Veterans Make Great Drivers, But Can They Drive Younger than 21?


Veterans Day is coming up on Monday, November 11th, and Class A Drivers continues to appreciate our great veterans who have served our country. That’s why we believe that our country should take better care of our veterans

Obviously, this includes reforms at the VA and better healthcare for our veterans. But it also includes easier transitions into working life.And from our perspective, we see veterans as having the skills to be extremely successful truck drivers.

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation collaborated with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, to help trucking companies find more drivers. The plan, dubbed the “Under 21 Military Driver Pilot Program”, is a pilot program to see if veterans with military experience, aged 18 to 20, can successfully drive interstate, despite the official age limit being 21 years old.

The plan was officially launched in June this year, and last week, the FMCSA launched a job opportunity website. But the site is not just any old employee-to-employer resource.

Let’stake a look at what makes the program’s website unique and how it will help soldiers transition to truckers when the come back home.

Under 21 Military Driver Pilot Program

The FMCSA website provides an ongoing list of trucking companies hiring veterans between 18 and 20 years of age. The requirements are that the veteran’s military experience would be equivalent to earning a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

Although some states allow truckers under 21 to get a CDL, anyone that does obtain a license in this manner are limited to deliveries within the state.

The Under 21 Military Driver Pilot Program will revisit this ruling. Here is how it works:

A select few qualifying veterans between the ages of 18 and 20 will be able to apply through the FMCSA program. Those handpicked individuals will be monitored for the duration of the program, which will be over the next three years.

At the end of this time frame, driving safety records of these soldiers will be evaluated and compared to a control group of truckers (ages 21-24). The goal of this examination is to determine if age really does play a factor in safety.

If the younger veteran group has a similar safety record to the control group, the government may adjust the current CDL laws and allow younger drivers. This program allows vets to get in on the ground floor. And we believe commercial truck driving is an ideal occupation to enter into after serving.

And according to Elaine L. Chao, U.S. Transportation Secretary, “Our country has a shortage of truck drivers. This resource will help military service members translate their training into good-paying jobs safely operating commercial vehicles across the country”.

Qualifying soldiers include those who have operated heavy vehicles during their service, and this experience should be on par with CDL training. This program is open to those with the following status or history:

  • Service Member
  • Reservist
  • Active Duty
  • Veteran
  • National Guard

If you are interested and meet the qualifications, be sure to visit theFMCSA website.