CRAMER: House Passes Bills Streamlining Commercial Driving Certification for Military Members
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Kevin Cramer supported two bills passed this evening in the House of Representatives to fast-track the certification process for veterans who wish to obtain commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs).
“I’ve always thought it was commonsense that a veteran with these types of experiences – not to mention the training and the skills to drive large equipment in very diverse circumstances, including several stressful circumstances – would automatically be provided a CDL and other certifications necessary for doing the same thing in the civilian workforce,” said Cramer. “This legislation is a win-win. It’s a win for the veterans and their families. It hooks their skillsets, and their training, up with the demand in the workforce, which provides them with good paying jobs and careers. But it’s equally good for the employers who have the need for this type of experience and these types of skills. It’s also good for the country. Let’s face it, we want to encourage people to go into our military – high quality men and women – and one of the ways to encourage them to do that is by making sure we have the right opportunities for them when they come out of the military.”
H.R. 2547, the Veterans Expanded Trucking Opportunities Act of 2017, would expand the types of medical professionals at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) who could certify that veterans meet the physical standards required to operate commercial motor vehicles. Currently at the VA, only physicians may perform the physical examinations and issue the medical certificates required for commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs). The legislation would expand the certification to other medical professionals such as physician assistants or advanced practice nurses – allowing increased staff to perform the necessary examinations which may result in faster service for veterans looking to obtain CDLs.
The House also passed H.R. 2258, the ADVANCE Act, which exempts active-duty members or reservists of the armed forces from certain testing requirements to obtain a state commercial driver’s license if they have qualifying military experience. Under current law, states are permitted to waive testing requirements, if they so choose, for qualified veterans, reservists, members of the National Guard, and active-duty personnel until October 27, 2018. This bill extends this exemption to those who are currently serving in the military.