As a sign of Wisconsin’s commitment to helping veterans find rewarding civilian work, the state recently updated its commercial driver’s license (CDL) requirements to recognize military training and experience.
If you have been discharged within the past 365 days, the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles (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 designed to provide veterans with the same seamless exchange they’d experience when using a driver’s license driving between states.
With Wisconsin’s economy continually growing and the state’s desire to get veterans back into the civilian workforce as fast as possible, the new rule will allow job seekers to quickly and easily get hired by Wisconsin businesses that are specifically looking to employ former service members who are trained and experienced drivers. The trucking industry has been challenged for years to find qualified drivers, but the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development lists the career as a top available job in the state based on the growth potential and pay in the industry.
Recent changes to federal rules are allowing state agencies to make the change because the training and testing received in the military is as good or better than federal requirements, and the Wisconsin DMV is moving quickly to get the process in place. You must be a Wisconsin resident to be eligible for the waiver, which does not cover the hazardous materials or school bus endorsements, and you will still need to pass a commercial knowledge test.
For more information on how to transfer a military CDL to a Wisconsin CDL, visit the Wisconsin DMV military CDL page. For more information about the exceptional benefits and opportunities Wisconsin offers veterans, visit InWisconsin.com/veterans.