October 12, 2016 10:00 AM, EDT

FMCSA Eases Requirements for Veterans to Become Commercial Drivers

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced changes to its final rule intended to ease the transition for military personnel to civilian careers as commercial motor vehicle drivers by simplifying the process to obtain a learner’s permit or driver license.

The final rule, due for publication in the Federal Register on Oct. 13, extends the period of time for applying for a skills test waiver to one year from 90 days after leaving a military position requiring the operation of a CMV.

“This final rule also allows a state to accept applications from active duty military personnel who are stationed in that state as well as administer the written and skills tests for a CLP or CDL,” the announcement said.

States that choose to accept such applications must use forms and procedures acceptable to the state of domicile of the military personnel — their state of permanent residence or “home” state — and must transmit the test results electronically to the state of domicile, the agency said.

The final rule will be effective 60 days after it is published.

“FMCSA encourages, but does not require, the state of domicile to issue the CLP or CDL on the basis of this information in accordance with otherwise applicable procedures,” FMCSA said.

American Trucking Associations and other industry trade organizations have said that hiring veterans will help provide a supply of experienced men and women who can help alleviate the ongoing driver shortage.