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FMCSA Waiver Program

Waiver Program Recognized Nationwide

State licensing offices recognize military driving experience when vets apply for a CDL.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has a waiver program that helps experienced veterans and active duty personnel transition into civilian jobs as commercial truck and bus drivers for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The program began in 2011, where it grants state licensing agencies, including the District of Columbia, the authority to waive the skills test portion of the commercial driver’s license application for active duty or recently separated veterans who possess at least two years of safe driving experience operating a military truck or bus. Waiving the skills test expedites the civilian commercial drivers licensing application process and reduces expenses for qualified individuals and operating costs to state licensing agencies.

  • The eligibility period for qualified individuals to obtain an FMCSA Military Skills Test Waiver is one year, nationwide.
  • Returning military service personnel who possess a state-issued Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE) certificate due to a limb impairment will automatically be recognized as equivalent to an FMCSA-issued SPE certificate and allowed to obtain an interstate commercial driver’s license (CDL).

From 2010 to 2020, the need for heavy-vehicle drivers is expected to grow by more than 17 percent – faster than the national average for other occupations. Over 6,000 current and former military personnel – including Reserves, National Guard, and U.S. Coast Guard service members – have taken advantage of FMCSA’s Military Skills Test Waiver Program, which has been conducted in close cooperation with the Department of Transportation, Department of Defense and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA).

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