FMCSA: New Final Rule Eases Way to CDLs for Military Vets

October 12, 2016

By David Cullen

SHARING TOOLS        | Print Subscribe
Image: U.S. Department of Transportation
Image: U.S. Department of Transportation

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced a final rule on Oct. 12 that simplifies for current and former military personnel the process for obtaining a Commercial Learner’s Permit or Commercial Driver’s License.

The final rule (Docket No. FMCSA-2016-0051) 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 CMV.

It also allows a state to accept applications from active-duty military personnel who are stationed in that state and to administer the written and skills tests for a CLP or CDL. 

FMCSA said that states choosing 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. Then the state of domicile may issue the CLP or CDL on the basis of those results. 

When FMCSA released its initial notice of this rulemaking back in March, it noted that it had issued a temporary exemption in 2014 that extended the skills-test waiver to one year, so the final rule makes that change permanent.

“FMCSA believes that this would give former military personnel a better opportunity to obtain a CDL in a way that will not negatively affect safety,” the agency stated in its proposal. The agency also said it is has concluded that lengthening the waiver period permanently “would ease the transition of service members and veterans to civilian life.”

According to the agency, more than 10,000 separated military personnel have taken advantage of the skills-test waiver.


  1. 1. Russ [ October 13, 2016 @ 08:50PM ]

    I can't for the life of me fathom why anybody would want to get a cdl and pursue a career in trucking with all the changes and regulations taking place in the industry. I can't get out of it fast enough after 24 years. It just isn't what it used to be, the glory days have come and gone, the trucks have gotten ugly and you can't take pride in them. I can't even begin to express all of the ways this industry has let down the veteran drivers. How sad.


Comment On This Story

Comment: (Maximum 2000 characters)  
Leave this field empty:
* Please note that every comment is moderated.


We offer e-newsletters that deliver targeted news and information for the entire fleet industry.


ELDs and Telematics

sponsored by
sponsor logo

Scott Sutarik from Geotab will answer your questions and challenges

View All

Sleeper Cab Power

Steve Carlson from Xantrex will answer your questions and challenges

View All