Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Programs and Assistance for Military Veterans

There are several programs available to active duty military personnel and military veterans to assist them in obtaining a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Some of these programs were established under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) (P.L. 114-94), while others have been created by the rule making authority of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Some of the assistance programs for active duty military personnel and military veterans are as follows:

Skills Test Waiver

According to 49 CFR 383.77, the driving skills test may be waived, at the discretion of a State, for a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver with military commercial motor vehicle (CMV) experience who is currently licensed at the time of application for a commercial driver’s license (CDL), and substituted with an applicant’s driving record with certain experience.

Knowledge and Skills Testing for Commercial Learner’s Permit (CPL) and Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in the State where they are stationed

According to 49 CFR 383.79, a State where active duty military service member applicants for a commercial learner’s permit (CPL) or commercial driver’s license (CDL) are stationed, but not domiciled, may administer the knowledge and skills tests to the military service member or waive the skills test in accordance with 49 CFR 383.77.

Department of Veterans Affairs D.O.T. Medical Certification

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is currently establishing a process that would allow military veterans to obtain their D.O.T. medical certification exam from their Department of Veterans Affairs physician.

Commercial Driver Training School Grants

The Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Operator Safety Training Grant Program provides grant funds to commercial driver training schools that train military veterans to transition into civilian commercial  motor vehicle careers.

The FAST Act Military Pilot Program

This is a 3-year pilot program established under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) (P.L. 114-94), which allows a limited number of active duty military personnel between the ages of 18 and 21 to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMV) in interstate commerce if they have received specified heavy-vehicle driver training while in military service and are sponsored by a participating motor carrier.

 

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