Obtaining a CDL and becoming a commercial truck driver is an excellent opportunity for veterans to transition into civilian life and start a lucrative career. While every truck driver needs to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate a truck, there are several unique programs for veterans that can help them obtain training and become gainfully employed.
There are also plenty of programs available to help veterans obtain a CDL. One such program is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Military Skills Test Waiver Program, which was finalized in May of 2011 as a provision of the Commercial Learner’s Permit rule and is now available in every state.
If you are a military service member who has experience driving heavy trucks/equipment, you may benefit from this program and embark on a new career in commercial trucking.
How the Military CDL Skills Test Waiver Works
To obtain a CDL, drivers need to pass a written exam and take a skills test. The military waiver allows you to skip the skills test. However, you’ll still need to take the written exam and meet certain requirements.
You can obtain a waiver for the skills test if you have two years of experience operating military trucks or buses that are “equivalent to civilian commercial vehicles,” according to the FMCSA. To qualify, you must be 21 years old or older and apply within one year of leaving a military position in which you operated a commercial vehicle.
You must also certify that you:
- Have a history of safe driving experience
- Have not held more than one license in the past two years (except a U.S. military driver’s license)
- Have not had your state-issued driver’s license suspended, revoked, or canceled
- Have not had any convictions in any type of motor vehicle for any disqualifying CDL offenses
The FMCSA has posted an application form for the waiver on its website. However, the administration notes that each state manages its own skills test waiver. To get more information about your state’s requirements, you should visit the State’s commercial driver’s license website.
The type of CDL you will be eligible for (Class A, B, or C) depending on the type of truck driven during your military career.
Start Your Career in Commercial Trucking
Transportation and logistics companies are actively seeking military veteran truck drivers, not just because of their experience, but also because of the unique attributes they bring to the industry. Veterans with two years of experience driving heavy trucks in the military can also expect substantial pay and recognition for their service, according to Fastport, a veteran employment software firm.
In addition to the military CDL skills test waiver, many trucking schools and businesses offer veteran programs for military CDL truck driving. Most programs, however, require you to deplete your military benefits.
But Lily Transportation Corp. has a one-of-a-kind program that is fully paid-for and doesn’t require you to drain you GI Bill benefits. Once you acquire your CDL, you can join Lily’s training program and:
- Get paid a salary of $800 per week, including company benefits
- Receive an annual compensation in the $70,000 range upon graduation
In exchange for the many benefits of the program, Lily only asks for a minimum one-year commitment in an over the road assignment. Currently, 15% of Lily’s drivers are veterans. We’re committed to grow that number by 10% each year.
Looking for military CDL truck driver jobs? Visit our jobs page or talk to a recruiter at 800-248-5459.