Government Issues

FMCSA to ease CDL requirements for vets, military

Posted on November 11, 2013

A new study released by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recommended a series of regulatory changes to further ease the transition of military personnel and veterans into much-needed civilian jobs driving commercial motor vehicles.

In releasing the study, FMCSA also announced plans to implement the changes as soon as possible.

The study, which was directed by Congress in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21 Century Act (MAP-21) one year ago, analyzed 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 not adversely impact safety but would allow returning U.S. military personnel possessing extensive training and experience operating trucks, buses, and other heavy equipment to more easily and conveniently receive a state-issued CDL.

The opportunities outlined in the report require formal rulemaking action, which FMCSA will initiate this year. The proposed changes include:

  • 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. The waiver, which FMCSA first implemented in 2011, allows states to waive CDL skills tests for service members with two years of safe driving experience with similar vehicles. Today, 46 states and Washington, D.C. offer the waiver, which has already provided almost 2,000 military personnel a quicker pathway to a job.
  • Updating federal regulations to allow over 60,000 service members trained and employed in the operation of heavy vehicles, many of which are nearly identical to civilian commercial motor vehicles, to immediately qualify for a CDL while still on active duty.
  • Allowing a service member who is stationed in one state, but licensed in another, to obtain a CDL before being discharged.

FMCSA will continue to explore other ways to ease the transition from military occupations to jobs requiring CDLs, including waiving the requirements for pre-employment drug testing for recently discharged military personnel based on their recent participation in random drug testing programs run by the military.

In August, FMCSA announced almost $1 million in grants to six colleges to help increase enrollment in commercial motor vehicle training programs, making it easier for veterans and their spouses to obtain CDLs and find transportation jobs. These grants are in addition to similar funding awards made by FMCSA two years ago.

The agency also granted a petition from Virginia in May to allow their military bases to be certified as third-party testers of military personnel for CDL knowledge and skills tests. New Mexico and Wisconsin are preparing to follow suit.

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. Jobs as city, tour and school bus drivers, as well as light truck or delivery services drivers, are expected to continue growing at the national average.

To view the full report, click here.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Senator calls for increased public transit security

Sen. Richard Blumenthal made his first the call for more security in May during the TSA administrator’s confirmation hearing. He said the security and safety enhancement were mandated by Congress in 2007, but are still not implemented.

Phoenix voters approve sales tax increase to fund transportation

Elements of the plan include building an additional 42 miles of light rail throughout the city, providing late night bus and Dial-a-Ride service citywide and repaving over 680 miles of arterial streets.

L.A. gives final approval for Uber, Lyft pick ups at LAX

The council agreed to explore a possible city ordinance to require ride-hailing driver background checks to include fingerprint-based screening.

Report IDs employment 'hot spots' in transportation sector

It also identifies good-paying, high-demand transportation jobs and analyzes the patterns in the education and work experience required for entry, including on-the-job training requirements for new entrants to gain full competency.

Calif. transit agencies say fed grants blocked over pension reform law

The agencies thought they had won a federal court victory late last year, when a judge ruled that the state law did not violate a federal prohibition against interfering with public employees' collective bargaining rights, but the Labor Department is still enforcing the rule.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The resource for managers of class 1-7 truck Fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close