Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Connecticut

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The state of Connecticut offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the past, or are current active military members.

Vehicle registration and other waived fees

Veterans who are former prisoners of war or Congressional Medal of Honor recipients are exempt from paying driver license and examination fees for one licensing period. In order to qualify you must have been a Connecticut resident at the time of induction, and apply for the benefit within two years of being honorably discharged from service.

In addition, anyone in active service of the military (including the Reserves or National Guard, if called to active duty) is eligible for exemption from registration and operator’s license fees. You must complete form B-276 and provide either an active military ID or DD 214 showing honorable discharge. This fee waiver is applicable to new registrations as well as renewals.

Disabled veterans are also eligible for license plate fee exemption, so long as they meet Department of Motor Vehicles criteria.

Driver’s license veteran designation

Connecticut residents may add veteran status to their driver license or non-driver ID card, in the form of an American Flag symbol. You must apply to the Department of Veterans Affairs a minimum of 30 days prior to visiting the DMV. There’s no extra cost to add the designation unless you apply to add it prior to receiving a renewal notice from the state (in which case there is a $30 fee). If applying at a AAA office, there is a $3 convenience fee.

Military honor plates

Connecticut offers plates for disabled veterans, as well as various other military plates, including:

  • First Company: Governor’s Food Guard
  • First Company: Governor’s Horse Guard
  • Gold Star Family
  • Greater Harford Chapter of 82nd Airborne
  • Iwo Jima Survivor
  • Korean War Veterans Association Inc.
  • Laos Veterans of America
  • Marine Corps. League Inc.
  • Military Order of the Purple Heart
  • National Guard Assoc. of Connecticut (Active and Retired versions)
  • Pearl Harbor
  • Second Company Governor’s Foot Guard
  • U.S. Submarine Veteran
  • Veteran (vehicle or motorcycle)

Some plates require proof of eligibility, such as documentation of having engaged in a specific conflict. Detailed information on special plates is available here.

Military skills test waiver

The Commercial Learner’s Permit Rule – instituted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in 2011 – contains a provision that offers military personnel and veterans the chance to opt out of the road skills portion of their CDL test. You must meet a few criteria, however, in order to apply for this benefit. You must have at least two years of experience in driving large military vehicles, and this driving must have taken place within the year before your discharge or date of application (if you’re still in the service).

You must also be able to show to your local licensing agency that you’ve been a safe driver, that you haven’t had multiple license besides your driver’s license and military driving license over the past two years, that your license hasn’t been suspended, cancelled, or revoked, and that you’re free of certain motor vehicle violation convictions.

Connecticut, along with all 50 other U.S. territories, participates in the skills test waiver program. If you wish to apply you can download and print the standardized waiver here. You must still complete the written CDL test.

Military Commercial Driver’s License Act of 2012

This law is another effort on the part of the government to ease the burden on military members trying to get a CDL. If you’re active in any of the five main branches, or the Reserves, National Guard, or Coast Guard Auxiliary, you may apply for a CDL in the state in which you’re stationed, even if it’s not your home state.

Driver license and registration renewal while deployed

Connecticut residents who are deployed when their license expires may renew through the mail, as long as their current license has a photo. If you wish to take advantage of the operator’s license fee waiver, you must submit form B-88 along with your renewal form (be sure to include both your CT address as well as the out-of-state mailing address) to:

Department of Motor Vehicles
License Processing Unit
60 State Street
Wethersfield, CT 06161-5041

Registration renewal may be completed by mail. A notice is mailed out 60 days ahead of time, and you should mail this document along with the B-276 form (application for waiver of registration fees) to the address above.

Non-resident military personnel driver license and vehicle registration

Connecticut honors the home state license of non-resident military personnel who are stationed in the state. Non-resident military members are also exempt from having to register their vehicles in the state.

Connecticut maintains a special website as a guide to motor vehicle-related procedures here.

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