WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and a bipartisan group of senators introduced legislation to cut red tape for servicemembers working to get Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDL).  The bill, authored by Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), 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. 

“Our young men and women in uniform gain invaluable knowledge and skills while they are serving our country, and we need to make it easier for them to transfer these skills to the private sector,” Klobuchar said.“This bill is another step in our effort to cut red tape for servicemembers so they can get the credentials they need to secure the good jobs they deserve.”

“As America’s veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan face an unemployment rate of 10.9 percent, it is critical that we in Congress honor our sacred commitment to these brave men and women by helping make their transition to civilian life easier – and that starts with finding a job,”said Senator Snowe.  “It is unacceptable that so many veterans, especially those recently returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have found themselves unable to successfully enter civilian professions for which they have already received world-class training.  It is vital they receive our help to overcome the unique challenges and red tape preventing them from using their skills to contribute in the private sector, and this bill continues the efforts I began as part of the highway bill earlier this year to streamline the process of obtaining CDLs for our nation’s heroes.”

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 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), and Mark Begich (D-AK).