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Rep Greg Markkanen
Rep. Markkanen spearheads plan to help veterans transition into civilian driving jobs
RELEASE|October 14, 2020

Measure would allow experienced military drivers to earn CDL in Michigan

State Rep. Greg Markkanen today introduced a plan to help veterans who were safe, experienced drivers in the military seamlessly transition into bus and truck driving careers in Michigan.

Markkanen, a veteran who served as a Medical Corpsman, said the skills military drivers learn while serving make them qualified to transition easily into trucking and bussing jobs in the civilian sector.

“Anyone who holds a military driver’s license receives a tremendous amount of training, and they’re going to be extremely experienced with heavy vehicles,” said Markkanen, of Hancock. “When you combine that with the fact that truck drivers are in high demand right now, it’s a perfect match.” 

Markkanen’s plan, House Bill 6298, would exempt an active duty military member or veteran who holds a military driver’s license from the commercial driver’s license (CDL) knowledge test in Michigan. When combined with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Military Skills Test Waiver Program, it would allow a military driver to seamlessly exchange their military driver’s license for a Michigan CDL.

To qualify for the waiver program, a person must have at least two years of safe military driving experience with no disqualifications, suspensions, or license revocations and apply within one year of leaving a military position that required the operation of a commercial motor vehicle.

“I have great respect for the men and women who serve in our military,” Markkanen said. “One of the best ways we can show our support for their sacrifice is by making their transition back into civilian life as easy as possible. This measure acknowledges the contributions our military drivers have made for our country by allowing them to use the skills they already have to shift from military life into the commercial trucking industry without jumping through bureaucratic hoops.”

House Bill 6298 has been referred to the House Transportation Committee for consideration.

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