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Regulation waiver encourages veterans to get their CDL

Current and former military personnel who are transitioning to a civilian career in Maryland may want to consider becoming a commercial truck driver. A waiver to the current commercial driver's license regulations is designed to assist veterans.  

According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, drivers who want to operate tractor-trailer or other heavy trucks must obtain their CDL in order to meet federal and state standards. This increases safety on the road and cuts down on the number of vehicular accidents. Along with residency and medical requirements, getting a CDL also involves skills and knowledge requirements, which differ based on the type of vehicle one will be operating. The skills test is made up of three parts: 

  • Road test
  • Basic controls test
  • Vehicle inspection test

According to the Maryland Department of Transportation, active duty personnel and veterans can skip the skills test under certain circumstances, which expedites the process of obtaining a CDL. The criteria that military personnel must meet include:

  • Good driving record
  • Minimum of two years of experience driving military vehicle
  • Valid class-C Maryland non-commercial license
  • Type of vehicle operated is certified by the commanding officer
  • Valid physical card from the U.S. Department of Transportation
  • Passing of the knowledge and vision tests required for a CDL

In order for veterans to be considered, their discharge needs to be within the last 12 months. Also, their status needs to be general, honorable or discharged under conditions that are other than dishonorable. Adding a veteran's designation to the CDL does not cost any additional money and it entitles the veteran to certain benefits. 

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