Attention: Service Members and Veterans with Military Driving Experience
Updated: Feb 1, 2021
Melbourne, Fla.—In an effort to assist service members and veterans in transitioning to civilian transportation careers the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has developed several programs that make it easier, quicker, and less expensive for experienced military drivers to obtain Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs).
It is not difficult to link service members and veterans with military driving experience as qualified drivers to help and support the commercial truck and bus driver shortage, given its continued high demand.
Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Safety Grants
The FMCSA also provides funds to educational institutions that provide commercial driver training, including accredited public or private colleges, universities, vocational-technical schools, post-secondary educational institutions, truck driver training schools, associations, and state and local governments. Grants help institutions recruit and train active duty personnel, veterans, and their families for professional bus and truck driving careers.
The Military Test Waiver Program, which allows drivers with two years of experience operating heavy military vehicles safely, to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). It is available in all states, and so far more than 40,000 service members have taken advantage of this great program.
The Under 21 Military Driver Program
This program is a three-year pilot program that allows qualifying military drivers of ages below 21, to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. The program exists because all states except one issue CDLs with intrastate restrictions to individuals of those ages.
An Even Exchange Program or Knowledge Test Waiver
This program allows qualified military drivers to be exempt from the knowledge test for obtaining a CDL. When used with the Military Skills Test Waiver, this allows a driver to exchange a military license for a CDL.
States currently participating
Other states working on its implementation include: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Tennessee, Washington, and Wyoming (as of Dec. 1, 2020).
In Florida, currently, military customers requesting to be issued a CDL due to qualifications of experience while serving on military duty must:
Pass all required knowledge and endorsement tests for the CDL license class and endorsements they are applying to obtain, and
Present the Certification for Waiver of Skill Test for Military Personnel form completed by their commanding officer or designee while on active duty or within 90 days of separation from service in order to be exempt from taking the skills tests.
The process must be completed and the CDL issued within 120 days of separation from service.
In addition, applicants must be at least 18 years of age. If they are under 21, they will be restricted to intrastate operation only. Also, knowledge tests are offered in multiple languages and may be taken orally in English or Spanish with the exception of the hazardous materials test. Skills tests must be conducted in English. Interpreters may not be used during the administration of any tests.
First, we would like to Thank You for Your Service, and if you choose to pursue a career in truck driving or start transportation business in Florida and need insurance advice, give us a call for a free consultation (321) 329-5556. One of our local truck insurance agents at Melbourne Truck Insurance will be more than happy to walk you through all of your options.
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