The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today proposed allowing states to let military veterans and active-duty personnel obtain a commercial drivers license (CDL) without first taking a required CDL "knowledge test."
In addition, the Department of Transportation sub-agency would allow states to issue a CDL learner's permit with an expiration date of up to one year, replacing the current six-month limitation.
The CDL knowledge test, which is administered at the state level, tests prospective drivers on general trucking knowledge, driving, and transporting cargo safely. Since 2012, FMCSA has allowed states to waive a separate CDL "skill test" requirement for qualified veterans and active-duty personnel. More than 18,800 individuals have used the waiver to transition from military service to civilian jobs as commercial truck and bus drivers, said FMCSA, which oversees truck and bus safety. "Taken together, these two proposals will help ease the entry for thousands of qualified individuals into career opportunities as professional truck and bus drivers--a critical occupation facing an acute labor shortage in our country," said FMCSA Deputy Administrator Daphne Jefferson in a statement. "We could eliminate unnecessary burdens to both the applicants and to the states, save time, reduce costs, and, most importantly, ensure that states only issue commercial drivers licenses to well-trained, highly qualified individuals." FMCSA will allow comments on both proposals for 60 days.