- Massachusetts National Guard Soldiers and veterans will join 36 other states that have officially adopted the Military Commercial Driver License Skills Test Waiver by the Registry of Motor Vehicles. The wavier allows a qualified service member or veteran to apply for a CDL without road skills testing. The test will be waived for veterans with two years of military experience operating vehicles in the class of license applied for.
In the commonwealth’s effort to care for the number of veterans returned from the wars, Lt. Gov. Tim Murray said, “We want to make sure we are meeting the needs not only of our veterans of previous wars or conflicts, but we need to adapt to the changes we have seen in our veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.”
The implementation of this waiver comes after Col. Enrique Araniz successfully initiated and piloted the program with the Massachusetts National Guard and Registry of Motor Vehicles.
Araniz thanked the Registrar of Motor Vehicles, Rachel Kaprielian and Robert Peters, also from the RMV, for their willingness to partner with the Massachusetts National Guard. “We began the CDL pilot program last April, and throughout that process the Registry of Motor Vehicles has been a true partner. The RMV was willing to work with the National Guard and standardize the written documents required to make the waiver successful, as well as, road testing with military equipment for those Soldiers that would otherwise not be able to meet the service requirement.”
As a result, six Soldiers were tested at Camp Edwards, Mass., and received their licenses last June. Recently, four Soldiers were tested as part of the CDL test waiver and two Soldiers were able to receive licenses.
Araniz explained, “A year ago, as the brigade commander, I was surveying the Soldier’s to determine how many of them had their commercial driver’s license.” To his surprise, the Soldiers informed him that Massachusetts didn’t recognize military experience for commercial size vehicles. Araniz contacted the RMV and began a dialog with the agency. He presented a proposal that started an initiative to recognize the Massachusetts National Guard Soldiers that have logged their military drivers’ experience to earn a commercial driver’s license.
Sgt. Joseph Deveau of the 1060th Transportation Company commented on his experience of obtaining his CDL through the waiver. “At a job fair I presented my resume and photos of military vehicles I drive and several of the companies were impressed seeing that I was driving trucks that dwarf our eighteen wheelers here stateside.”
“Easing the Commercial Driver Licensing process for our qualified military personnel and veterans is a tremendous customer service that Massachusetts Department of Transportation is proud to offer,” said Kaprielian. “Our men and women will have access to greater employment opportunities with this valuable, marketable certification.”