As we first reported in a previous article, a bill signed into law back in June 2013 (House Bill 322) allows active duty service members to get Commercial Driving Licenses (CDLs) ahead of their discharge date, thus allowing our vets to find good-paying jobs by the time they get out of the service. That legislation helps guarantee that the public is more safely and adequately served by increasing the number of qualified professionals on the road, and more qualified drivers will also drive down shipping costs — lowering prices on consumer goods.
Legislation signed into law this past summer updates this law to expand the waiver for the existing skills test for qualified military CDL applicants in the following ways:
- For retired or discharged members of the armed forces, the new law extends the time period allowed between being regularly employed in a relevant position and the date of application for the CDL from 90 days to one year. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has granted a time-limited exemption allowing states to extend the 90-day period to one year. The exemption runs through July 8, 2016. (The bill specifies that the new one-year period would apply unless a different period is provided by federal law.)
- The new law also provides an additional method for the applicant to certify that he or she is a retired, discharged, or current member of the military (and has been employed in a qualifying position) by allowing the applicant to provide a Form DD 214, “Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty”, and a military-issued driver license.
Senate Bill 43 passed unanimously in both chambers and was signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory on June 24, 2015.