The Agency’s numerous initiatives expedite the transition of U.S. Military personnel into careers as commercial vehicle drivers.
Skills Test Exemption
- In 2011, FMCSA worked with a task force that included the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Army and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators to help veterans transition from active duty to civilian life by providing credit for their U.S. Military training and experience operating trucks and buses.
- FMCSA established the Military Skills Test Waiver Program to makes it easier for U.S Military personnel who have two years of experience operating heavy vehicles to transition to careers in transportation. The exemption allows qualified Service Members to obtain a CDL without taking the driving test. To qualify, U.S. Military personnel must document at least two years of safe operating a vehicle comparable to the class of civilian vehicles for which they seek a CDL. To date, more than 19,000 current and former U.S. Military personnel – including reserves, National Guard, and the U.S. Coast Guard – are eligible for and/or have taken advantage of this FMCSA program.
For U.S. Military personnel who were not truck or bus drivers, proper training for entry-level commercial drivers is critical. FMCSA’s Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Safety Grants (CMV OST) program provides funds to a variety of educational institutions that provide truck driving 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, including federally recognized Native American tribal governments. These grants help these institutions recruit and train active duty personnel, veterans, and their families in preparation for careers as professional bus and truck drivers. Annually, this program provides training for more than 1,100 former Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guard men and women across the United States.
Even Exchange (Knowledge Test Waiver)
In 2016, FMCSA granted an exemption to States who wish to waive the knowledge and skills test for certain trained and experienced military drivers. Drivers whose military occupational specialty or rating noted below are eligible for this waiver if their home State of Record provides this service:
- Army – 88M; Motor Transport Operator
- Army – 92F; Fueler
- Air Force – 2T1; Vehicle Operations
- Air Force – 2F0; Fueler
- Air Force - 3E2 - Pavement and Construction Equipment
- Marine Corps – 3531; Motor Vehicle Operator
- Navy – EO; Equipment Operator