PennDOT Waives CDL Test for Qualified Veterans

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) announced that a new Pennsylvania law waives the requirement for Pennsylvania residents who are current and former military members and who operated a commercial vehicle as part of their duties, to take a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Knowledge Test when applying for a CDL. Previous legislation – Act 133 of 2008 – established a waiver of the CDL skills test for these individuals.

Act 131 of 2020 allows the PennDOT to waive the CDL Knowledge Test for Pennsylvania residents on active or reserve military duty or recently honorably discharged veterans, provided those service members have at least two years of experience operating a commercial motor vehicle as part of their military job requirements.

The waiver applies to CDL applicants who wish to operate vehicles similar to those they operated in the military. For example, those who drove combination type commercial (Class A) motor vehicles in the military will be eligible in Pennsylvania for a waiver to drive a combination type vehicle and those who drove a single motor vehicle of commercial type (Class B) in the military will be eligible in Pennsylvania for the waiver to drive that type of vehicle. Applicants must complete form DL-398, “Application for Military CDL Test Waiver,” to request the waiver.

Doubles, triples and school bus endorsements cannot be waived under this program. PennDOT will waive the knowledge test specified, subject to the limitations in the 49 Code of Federal Regulation Section 383.77, to an applicant who meets all the requirements for a waiver.

Military personnel and veterans interested in taking advantage of the CDL skills and knowledge test waivers can find further information by visitingwww.dmv.pa.gov, click on Driver Services and choose Military Personnel Veterans from the dropdown. Form DL-398 can be found under Forms and Publications on the homepage.

PennDOT’s Christmas Wish Program Continues Despite Pandemic

Even in this year of COVID 19, PennDOT’s District 4 continued its annual Christmas Wish Program. The goal was to provide 42 people, including both children and adults from the Domestic Violence Center in Luzerne County and 50 children from Head Start in Lackawanna County and two angels from the Lackawanna County Adopt an Angel Program with a gift from Santa.

Shown from left: Kelly Sabatini,  teacher, Lackawanna County Head Start,  Loni Shalkowski, representing the PennDOT’s District 4 Employees,  and Crystal Woods, teacher, Lackawanna County Head Start delivering the gifts to the Lackawanna County Head Start in Scranton. Committee members were: Loni Shalkowski and Jennifer Borino, coordinators; Lori Bieber, Marsha Boland, Kaitlyn Drumheller, Dawn Foley, Anna Fuhr, Jessica Kalinoski, Sean Kane, Julianne Lawson, Amy Lolli, Stephanie Marek and Joseph Marichak.

PennDOT Innovations Challenge

With the Dec. 18 deadline rapidly approaching, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) reminds students in grades 9-12 regardless of their school’s learning model to participate in the fourth annual PennDOT Innovations Challenge, which encourages students to use their problem-solving, creative and strategic-thinking abilities to solve real-world transportation challenges in a competition among their peers.

This year’s Innovations Challenge asks students to develop an innovative and implementable solution that helps address Pennsylvania’s transportation revenue shortfall by identifying potential new funding streams, aside from additional gas taxes, tolls or mileage-based user fees, to help ensure adequate transportation funding for the future.

PennDOT is directly responsible for nearly 40,000 miles of highway and roughly 25,000 bridges, roughly equal to the state-maintained road systems of New York, New Jersey, and all the New England states combined. Much of the funding to maintain that system comes from liquid fuels taxes, which are becoming increasingly unsustainable, especially considering additional impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

With vehicles becoming more fuel efficient and electric vehicles becoming more affordable, gasoline-based revenues can no longer generate the funds needed. Other options, including tolling and mileage-based user fees, are being explored. To meet the needs of its aging infrastructure, Pennsylvania needs to establish a funding stream that will inject an additional $5 billion per year into its transportation system 

“We appreciate the unique challenges faced by schools during the pandemic,” said PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian. “Our educators are to be commended for encouraging the creative thinking needed for the Innovations Challenge.”

Regional Innovations Challenge winners will be selected and invited to compete for the state championship.

The Transportation Policy and Education Foundation, an educational arm of the Associated Pennsylvania Constructors (APC), the American Council of Engineering Companies of PA (ACEC/PA) and the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) are providing a combined total award of $5,500 to be divided among the first, second and third place statewide winning teams.

For complete Innovations Challenge details, visit www.penndot.gov/innovation.