Thursday, April 17, 2014
The South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced last week that the agency will allow qualified military service members to waive the commercial skills test to obtain a commercial driver license. The new rule began April 14.
Service members often obtain the experience and skills they need to operate a commercial vehicle while serving in the military. For example, currently more than 500 soldiers in the S.C Army National Guard with the 88M skill identifier could benefit from this program.
The waiver allows them to apply for a South Carolina commercial driver license without having to take the skills test. However, applicants must still pass all required knowledge tests and comply with mandatory federal regulations before receiving a commercial motor vehicle license.
“I am pleased,” said DMV Executive Director Kevin Shwedo. “Having served in the military, I know that service members go through rigorous training to learn how to operate the military equivalent of commercial vehicles. This change will make it easier for soldiers leaving the service to qualify and find commercial driver positions in the public sector.”
To qualify, applicants must be active military personnel or within 90 days after separation of military service. They must also have served in a military position requiring the operation of a military commercial motor vehicle. Applicants must have a valid South Carolina driver license and cannot have held more than one other driver license within the past two years.
Drivers whose licenses were suspended, revoked, cancelled or disqualified during the previous two years are not eligible for the waiver. On April 14, DMV began accepting applications for the waiver. While other states or entities may provide similar versions of the application, DMV will only accept Form DL-408A. The form will be available on the agency website and must be signed by the applicant’s Commanding Officer. Service members should allow DMV two weeks to process their applications.
For more information about the waiver, visit the SCDMV web site at www.scdmvonline.com.