The Markkanen Veterans Benefit Bill Becomes Law | News, Sports, Jobs
LANSING – A bill introduced by State Representative Greg Markkanen R-Hancock to help veterans use learned skills to excel professionally was signed into law by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday. The law will not only make it easier for qualified veterans to obtain a commercial driver’s license, but will also reduce the shortage of truck drivers in Michigan, including the Upper Peninsula.
House Bill 4787, now Public Act 148 of 2021, waives a knowledge test required for a person with military experience who applies for a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in Michigan. CDL applicants must pass a skills and knowledge test.
Currently Michigan, like all other states, offers a skills test waiver for those with at least two years of experience driving heavy military vehicles.
Because the state had not previously waived the knowledge portion, it was unable to access a federal program in which 16 other states participate that made it easy for qualified drivers to obtain CDLs. The federal program is the Even-Exchange program.
According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website, the federal program, known as the Even-Exchange program, allows qualified military drivers to be exempt from the knowledge test for obtaining a commercial driver’s license ( CDL).
When used with the Military Proficiency Test Waiver, the FMCSA website says, this allows a driver to exchange a military license for a CDL. Military personnel can use this proficiency test exemption if they are currently licensed and are or have been employed within the past year (12 months) in a military post requiring the operation of a motor vehicle. military equivalent to a commercial motor vehicle.
The Military Proficiency Test Waiver Program allows drivers with two years of experience in the safe operation of heavy military vehicles to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) without taking the driving test (proficiency test). This program is available in all states. To date, over 40,000 service members and veterans have taken advantage of this waiver program.
According to the FMCSA website, to qualify for the Military Skills Test Waiver, personnel and veterans must have one of the military occupational specialties or occupational classification below:
– The American army:
• 88M – Motorized transport operator
• 92F – Bar feeder
• 14T – Patriot launch station operator
– United States Marine Corps:
• 3531 – Motor vehicle driver
– US Navy:
• EO – Equipment operator
– US Air Force:
• 2TI – Vehicle driver
• 2FO – Refueller
• 3E2 – Operator of pavement and construction equipment
Military personnel may use the competency exam waiver if they are currently licensed and have or have been employed within the last year (12 months) at a military post requiring the conduct of a military motor vehicle equivalent to a commercial motor vehicle.
Markkanen said 40,000 military and veterans have benefited from this program across the country.
“This new law offers practical advantages, recognizes the experience of these people and allows Michigan to be competitive for workers,” he added. said Markkanen. “It will save our military, including those in the UP, time and hassle when they choose to enter this vital industry.”
Markkanen introduced HB 4787 on May 5, 2021. Although classified as a partisan bill, HB 4787 was passed by the House by 608-103 on December 14 and by the Senate 474-37.