June 22, 2017

Warren, Cornyn, Duckworth and Tillis Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Help Veterans Transition to Civilian Truck Driving Jobs

ADVANCE Act Makes It Easier for Trained Servicemembers to Get Commercial Driver's Licenses

Fact Sheet (PDF)
Bill Text (PDF)

Washington, D.C. - United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) today introduced the Active Duty Voluntary Acquisition of Necessary Credentials for Employment (ADVANCE) Act, bipartisan legislation that would ease the transition for veterans seeking civilian employment as truck drivers. The bill would streamline the process for trained servicemembers to acquire commercial driver's licenses (CDL).

"Veterans who have the training and experience to operate heavy trucks and buses under tough conditions in the military have the skills needed to drive trucks on our highways," Senator Warren said. "This bipartisan bill will remove legal obstacles delaying servicemembers from getting commercial drivers' licenses. It's a straightforward fix that will benefit veterans looking for good jobs and that will help employers looking for talented employees."

"We should be making it easier, not harder, for members of the armed forces to be gainfully employed both while they are in the reserves and after they complete their service," said Senator Cornyn.  "The servicemen and women who have experience operating large military vehicles should be able to easily apply their skills and knowledge when seeking a commercial driver's license, and this legislation allows for just that."

"Our Veterans deserve to return to a country full of the same opportunities they defended for others, and we can do much more to give them the best chance at success here at home," Senator Duckworth said. "That's why one of the first bills I introduced when I arrived in Congress was the Troop Talent Act - which is already helping make it easier for Veterans to get jobs at home - and it's why I'm proud to join Senators Warren and Cornyn in supporting the ADVANCE Act."

"The brave men and women that serve in the U.S. military learn a wide-range of skills applicable to jobs once they enter the civilian workforce, but too often face unnecessary barriers that makes it harder for them to find jobs," said Senator Tillis. "This legislation will eliminate burdensome red tape so our active-duty military, reservists, and veterans can receive the DOT-required health examination and use the experience they gained serving our nation to count towards the credit needed to obtain a commercial driver's license"

Although Congress waived requirements for obtaining a CDL for some veterans, obstacles remain. These include restrictions that effectively mean transitioning servicemembers must wait until their military service is completed before using their military training to obtain a CDL, possibly leading to gaps in employment. The ADVANCE Act would make it easier for currently-serving military personnel to obtain a truck driving license by expanding CDL requirement waivers to active-duty servicemembers and reservists.

A PDF fact sheet is available here, and the text of the bill is available here.