FMCSA expedites process for military personnel to earn CDL

By Mark Schremmer, Land Line staff writer | Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has granted state driver’s license bureaus an exemption from commercial driver’s license regulations regarding qualified current or former military personnel who received training for heavy-vehicle driving programs.

Missouri’s Department of Revenue requested that such military personnel should be exempt from having to pass the general knowledge test before being issued a commercial learner’s permit, saying that those individuals “have already received numerous hours of classroom training, practical skills training, and one-on-one road training that are essential for safe driving.”

The notice of final disposition is expected to be published in the Federal Register in the coming days.

The announcement indicates a continued trend toward making it easier for specifically trained military personnel to earn a commercial driver’s license.

In addition to this notice, the FMCSA moved forward earlier this month with a final rule that extends the period of time for applying for a skills test waiver from 90 days to one year after leaving a military position requiring the operation of a commercial motor vehicle. FMCSA had been granting states temporary exemptions that extended the time of the waiver since 2014. This action would make the waiver extension permanent.

The FMCSA also has proposed a pilot program that would allow some military veterans between the ages of 18 and 21 to operate a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce.

The exemption from the general knowledge test is effective from the date the notice is published in the Federal Register up until two years later.

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