FMCSA to grant military vets longer waiver on CDL skills test

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FMCSA says extending the skills test waiver to a year will ease the transition from military to civilian life for veterans who choose to pursue commercial driving.FMCSA says extending the skills test waiver to a year will ease the transition from military to civilian life for veterans who choose to pursue commercial driving.

Military veterans who drove commercial vehicles during their service now have up to a full year after their departure from their branch of service to be exempt from the commercial driver’s license skills test when applying for a CDL.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration granted an exemption to the Missouri Department of Revenue, which also will apply to all states, that will give veterans more time to make the transition from the military to civilian life. The Missouri DOR said in its exemption request that it felt the previous 90-day waiver for the skills test was too short.

This same exemption was granted to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles in 2014, FMCSA said, and it expires on July 8. Missouri’s exemption will take effect July 8 for all states and will be good until July 8, 2018.

FMCSA published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in March that would grant the same exemption as Missouri’s request, but the agency said the Final Rule won’t be published before Virginia’s exemption expires. FMCSA added this Missouri exemption “is needed to cover the time between expiration of the Virginia exemption and any rulemaking that would make the exemption(s) moot.”

The agency said in a report last year that more than 10,000 former military personnel have taken advantage of the 90-day skills test waiver since it was introduced in May 2011.

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