Michigan bill eases CDL process for veterans

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lawmakers in Michigan have taken action this week on a bill to make it easier for veterans to get back to work driving truck. A separate bill covers upkeep at rail crossings.

According to state figures, the unemployment rate for veterans in Michigan is about 29 percent, which is more than twice the national average.

A bill on its way to the governor would allow service personnel returning from duty to exchange their military CDL for a state-issued CDL without requiring a driving test. However, the written portion of the test would not be waived.

Eligible applicants must certify that they met all of the federal licensing requirements during the past two years. They would still be responsible for paying the application fee for the state-issued license.

Rep. Holly Hughes, R-Montague, said the change will help ease veterans back into civilian life.

“Military personnel deserve the opportunity to use their military experience in a civilian setting without the hassle of scheduling and taking a test to obtain their license,” Hughes said in a release.

The Senate voted Thursday, Dec. 13, to advance HB5936 to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk less than a week after House lawmakers approved the bill.

Another Senate-approved bill would raise the amount of money that road agencies in the state, including the Michigan Department of Transportation, funnel to railroads for the maintenance of rail crossing traffic control devices.

Maintenance payments would increase as much as $1,000 a year for various upgrades that include installing, altering and modernizing traffic control devices at crossings. Expenses would be shared by the railroad and the responsible road authority.

The bill – HB4609 – now heads back to the House for approval of changes before it can move to the governor’s desk.

To view other legislative activities of interest for Michigan, click here.

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