A Legion-backed bill that promises to pave the way for the expeditious issuance of commercial driver’s licenses to certain qualified military truck drivers has been signed into law by President Barack Obama. The new law, the Military Commercial Driver’s License Act of 2012, allows – but does not mandate — states to issue commercial driver’s licenses to properly trained and skilled active duty servicemembers and reservists living in a state due to their military service. Specifically and technically, it “permits a state to issue commercial driver’s licenses to members of the Armed Forces not domiciled in the state but whose duty station is located in the state, without triggering withholding of Federal funds to that state for certain Federal highway programs.”
The law was escorted through Congress, in part, by The American Legion in the form of a letter of support from National Commander James Koutz, who said: “This bill would remove a barrier which some military members needlessly face: barring of the receipt of a CDL by an individual who is not domiciled in the state. By carving out an exception for individuals who are stationed, temporarily or permanently, in a state due to military service, this bill moves toward the goal of ensuring that no one who has served be unable to secure gainful employment.”
The Legion was the sole veterans’ service organization to formally support the legislation. The endorsement was part of the Legion’s longstanding and continuing campaign streamline the process of granting civilian licenses and credentials to appropriately trained and experienced military personnel and veterans.