Earlier this week the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a final rule changing commercial driver’s license (CDL) regulations to make it easier for military service members to obtain jobs in the trucking industry.
Finding Employment After The Military
Regardless of how long you’ve served or why you’re making the switch, transitioning out of a career in the military to a civilian career is not an easy task. With the release of this final rule, the FMCSA has simplified the process for military veterans to obtain a CDL. This change will help people that were trained by the military to continue driving vehicles when they’ve finished their service making the transition a little easier.
What Regulations Are Changing?
The final rule makes a number of changes to existing rules and regulations that previously made it difficult for veterans to get involved in civilian trucking. Here’s a look at what’s changing:
- Extended Application Period
This rule extends the amount of time allowed (49 CFR 383.77) for a veteran to apply for their skills test waiver. After leaving a military position that required the operation of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), veterans now have 1 year (previously 90 days) to apply. There have been a few temporary extensions to this timeframe in the past but this rule makes it permanent.
- Accepting Applications During Active Duty
States are now allowed to accept applications and administer tests for a CDL from active duty service members who are stationed in that State. The applicant needs to be operating in a Military Occupational Specialty as a full-time CMV driver. States need to send applications and test results to the State of domicile of the applicant. This allows applicants to complete licensing without having to return to their State of domicile – saving them time and money.
Why Are These Changes Being Made?
By making it easier for veterans to obtain truck driving jobs, the FMCSA hopes to curb some of the effects of the “driver shortage”. In 2014, the American Trucking Association (ATA) announced their commitment on behalf of the trucking industry to hire 100,000 veterans.
This commitment was made as part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring 500,000 Heroes campaign. It is expected that over 1 million people will be discharged from service in the U.S. by 2019.