In May, 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration finalized the Commercial Learner's Permit rule. Within that rule is a provision that gives State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLA) the authority to substitute two years of CMV safe driving experience in military equivalents of commercial motor vehicles, for the skills test portion of the commercial driver license skills test.
The regulation, 49 CFR 383.77, provides guidance for SDLAs which requires the applicant to certify: 1) his/ her safe driving experience; 2) that he or she has not held more than one license (except a military DL) in the past two years; 3) has not had his/her base State issued driver license suspended, revoked or cancelled; and, 3) has not had convictions in any type of motor vehicle for the disqualifying CDL offenses listed elsewhere in the regulations. There are also other requirements that States must recognize in order to take advantage of this Skills Test Waiver, but the process allows States to assist veterans and active duty personnel in their transition from their military occupation to a civilian career. As more and more of our military troops return home from active duty, the Department of Transportation and FMCSA have joined with the Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs to ease this process.
FMCSA, in collaboration with the US Army, Department of Defense and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, has generated a standardized Application for Military Skills Test Waiver form. This document addresses all of the issues captured in the new regulation including which violations can deny the waiver; identifying the specific type(s) of vehicle which the service member was licensed to drive; and, an endorsement by the service member's commanding officer of the safe driving record. For a list of the States which currently offer the skills test waiver for military drivers see the map."