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Heroes to Highways image

Helping returning veterans obtain New Mexico commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs) more 
easily.

Governor Susana Martinez announced the launch of the Heroes to Highways Program on December 10, 2013.

The State of New Mexico received exemptions from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) program for implementation of Heroes to Highways.  This program is intended to help active duty military members and veterans who are within 90 days of separation from active duty transition into employment in the civilian work force.

Qualified applicants will need only to take the CDL knowledge exam to be issued a CDL. 

Read the press release.
 

Service members who drive heavy vehicles are not required to be licensed as commercial drivers during their military service. This poses a challenge for those drivers as they transition from active duty to the civilian workforce. Commercial carriers require new CDL hires to validate a safe driving history, as well as show proof of civilian CMV driving experience.

However, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has established, and New Mexico will now participate in, a  Military Skills Test Waiver application process that:

·         ... allows qualifying drivers to substitute two years of CMV safe driving experience, in military equivalents of civilian commercial motor vehicles, for the CDL skills test; and

·         allows us to assist veterans and active duty personnel to transition from their military occupations to civilian commercial driving careers.

New Mexico will also now participate in the Even Exchange Program process that:

·         ... allows qualifying drivers to substitute 1 year of CMV safe driving experience with a specific MOS, in military equivalents of civilian commercial motor vehicles, for the CDL knowledge & skills test; and

·         allows us to assist veterans and active duty personnel to transition from their military occupations to civilian commercial driving careers.

Military CDL Waiver Programs

Qualified, eligible active military service members and those who have been discharged within the past 12 months who wish to obtain a New Mexico Commercial Driver's License (CDL) and can fulfill the necessary requirements will have the opportunity to have some or all of their CDL testing waived, due to their extensive training and experience. This program is only available to those service members who are obtaining their initial CDL and not for upgrades or restriction changes to an existing CDL. There are two options under the Military CDL Waiver program, the Even Exchange and the Skills Test waiver. For either option, the applicant and their Commanding Officer must provide a fully completed and acceptable application for the appropriate option.

The Applicant must submit the application with required documentation, via email to the CDL Unit at NMCDL.HelpDesk@state.nm.us.

The CDL Unit will review and verify the application; then contact the Officer and the applicant in reference to the applications approval. Once approved, the applicant will be required to present the approval notice (from the CDL Unit), and all other necessary documentation to a Motor Vehicle Division Field Office. Each applicant will be required to pay the appropriate CDL fee and satisfy all the CDL and other licensing requirements.

  • Even Exchange option — The Even Exchange option is available to service members who have certain military MOS/Rating's in the Armed Services as noted on the application for this option, along with the proper military commercial driving training and experience. After an acceptable Even Exchange application is received and verified, these service members are permitted to have their CDL knowledge and skills testing waived. This also could include certain endorsement tests, if applicable to the applicant's experience.

 

  • Skills Waiver option — The Skills Waiver option is available to all service members who have the proper military commercial driving training and experience but do not have the certain MOS/Rating's for the Even Exchange option. After an acceptable Skills Waiver application is received and verified, these service members are permitted to have their CDL skills testing waived. This does not include the CDL knowledge testing requirement and does not apply to any endorsements requiring skills testing.

For further information, please contact the CDL Unit at 505-827-1036.

The above information is provided to assist CLP applicants and CDL holders with the necessary requirements but it is not meant to be all inclusive. For additional information, please refer to the New Mexico Commercial Driver's License web page, CDL Driver’s Manual or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website.

 Related Forms:

Placement Interest Questionnaire MVD 11199

Application For Military Skills Test Waiver MVD 11198

 

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