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New law helps veterans get CDLs

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A bill signed into law in October makes it easier for veterans to get commercial driver's licenses.

The Military Commercial's Driver's License Act of 2012 was signed by President Obama on Oct. 19. It lets military members be licensed in the state where they are stationed, even if that state is not the military member's permanent home address.

It also contains provisions allowing military members (in states that allow it) to skip CDL driving tests if their military experience matches the vehicle they wish to drive. Applicants would still have to take written tests, to ensure that they know applicable rules and regulations.

"As the economy continues to recover, it is becoming ever more challenging for trucking companies to find qualified drivers to move America's most essential goods," said American Trucking Associations President and CEO Bill Graves in a news release. "Veterans with experience driving trucks in the military are highly sought after."

The bill "will make it easier for soldiers and sailors to move from military to civilian life," according to an ATA news release.

"Trucking already faces the beginnings of a driver shortage, and with increases in freight demand, as well as demographic changes, we will soon see demand for drivers increase rapidly," Graves said. "Making it easier for veterans to move into these jobs is a good thing for the military, for the veterans themselves and for our industry."

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