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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Troops to Trucks Program Streamlines CDL Application
New Legislation Aids Virginia's Military

RICHMOND - Through the Troops to Trucks program, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles is helping the men and women of the Armed Forces obtain tools for future employment in the transportation industry.

Beginning July 1, implementation of a new federal regulation will allow the roads skills test to be waived for qualified military personnel applying for a Virginia commercial driver's license (CDL). A commercial driver's license is required in Virginia to operate large trucks and buses. Under the Troops to Trucks program, these applicants will be required to pass only one DMV-issued test - the written knowledge exam, and they will not be required to take the road skills test, also called the behind-the-wheel exam.

"We fully support Governor Bob McDonnell's goal of making government services more easily accessible for our veterans," said DMV Commissioner Richard D. Holcomb. "This new program streamlines the CDL application process for our military, and eliminates the need for them to provide a commercial motor vehicle for the test, which can be tough."

Active duty personnel including current National Guard and Reserve members, or those discharged in the last 90 days are eligible for the Troops to Trucks' road skills test waiver. Applicants must be a Virginia resident, and have a Virginia driver's license or be eligible for one. In addition, an applicant's commanding officer or designee must certify he or she has held a military operator's permit and has driving experience, for the past two years, operating the same type of vehicle driven while in the military that he or she plans to drive with a Virginia CDL.

Two laws taking effect July 1 also impact Virginia's military personnel. One law allows active duty members of the U.S. military who are deployed outside of Virginia and plan to return to apply for an extension on their driver's license validity for three years, or for 180 days after the driver returns to the U.S., whichever occurs first.

Another law allows members of the military to obtain 90-day extensions on the expiration of their license plate registrations or vehicle registrations while they are deployed outside the U.S. and beginning July 1, this extension is extended to the member's spouse or dependents, when they return after accompanying the member while he or she is deployed outside the U.S. The service member, spouse or dependent has 90 days from the date of return to the U.S. to renew or register.

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