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66-5-21.1. Effect of military service on driver's license.  

A.   Unless the license is suspended, canceled or revoked as provided by law, a driver's license issued by this state that is held by a person who is on active duty in the armed forces of the United States and is absent from this state, or is in this state only on leave status, remains valid beyond the expiration date of the license. 
B.   If the person benefiting from this section is reassigned to this state or is discharged from military service, the driver's license remains valid until the thirty-first day after the person's return to this state or discharge. 
C.   A person benefiting from this section shall also show valid military identification or discharge documents when asked to show a driver's license. 
D.   The provisions of this section also apply to a spouse accompanying a person benefiting from this section.
History: Laws 2005, ch. 124, § 1. 
 
 

Download a letter here

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.

 

Military Skills Test Waiver Application Process:

 

  1. The waiver applicant may obtain the required Application for Military Skills Test Waiver form (MVD-11198) and the optional/voluntary Placement Interest Questionnaire (MVD-11199) from the MVD web site or from an MVD Field Office.
  2. He or she must complete the application in full, including Training/Validation Office and Commanding Officer information and signatures, and submit it by email, fax or mail to the Commercial Driver License Unit.
  3. If the applicant wishes, he or she may also complete the optional Placement Interest Questionnaire. Once the application is approved, the CDL Unit will forward the completed questionnaire to the New Mexico Trucking Association.
  4. The MVD field office cannot accept the form or process the CDL until the Application for Military Skills Test Waiver is approved by the CDL Unit.
  5. The CDL Unit will review the form and will call the applicant to approve the application, or, if the application is not acceptable, to explain the reason.
  6. If the application is approved, the CDL Unit will ask the applicant what field office they would like to visit to apply for the CDL.
  7. The CDL Unit will notify the selected field office that the application has been approved, and will forward a copy of the approved form to the field office. A copy will also be provided to the applicant.       
  8. The MVD field office can then work with the customer to process the CDL application.
  9. The CDL skills test will be waived for those applicants who qualify and are approved by the CDL Unit.

10. All other CDL application requirements do still apply, including the knowledge/written test, vision test, etc.

 Related Forms:

Placement Interest Questionnaire MVD 11199

Application For Military Skills Test Waiver MVD 11198

 

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