INDIANAPOLIS | Hoosier veterans with training and experience driving a truck in the military no longer must take the drive skills test ordinarily required to obtain an Indiana commercial driver's license, thanks in part to the efforts of a Portage lawmaker.
The Bureau of Motor Vehicles changed its rules last month to waive the drive skills test for CDL applicants who completed an approved military driver training program and operated a truck as a regular duty.
Applicants must still pass the written CDL exam to be licensed.
Questions raised by state Rep. Chuck Moseley, D-Portage, as part of a legislative study committee reviewing Indiana's driver education programs prompted the BMV to make the necessary administrative rule change immediately rather than waiting for the General Assembly to require it by law.
Veterans who received military truck driver training but can't document their truck driving experience must still take the drive skills test -- buty they will be reimbursed for the test cost and truck rental fees if he or she passes the test, according to the new rules.
BMV Commissioner Scott Waddell said the rule change will help veterans make better use their military training to obtain civilian jobs.
"The BMV staff worked with other government agencies and the trucking industry to develop a program that helps serve the needs of our veterans, while continuing our focus on public safety by assuring that only qualified drivers receive an Indiana CDL," Waddell said.
Moseley said it helps some veterans more easily pursue some job opportunities when returning home.
"I fervently believe we need to go above and beyond the call of duty to help these men and women for all they have done for us," Moseley said.
The CDL skills test waiver form and additional information about the program are available online under the "military families" link at mybmv.com.