Troops to Trucks
Through the Troops to TrucksSM program, DMV is making it easier for personnel trained by the military in the operation of heavy vehicles to obtain civilian commercial driver's licenses (CDL). A commercial driver's license is required to operate large trucks and buses.
To find out if you qualify for the Troops to TrucksSM program, complete the Troops to TrucksSM checklist. For more information about obtaining a commercial driver's license, refer to Applying for a CDL or the Troops to TrucksSM flyer.
CDL Test Waiver
Qualified military personnel are required to pass only the required DMV-issued CDL knowledge test(s) and are exempted from having to take the CDL road skills test. Waiving the road skills test requirement streamlines the CDL application process for service men and women and eliminates the need for them to provide a commercial motor vehicle for the skills test.
In order to qualify for the road skills test waiver, you must:
- Be a Virginia resident currently holding or eligible for a Virginia driver's license (proof of legal presence may be required);;
- Have two or more years of military heavy truck/bus driving experience;
- Be active military (including the Reserves and National Guard) or have been released from the military within the last 12 months.
- Submit the following documents to DMV:
- Be certified by their commanding officer or designee as possessing (1) a military operator's permit and (2) at least two years experience driving the same type of vehicle that the applicant plans to drive with a Virginia CDL. (For a list of CDL vehicle types, refer to CDL Classifications, Restrictions, and Endorsements.)
- Successfully complete the written knowledge exam (not required if eligible for a knowledge test waiver - see below)
- If necessary, pass additional knowledge and skills tests for specialized endorsements (hazardous materials, school bus, etc.), and
- Have a safe driving record
IMPORTANT: Applicants applying for an original or renewal of a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) or Commercial Learners Permit (CLP) may be required to submit an acceptable legal presence document at the time of application.
CDL Knowledge Test Waiver (Even Exchange)
If you qualify for a CDL Skills Test Waiver, you may also qualify for an exemption of the CDL knowledge tests. To be eligible for exemption of both the knowledge and skills tests, you must:
- Meet the eligibility requirements for a CDL Skills Test Waiver (noted above)
- Have been regularly employed (within the year prior to application) in a military position that requires operation of large trucks
- Provide your Military Operator’s Permit with one of the following Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) Codes:
- U.S. Army: 88M - Motor Transport Operator 92F - Fueler 14T - Patriot Launching Station Operator
- U.S. Marine Corps: 3531 - Motor Vehicle Operator
- U.S. Navy: EO - Equipment Operator
- U.S. Air Force: 2T1 - Vehicle Operator 2F0 - Fueler 3E2 - Pavement and Construction Equipment Operator
Skills Testing for Those with Disabilties
Troops to TrucksSM provides an opportunity for wounded service men and women with missing or impaired limbs to obtain a CDL following a skills performance evaluation by DMV.
CDL Training Assistance
To assist military members who lack experience operating heavy vehicles but who are interested in obtaining a Virginia CDL, DMV is partnering with a number of military installations to provide the necessary training. Through this plan, military personnel can receive their CDL training and testing on their military base prior to leaving service.
To find out more about the eligilibity requirements for this program, refer to the Troops to TrucksSM flyer.
DMV and various associations are working together to assist service members who obtain their Virginia CDL through Troops to TrucksSM find jobs. This helps these service members transition from military to civilian life, and also helps the trucking and transportation industry find qualified licensed commercial drivers.