Perhaps in an effort to relieve some of the recent shortage of truck drivers a new federal rule will allow state driver’s licensing agencies to waive the requirement of the commercial learner’s permit test for individuals who worked in a military position that required operating a truck within the last year.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has scheduled a document for publication. According to the document state licensing agencies may (but are not required to) waive the tests required for passenger carrier endorsements, tank vehicle endorsements or hazardous material endorsements if they are supplied with proof of training and experience.
One of the requirements is that an individual must pass a knowledge test and obtain a learner’s permit before passing a general skills test and earning a commercial driver license. This new rule also gives states the option to waive both the CDL knowledge and driving skills tests for certain current and former military service members who received training to operate [commercial motor vehicles] during active-duty, National Guard or reserve service in military vehicles that are comparable to CMVs,” the Federal Register document states.
There is also a cost saving component to the new rule. According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration they have evaluated the costs and benefits associated with the rule and found that it would result in savings of $16 million over the next decade.
This new rule is in addition to a series of efforts the FMCSA has recently acted on to ease the transition of veteran motor vehicle operators into civilian truck-driving life. An example of some other recent actions by the FMCSA in regard to veterans is when the agency announced the Military CDL I Rule in October 2016, which extends the period of time for applying for a skills test waiver from 90 days to one year after leaving a military position that required operating a commercial vehicle.