Dept. of Public Affairs: Governor Walker announces fast-track CDL for military to get civilian trucking career rolling

October 4, 2018

For more information, contact: WisDOT Office of Public Affairs, 608/266-3581, opa.exec@dot.wi.gov

New rule lets returning veterans exchange military CDL for commercial CDL

Governor Walker today announced that many active duty and recently-discharged members of the United States Armed Forces may now use the training and experience they received during their military career to obtain a Wisconsin commercial driver license (CDL).

“Wisconsin has a historically strong and growing economy, and our small businesses are prospering and expanding. However, our trucking industry, which is a key component to every industry in our state, is facing a serious shortage of drivers,” Governor Walker said. “Wisconsin’s implementation of this “even exchange” between licenses will get our veterans back into the civilian workforce much more quickly. Not only is this a great benefit for the veterans, who bring valuable experience and skills to our workforce, but Wisconsin businesses will gain by being able to quickly and easily recruit and hire trained and experienced drivers.”

Wisconsin DMV moved quickly to get this process in place for returning active duty personnel after recent changes to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules. The training provided to Military CDL holders, and the testing they undergo to become licensed, is as good or better than that currently required by federal law. Wisconsin DMV will now waive CDL knowledge tests (in addition to the current skills test waivers and fee waivers for commercial licenses) for certain classes and endorsements of commercial motor vehicles. This “even exchange” of a military CDL to a Wisconsin CDL is similar to the seamless exchange for a driver moving to Wisconsin from another state.

“We are hopeful that the adoption of the knowledge test waiver, in addition to the current waiver of the skills test and licensing fee, will lead to more veterans moving into this line of work,” Dave Ross, Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary said.

For additional information on how to transfer a military CDL to a Wisconsin CDL, including links to the necessary forms, please reference https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/dmv/com-drv-vehs/cdl-how-aply/cdl-military.aspx.

WisDOT has other tools to help new drivers get their business rolling including the Motor Carrier Start-up Packet an interactive PDF to help new drivers navigate the process to start their business, the Interstate Motor Carrier Reference Guide to help Wisconsin drivers successfully operate their business across state lines and eNotify (wisconsindmv.gov/eNotify) a free email/text reminder service to help commercial drivers stay current on their licensing requirements.

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