House approves legislation to cut red tape, help veterans qualify for jobs in commercial trucking
East County News Service
June 28, 2017 (San Diego) – The House of Representatives has approved bipartisan legislation to ease veterans’ transition into civilian employment opportunities by streamlining the process for trained service members to obtain commercial drivers’ licenses (CDL). The move comes as the commercial trucking industry faces a shortage of roughly 48,000 drivers, according to data from the American Trucking Associations. This legislation would allow veterans, many of which are already trained to operate heavy military vehicles, to help fill this gap.
“Veterans who already have the skills, training, and experience to operate heavy vehicles from their service shouldn’t have to hop through duplicative bureaucratic loopholes to get a commercial drivers license and use these skills in the private sector,” said Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Vista), an Army veteran. He called the package of bills “simple fixes that will go a long way to removing red tape and helping service members find good-paying jobs.”
The legislation passed today includes:
- The Active Duty Voluntary Acquisition of Necessary Credentials for Employment (ADVANCE) Act which expands military CDL testing waivers to certain active-duty members of the U.S. Armed Services. Though Congress has already waived requirements for obtaining a CDL by some veterans, the current restrictions on active duty service members force many to wait until their service has been completed before they can use their military training to obtain a CDL, which can lead to gaps in employment.
- The Veterans Expanded Trucking Opportunities Act of 2017 which expands the number of medical professionals at the VA authorized to conduct DOT physicals for veterans and service members applying for a CDL.