Press Release - 03-31-2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 31, 2022
NEW YORK STATE REMINDS ACTIVE MILITARY AND VETERANS OF OPTION TO EXPEDITE AND SIMPLIFY PROCESS OF GETTING A COMMERCIAL DRIVER LICENSE
Those With Military Experience Driving Commercial Vehicles May Apply for Road Test Waiver
Military CDL Test Waiver Benefited More Than 2,000 Veterans
The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and the Division of Veterans’ Services today encouraged active military members and veterans to apply for a waiver of the commercial driver license (CDL) skills road test when they apply for a CDL. Those who have military experience driving commercial vehicles may be eligible to skip the CDL road test. The waiver has been in place since 2012 and has helped more than 2,000 active duty military and veterans get a CDL.
“DMV is proud of the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who have served, and it is our duty to help them transition back into the civilian workforce,” said DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder. “This waiver allows them to put their valuable skills and experience to work while also helping to address the critical shortage of commercial drivers.”
New York State Division of Veterans’ Services Director Viviana DeCohen said, “We are grateful for the opportunity to continue this successful collaboration with our partners at DMV to provide this licensing opportunity for as many service members and veterans as possible. We will continue to inform New York’s veterans and service members of their ability to access the waiver for their CDL so they can continue to serve their communities in this important role.”
To be eligible, applicants must have a valid NYS or out-of-state driver license, meet all requirements for a NYS CDL and have experience operating a military commercial motor vehicle. The waiver must be applied for at a DMV office. Applicants must also pass all applicable written tests. To see all the requirements for a military skills test waiver, visit the DMV website.
Those who meet the requirements will be issued a CDL after passing the written exams. The license class, endorsements and restrictions will depend upon the type of commercial motor vehicle the driver operated in the military.
There is currently a nationwide shortage of commercial drivers including school bus drivers. Recently, Governor Kathy Hochul announced a variety of state actions to increase the number of truck and bus drivers including a plan to allow qualified third parties to offer the road tests. This would create more testing locations statewide and expand capacity at existing state-run sites, reducing the time it takes to get qualified CDL drivers on the road. The DMV is now actively working to roll out the first phase of the Governor’s initiative.
In addition, in September, Governor Hochul introduced a variety of measures by multiple state agencies to get more drivers into school buses. Under the Governor’s leadership, the DMV expedited the process for obtaining a CDL for those who do not qualify for a road test waiver by removing the 14-day waiting period between the permit test and the road test. The DMV also increased testing capacity for written exams and opened new CDL road test sites. For school staff who held an existing CDL, the State set up expedited testing to obtain a permit that allows them to drive vans and buses temporarily.
Those interested in obtaining a Commercial Driver License can find more information at https://dmv.ny.gov/commercial-drivers.
For more resources for active military, veterans and their families, visit the New York State Division of Veterans’ Services.