Kenworth Trucks
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FMCSA proposal would 'ease burdens' for vets seeking CDLs

March 15, 2016
Application window extended, state licensing restrictions eased

Following up on MAP-21 legislation designed to streamline the transition of military personnel into truck driving careers, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Wednesday will publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that simplifies the process of getting a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) or CDL.

The NPRM “would ease the current burdens” on military personnel applying for CLPs and CDLs in two ways, according to a pre-publication copy of the Federal Register notice.

  • It would extend the time in which former military personnel are allowed to apply for a skills test waiver from 90 days to 1 year.
  • It would allow states to accept applications and administer all necessary tests for a CLP or CDL from active duty service members stationed in that state who are operating in a Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) as full-time CMV drivers. This would enable service members to complete their licensing requirements without incurring the time and expense of returning home.

“Because drivers’ licenses are often treated as proof of domicile, obtaining a CDL from the state where they are stationed could result in the loss of domicile and corresponding benefits (e.g., tax breaks) in what they consider their ‘home’ State,” the notice explains. “FMCSA, therefore, proposes to utilize the CMVSA’s broader authority to allow the state where military personnel are stationed to accept CLP or CDL applications and to administer written and skills tests for the CDL.”

To submit a comment on the proposal online, go to, and search for docket number FMCSA-2016-0051.

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