Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Veterans' skills and experience match those needed to be a successful truck driver. People with a military background often have experience operating heavy equipment and handling multiple tasks simultaneously and are dedicated to safety.
The first step in becoming a truck driver is to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) by attending a CDL training school. While most drivers have to pay for CDL training out of pocket, eligible veterans have the unique ability to use the G.I. Bill® to pay for their training.
Let's explore how veterans can use the G.I. Bill® for CDL school.
How can the G.I. Bill® be used to pay for CDL training?
There are a few rules you must follow to take advantage of this perk.
If a veteran plans to use their G.I. Bill® to obtain a CDL, they must attend a driver training program that is approved by the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
If you've already been approved for G.I. Bill® benefits, applying for CDL training will generally take less time. At Driver Resource Center (DRC), we can get you approved for CDL training within 24 hours.
The G.I. Bill® can cover all costs associated with CDL training and licensing, including:
- CDL program tuition.
- Books and supplies.
- CDL license.
- Background checks and medical testing.
How to find a VA-approved CDL training school?
A VA-approved CDL training school means the Department of Veterans Affairs has recognized it as a quality institution that can be trusted to provide education and training to military veteran students.
If you're applying to receive G.I. Bill® benefits to pay for CDL training, you want to make sure the school you’re attending or plan to attend is approved by the VA, so you don’t end up paying for training out of pocket.
You can search for a VA-approved truck driving school and compare programs here. Driver Resource Center also offers numerous VA-approved schools within our network.
What to look for in a Veterans-Affairs-approved CDL training school?
When looking for a VA-approved CDL training school, there are some things you should consider:
1. Is the school VA-approved?
As we mentioned above it is important to make sure that the school you are selecting is VA-approved or else you may be responsible for paying for your own training.
You can research CDL schools on the VA website to verify that they are an approved training provider.
2. Is there a VA coordinator on staff?
If you have any questions, concerns or need help with your G.I. Bill® benefits, having a VA coordinator on staff at the school can be immensely helpful. VA coordinators can provide you with more support than the school itself can. So, it is important to ask the school if they have a VA coordinator on staff.
3. Is the school approved and registered by the FMCSA for Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT).
New federal rules require all new CDL applicants be trained in a registered facility using a standard curriculum. Visit the FMCSA Training Provider Registry to see if the school is listed. All DRC network schools are ELDT registered.
What to do once you’ve found a school
Once you've done research and found a training program that's right for you, apply to the school. DRC is a great truck driving school for veterans because we have a VA coordinator and dedicated career specialists available work with veterans and walk them through the entire process.