A new study released by the US Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has recommended a series of regulatory changes to further ease the transition of military personnel and veterans into civilian jobs driving commercial motor vehicles.
The study looked at training, testing and licensing similarities and differences between military and civilian commercial driver’s license (CDL) requirements. A number of federal and state regulatory changes were identified that would allow returning US military personnel possessing extensive training and experience operating trucks, buses and other heavy equipment to more easily receive a state-issued CDL.
The FMCSA proposes:
- Extending the period of time, from 90 days to one year, in which active duty and recently separated veterans can take advantage of a Military Skills Test Waiver.
- Updating federal regulations to allow over 60,000 service members trained and employed in the operation of heavy vehicles to immediately qualify for a CDL while still on active duty; and
- Allowing a service member who is stationed in one state, but licensed in another, to obtain a CDL before being discharged.
“The demand for truck drivers will continue to rise in the coming years, so we are taking action to remove the obstacles that prevent military veterans from finding employment in the industry,” said FMCSA administrator Anne S. Ferro. From 2010 to 2020, the need for heavy-vehicle drivers is expected to grow by more than 17% - faster than the national average for other occupations.