In a move that will make it easier for veterans and service men and woman to obtain commercial drivers’ licenses, the Military Commercial Drivers’ License Act of 2012 was signed into law by President Barack Obama last Friday.

The demand for qualified, safe truck drivers has risen over the past few years and the new law will make it easier for veterans and service men and women to obtain Commercial Drivers’ Licenses (CDL).

Under the law, service men and women will be allowed to obtain a CDL in the state were they are stationed, whether or not they have permanent resident status. Previously, states could not issue CDLs to anyone who didn’t legally reside in the state.

Also, the Dept. of Defense will now be able to reach agreement with states where it offers vehicle training to have active members of the military issued CDLs so that after leaving the military, veterans will be able to use their licenses for CDL jobs in states with agreements with the DoD.

The Teamsters applauded the new law citing the need for safe, dependable truck drivers with CDLs, said Jim Hoffa, Teamsters general president. “Through our work with the Teamsters Military Assistance Program and Helmets to Hardhats, we know that our active duty military and veterans are valued for their military training, making them sought-after candidates for freight and construction work.”

The law will enable an active duty service man or woman to go through the training and skill acquisition necessary to obtain a CDL while they are performing their duties in service to the United States, Hoffa said. The fact that they may be serving in a state other than their home state will no longer be an obstacle.

“We support this legislation,” said Marion Davis, director of the Teamsters Building Materials and Constructions Trades division. “Our goal is to support the transition of military personnel to civilian life. We will continue the necessary training to assist veterans and active duty military personnel in becoming safe and confident drivers.”