Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Vermont

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If you are on active duty, or if you are a veteran living in, working in, or originally from Vermont, you should get a better understanding of the laws and benefits and how they apply to you. The following information should help you to understand what you need to know.

Vehicle registration benefits

If you are a resident of Vermont and a military veteran, you could receive an exemption on your registration taxes. To receive this benefit, when you are filling out your registration, you will also want to include a statement from the VA that certifies you are a veteran.

Driver’s license veteran designation

Military veterans are now able to receive a special veteran designation mark on their licenses. It will include the word VETERAN, written in red just below the address on the license. This can be used to show proof of veteran status, and can be useful for discounts at certain stores and restaurants. This is also available for ID cards. To get this on your license, you will need to submit a Vermont Certificate of Veteran Status.

You can also get this form from a local DMV office, or from the Vermont Office of Veteran Affairs.

Military honor plates

The state of Vermont has a number of different military honor plates from which you can choose based on your service status. They can be used on cars and trucks registered for less than 26,001lbs. The following plates are available.

  • Disabled Veteran
  • Former Prisoner of War (POW)
  • Gold Star
  • Afghanistan Campaign
  • Gulf War
  • Iraq War
  • Korean War
  • Pearl Harbor Survivor
  • Purple Heart
  • US Veteran
  • Vermont National Guard
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)
  • Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA
  • Vietnam War
  • World War II

To obtain the plates, you will need to fill out the Vermont Certificate of Veteran Status. Most of the plates have no additional fees. However, the Vermont National Guard, VFW, and VVA will have a one-time fee.

Military skills test waiver

It is easier than before to get a commercial driver’s license if you are or were a military member who have a military CDL. If you are or were employed in the past year in a position that required you to drive the equivalent of a civilian commercial vehicle, and you have at least two years of experience at the job, you can have the skills portion of your CDL test waived. You will still be required to take the written exam, but removing the skills test can help make getting a CLD faster, which could be important when you are transitioning to the civilian world. To apply for the waiver, you will fill out the Application for Military Skills Test Waiver form.

Prospective drivers need to prove to the licensing agency in Vermont that they should receive this waiver. They need to prove the following.

  • Safe driving experience

  • Cannot have had more than one license, other than the military license, in the past two years

  • Cannot have had their driver’s license suspended by the state where they have their base

  • Cannot have not been convicted of a motor vehicle violation that would disallow them from obtaining a CDL

There are certain offenses that could disqualify someone from being able to use the waiver including DUIs or using a commercial motor vehicle to commit a felony

Military commercial driver’s license act of 2012

If you would like to get a commercial license, and you are not a resident of Vermont, you can still do so. In 2012, the Military Commercial Driver’s License Act passed, which allows the state’s licensing bodies to provide CDLs to military members who qualify regardless of their state of residency. This applies to the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Reserves, National Guard, Coast Guard, and the Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Driver license and registration renewal while deployed

If you are deployed out of state and you are a resident of Vermont, you can register the vehicle in the state where you are deployed, or in Vermont. If you are going to register the vehicle in Vermont, you can use form TA-VD-119 and send it to the DMV office.

Non-resident military personnel driver license and vehicle registration

If you are originally from out of state and you are stationed in Vermont, you have the option of maintaining out of state registration if you choose. However, you could register in the state if you choose. You may want to look at the costs for registering in both locations and then choose the one that makes the most financial sense for you, as in the previous section for Vermont residents.

You can learn more about the DMV in Vermont by visiting their site.

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