Getting a CDL will soon be easier for military personnel

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor | 9/28/2012

Military personnel will soon be able to obtain commercial drivers licenses in states where they are stationed instead of being required to go through their home states of record. OOIDA and other supporters say the bill, which is on its way to becoming law, will cut red tape for returning and stateside personnel considering trucking as a career.

President Obama is expected to sign the Military CDL Act of 2012 into law. The House passed the bill on Friday, Sept. 28, and the Senate has already passed it.

Current laws prohibit states from issuing CDLs to individuals who are not domiciled there. Language in the bill says the change will make getting a CDL easier for active duty military, military reserves, National Guard, active Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary.

U.S. Rep. Larry Bucschon, R-IN, and 25 cosponsors backed the House version, HR6456, while Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-ME, Sen. Patty Murray, D-WA, and eight additional senators co-sponsored the Senate version, S3624.

“We are grateful that both the House and Senate have passed this commonsense, pro-jobs legislation,” Sen. Snowe stated Friday.

“Putting America’s veterans back to work when they return from Iraq and Afghanistan must be a priority of this Congress. Our bill makes it easier for these brave men and women to use critical skills learned in the military to contribute in the private sector. We look forward to the president signing this bill into law.

Many veterans and active duty personnel value trucking as a career choice. OOIDA has a vast number of veterans and military families involved in its membership.

“If there is a way to help returning military personnel use their training as they transition into new roles, then we certainly want to make sure to remove any obstacles to moving forward in a trucking career,” OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer said.

“Many of our members are veterans, and this is a great way to show support for our troops and grow the owner-operator industry at the same time.”

Speaking of military support, OOIDA recently announced that the Association’s sixth annual Truckers for Troops campaign will take place Dec. 3-7. During the event, new and renewed Association memberships are discounted from $45 to $25. The Association matches 10 percent of those funds to assemble and ship care packages to military personnel stationed overseas. Last year’s event raised more than $73,500.

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