Military Veterans Guide to Obtaining Your CDL

CDL driver behind the wheel of a truck

For some returning veterans, finding a new job when they return from their service can be extremely challenging. At Veterans Fuel Transport, we believe that a career as a CDL driver is the ideal place for our servicemen and women to build a career path. The first step you have to take in this career is obtaining your commercial driver’s license. Today, the Veterans Fuel Transport team will explain how you can go about obtaining your CDL in preparation for a career in truck driving.

Why Veterans Are an Excellent Fit for CDL Trucking Jobs

First, it is important to explain why truck driving is such a good fit for US military veterans. There are many reasons that driving is such a great fit for veterans, but perhaps the most important factors are the traits instilled by their experience in the armed services. It takes a lot of self-discipline to drive a truck on schedule, and you are definitely taught that in the military. Veterans also tend to display excellent situational awareness, dependability, and mental stamina — all crucial aspects of success in the trucking industry.

So How Do You Get Started?

Now that we have established why truck driving is such a great fit, the question of how to get started remains. First and foremost, you must obtain your CDL. Many veterans can use G.I. Bill benefits for truck driving schools, and some may even be exempt from certain portions of the skills test. To get started, we recommend these steps:

  • Visit your local Veterans Administration or visit www.gibill.va.gov to start your application for education benefits.
  • Obtain your state’s CDL manual at your local DMV. This provides you with all the information you will need to pass your written knowledge test. Study the manual thoroughly and carefully.
  • Complete your CDL application at your local DMV, many states require you to bring certain documentation and identification such as proof of citizenship and proof of residency.
  • Turn in your application and pass the written test. After you have passed the test and demonstrated your knowledge of the rules of the road you will be issued a CDL permit. If you don’t pass, find out when you will be eligible to retake the test.
  • Start the TSA background check process. If you plan to drive across state lines and have one year experience of transporting hazardous material, you will need to complete a background check with the Transportation Security Administration. You can schedule an appointment with a TSA agent online at https://universalenroll.dhs.gov/.
  • Enroll in driver’s school in order to obtain any required training and driving experience before your final test. Some states require you to complete training or certification classes, or specialized training for the transportation of hazardous materials.
  • Lastly, pass your CDL skills test. Some veterans will be eligible to waive the skills test based on their service history and previous experience. Simply discuss this with your local DMV agent to learn more.
  • That’s it! After you receive your CDL you are ready to begin your career in driving.

Contact Veterans Fuel Transport to Join Our Family

If you are a commercially licensed driver and you are interested in joining a company that truly embodies the ideals of the military, Veterans Fuel Transport is for you. Contact our team today at 904-616-8995 or email us at joey@vetsfuel.com to get more information!

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