The Teamsters Union and it’s President Jim Hoffa are applauding the Military Commercial Driver’s License Act of 2012 that was signed into law by President Obama on Friday. The bill will help eliminate obstacles facing military service members who try to obtain commercial driver’s licenses.
With the construction industry rebounding, the need for skilled truck drivers is on the rise and this law will help make military members more employable in the industry once they finish their enlistment. According to Trucking Info:
The law will enable an active duty service man or woman to go through the training and skill acquisition necessary to obtain a CDL while they are performing their duties in service to the United States. The fact that they may be serving in a state other than their home state will no longer be an obstacle.
Previously, states were only able to issue CDLs to persons who are legal residents in the state. Since many military personnel often receive their vehicle training in locations other than their homes of record, including their duty stations, the old law made it difficult for them to obtain a CDL before leaving military service. The law creates an exception allowing states to test and issue commercial driver’s licenses to service members who are domiciled in another state.
It was one of those rare bills that everyone in the trucking industry seemed to agree on.
This bill is an innovative piece of legislation that helps veterans and fills the trucker shortage gap, according to Teamsters President Jim Hoffa:
With construction projects ramping up there is an increased need for safe, dependable truck drivers with CDLs. Through our work with the Teamsters Military Assistance Program and Helmets to Hardhats, we know that our active duty military and veterans are valued for their military training, making them sought-after candidates for freight and construction work.”
Other industry supporters of the bill include the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association and the Military Officers Association of America. Marion Davis, Director of the Teamsters Building Materials and Constructions Trades Division, said of the laws passage,
“Our goal is to support the transition of military personnel to civilian life. We will continue the necessary training to assist veterans and active duty military personnel in becoming safe and confident drivers.”
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.), also received support from American Trucking Association (ATA) president and chief executive officer Bill Graves:
“As the economy continues to recover, it is becoming ever more challenging for trucking companies to find qualified drivers to move America’s most essential goods. Veterans with experience driving trucks in the military are highly sought after. Hats off to Senator Snowe and Representative Bucshon for leading the charge to eliminate a regulatory hurdle veterans now face in applying for a CDL.”