Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – On Wednesday, PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs announced that a new Pennsylvania law waived requirements for Pennsylvania residents who are current or former military personnel to take a knowledge test for Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) when applying for their license under certain conditions.
Previous legislation – Law 133 of 2008 – established an exemption from the CDL proficiency test for these individuals.
“We are pleased to announce this significant change and hope it will help military members in their transition to civilian life find sustainable, well-paying employment to begin their new life,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian.
Law 131 of 2020 allows PennDOT to waive the CDL knowledge test for Pennsylvania residents in active or reserve military service or recently honorably released veterans, provided such service members have at least two years of experience in the operation of a commercial vehicle as part of their military work requirements.
The waiver applies to CDL applicants who wish to drive vehicles similar to those they used in the military. For example, those who have driven mixed-type (Class A) commercial motor vehicles in the military will be eligible in Pennsylvania for a waiver to drive a mixed-type vehicle and those who have driven a single commercial-type motor vehicle. (Class B) in the military will be eligible in Pennsylvania for exemption from driving this type of vehicle. Applicants must complete Form DL-398, âApplication for Military CDL Test Waiver,â to request the waiver.
Double, triple and school bus riders cannot be canceled under this program. PennDOT will waive the specified knowledge test, subject to the limitations of 49 Code of Federal Regulation Section 383.77, to an applicant who meets all of the conditions for a waiver.
“Service members learn many valuable skills in the military that translate well into civilian employment,” said Maj. Gen. Mark Schindler, Acting Adjutant General of Pennsylvania and Acting Chief of DMVA . “This program is a huge opportunity to help our veterans and military personnel with these skills get good jobs because Pennsylvania is sorely lacking in CDL drivers.”
Military personnel and veterans wishing to take advantage of the CDL skill and knowledge test waivers can find more information by visiting dmv.pa.gov, click Driver Services and choose Military Personnel Veterans from the drop-down list. The DL-398 form can be found under Forms and Publications on the home page.