the Government is even will to pay the tab for your truck driving school.