Nearly two years ago, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a rule that makes it easier for veterans to take the first step toward getting a job as a professional truck or bus driver. The FMCSA rule allows veterans with two years of experience safely driving a commercial motor vehicle in the military to apply for a civilian commercial driver’s license. To obtain a civilian CDL, qualifying veterans are only required to pass a written test.
Since we issued this rule, 44 states have either adopted the veterans provision or are in the process of adopting it. Most recently, the State of Maryland officially joined those ranks this month.
- Have two years of experience driving vehicles immediately preceding their discharge;
- Have a good driving record;
- Have certification of the type of vehicle they operated and their years of operation; and
- Pass the state's CDL knowledge test.
“Maryland veterans who can handle large, commercial vehicles, can now benefit from a streamlined path to obtain commercial driver’s licenses,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro. “This program will assist veterans in their transition from the military to civilian lives. As more and more troops return home from active duty, the process provides a method to connect them to quality jobs in transportation.”
And those jobs are out there. The Bureau of Labor Statistics lists commercial trucking as a high-demand job, with more than 300,000 additional positions expected by 2020. Due to their military training and experience, America's servicemen and women are exceptional candidates for these positions.
Those steps and more--like our Veterans Transportation Careers web portal and the Veterans Transportation Career Opportunities Forum we held last October--are making a difference.
President Obama knows that removing barriers that stand in the way of our veterans’ success and connecting them with the job opportunities they deserve is the least we can do to honor them. He has challenged his Administration to serve our veterans as well as they’ve served us, and DOT has answered the call.
In his second inaugural address, President Abraham Lincoln pledged that--as a nation--we would, "care for [those] who have borne the battle."
Today, we owe our men and women in uniform no less. And the Obama Administration is honoring that commitment.