WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar announced that legislation she introduced with a bipartisan group of senators to cut red tape for servicemembers working to get Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDL) is headed to the President’s desk to be signed into law. The bill, which Klobuchar introduced with Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and nine other senators, would eliminate barriers that prevent active duty servicemembers from receiving their CDL at a military training or basing location because it is not their home of record, helping them get good jobs when they leave the military. The bill passed the Senate with unanimous consent last week and passed the House of Representatives today.
“Putting America’s veterans back to work when they return from Iraq and Afghanistan must be a priority of this Congress,” Senators Klobuchar and Snowe said. “Our bill makes it easier for these brave men and women to use critical skills learned in the military to contribute in the private sector. We look forward to the president signing this bill into law.”
Under current law, states are only able to issue CDLs to legal residents in the state. Since many military personnel receive their vehicle training in locations other than their homes of record, including their duty stations, the current law makes it particularly difficult for them to obtain a CDL before leaving military service. The Military CDL Act would allow the Department of Defense to create agreements with the states in which it carries out large vehicle operation training to award CDLs to personnel trained there that have homes of record in other states. It would also open the door to allowing veterans to use interstate agreements to recognize each other’s CDLs to carry their license to other locations after military service.
Senators Klobuchar and Snowe previously introduced legislation to streamline the process for veterans seeking to obtain a CDL. That bill, a modified version of which was included as part of the highway bill that passed the Congress in July, required the Secretary of Transportation to convene a joint study with the Secretary of Defense, the states, and other stakeholders, to assess the barriers to obtaining a CDL faced by current service members and veterans with the proper training and driving experience to operate commercial vehicles. Upon completing the study, which is ongoing, the Secretary of Transportation must make recommendations for overcoming those barriers and implement any recommendations for which he has the authority. Today’s legislation would remove one more barrier for veterans seeking to obtain a CDL.
Senators Klobuchar and Snowe introduced The Military CDL Act with Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), James Inhofe (R-OK), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Scott Brown (R-MA), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), and Mark Begich (D-AK).