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FAQ - Requirements for Drivers in the Under 21 Military CDL Pilot Program

Q1: What training and experience does the military provide its drivers that make them eligible for CDLs?

A1: Four branches of the Department of Defense (DoD)–Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and Air Force–provide extensive training operating heavy-duty trucks and buses. These services provide additional training for other heavy-duty specialty vehicles (e.g., gasoline haulers, construction vehicles, and military equipment transport oversize/overweight [non-track] vehicles).

Both FMCSA and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators have reviewed the basic training programs for heavy vehicle operations, based on the military occupational specialty (MOS) code of the service members, and determined them to be equal to, or greater than, the standards required for civilian CDL applicants.

The MOS, ratings, or job skills approved for the pilot program include:

  • Army:  88M; Motor Transport Operator
  • Army:  92F; Fueler
  • Marine Corps:  3531; Motor Vehicle Operator
  • Navy:  EO; Equipment Operator
  • Air Force:  2F0; Fueler
  • Air Force:  2T1; Vehicle Operations
  • Air Force:  3E2 - Pavement and Construction Equipment

Details regarding these MOS, ratings, and job skills are in the Federal Register Notice announcing the program.

Q2: How will FMCSA determine driver eligibility?

A2: FMCSA will review and verify details of any past CMV driving experience and demographic information for each driver, to assess qualifications for participation in the study and/or control groups.

Q3: What are the responsibilities of participating covered drivers?

A3: Interested covered drivers will be required to:

  • Be 18, 19, or 20 years of age as of the date they are approved by FMCSA for participation;
  • Apply for employment directly to an approved pilot program carrier listed on the FMCSA website;  
  • Have certification from a military service of training and experience in driving heavy vehicles while in military service;
  • Agree to the release of specific information to FMCSA for purposes of the pilot;
  • Meet all Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations requirements (except age) for operating a CMV in interstate commerce; and
  • Operate primarily in interstate commerce if hired.

Q3: Is this pilot program limited to military veterans?

A3: No, the pilot program is open to veterans and members of the National Guard and military reserve components as long as they meet the basic requirements.

Q4:  Will an applicant with a dishonorable discharge be allowed to participate in the pilot?

A4: No, military personnel who were dishonorably discharged are not eligible to participate in the pilot program.

Q5. What limitations are placed on drivers operating in the pilot?

A5: Covered drivers may not transport passengers or hazardous materials, nor operate double- or triple-trailer combinations or cargo tank vehicles while participating in the pilot program, regardless of any license endorsements held.

Updated: Monday, November 5, 2018
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