FMCSA Now Accepting Applications For Under-21 Military Pilot Program
Washington, D.C. – In a release today, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced it is accepting applications for a pilot program to permit 18-20 year olds who possess the U.S. military equivalent of a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate large trucks in interstate commerce.
As directed by Section 5404 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, the pilot program will allow a limited number of individuals between the ages of 18 and 20 to operate large trucks in interstate commerce—provided they possess the military equivalent of a CDL and are sponsored by a participating trucking company.
During the pilot program, which is slated to run for up to three years, DOT officials say the safety records of these drivers will be compared to the records of a control group of drivers.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said she believes this program will help alleviate what she called the “shortage of truck drivers in our country” while “helping our country’s Veterans and Reservists transition into good-paying jobs.”
FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez agreed. “We are excited to launch this program to help the brave men and women who serve our country explore employment opportunities in the commercial motor vehicle industry,” Martinez said in a statement.
“With the nation’s economy reaching new heights, the trucking industry continues to need drivers and have job openings. We encourage Veterans and Reservists to apply and to learn more about this exciting new program,” he said.
Last month, FMCSA announced it is seeking public comment on a potential pilot program that would allow non-military drivers ages 18-20 to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce.
FMCSA is requesting comments on the training, qualifications, driving limitations, and vehicle safety systems that FMCSA should consider in developing options or approaches for a second pilot program for younger drivers.
“We want input from the public on efforts that offer the potential to create more jobs in the commercial motor vehicle industry, while maintaining the highest level of safety,” Martinez said in the announcement.
“We encourage all CMV stakeholders to submit comments on a potential interstate pilot program for younger drivers,” he urged.
Read more about that announcement and how to comment HERE.
To learn more about the military pilot program and how to apply, visit: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/under21pilot/under-21-pilot-program.
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