FMCSA okays allowing military personnel to skip CDL driving and knowledge tests

States can now choose whether to allow certain military members to waive the CDL knowledge and driving skills tests.

FMCSA Military

Today the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a Final Rule that allows states to waive some CDL testing requirements for certain military personnel.

The Final Rule is set to be published in the Federal Register on September 28, 2018.

The new rule allows but does not require state’s drivers license agencies to “to waive the knowledge test requirements and tests required for some endorsements with proof of experience for certain individuals who are regularly employed, or were regularly employed within the last year, in a military position requiring the operation of a vehicle that would be classified as a CMV pursuant to 49 CFR 383.5, if operated in a civilian context … This rule includes the option for an SDLA [State Driver Licensing Agency] to waive the tests required for a passenger carrier (P) endorsement, tank vehicle (N) endorsement, or hazardous material (H) endorsement, with proof of training and experience.”

The FMCSA says that when combined with other recent rule changes related to military CDL applicants, today’s rule will allow states to waive both the CDL knowledge and driving skills tests for certain current or former military members.

It is entirely at discretion of the states to choose whether to waive the CDL tests.

The notice of proposed rule marking (NPRM) for this rule was published in June of 2017. Since then, the FMCSA says that they have received 17 comments, 15 of which were in favor of the proposal. Both the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) support the rule.

The FMCSA has also recently established a pilot program that will allow certain 18 to 21 year old military veterans or reservists to operate commercial vehicles interstate. Officials say that these two new rules are designed to ease the transition from military service into a civilian career in the trucking industry.

You can click here to read the full text of the Final Rule.