Michigan law eases CDL process for veterans

By Keith Goble, Land Line state legislative editor | Friday, December 28, 2012

A new law in Michigan is intended to make it easier for veterans to get back to work driving truck. Another rule change 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.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law a bill to 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 will not be waived.

Effective immediately, eligible applicants must certify that they met all of the federal licensing requirements during the past two years. They are still responsible for paying the application fee for the state-issued license.

Rep. Jon Bumstead, R-Newaygo, said the change will help ease veterans back into civilian life.

“It’s just commonsense to let veterans with commercial motor vehicle training be able to use this experience to apply for a CDL at home,” Bumstead said in a release.

Also signed into law is a bill to 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.

The change took effect immediately.

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

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

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