Highways for Heroes

The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security is dedicated to helping the men and women of our Armed Forces and retired military obtain the necessary tools for future employment in the transportation industry.

Through the Highways for Heroes program, the Tennessee Commercial Driver License, CDL, basic road skills test will be waived for qualified military personnel. Applicants will be required to pass the applicable CDL knowledge test(s).

Service men and women with missing or impaired limbs can get a Tennessee CDL following a skills performance evaluation by a SPE Certified CDL Examiner.

Highways for Heroes Eligibility

Active-duty military personnel including National Guard and Military Reserve members that have been discharged in the last year are eligible for the basic road skills test waiver. Applicants must be a Tennessee resident and have or be eligible for a Tennessee Regular (Class D) Driver License. Applicants will need to provide a certification from their commanding officer or a designee that he or she has held a military operator’s permit and has had driving experience for the past 2 years operating the same type of vehicle that he or she plans to drive with a CDL in Tennessee.

To qualify for a Road Skills Test Waiver, an applicant must:

  • Be a Tennessee resident currently holding or eligible for a Tennessee Regular Driver License.
  • Be active-duty military or discharged within the last year. The following documents can be submitted as proof of active or discharge status:
    • U.S. Active Duty/Reservist Military I.D. Card
    • DD-214 (Military Discharge)
    • Enlisted Record and Report of Separation (WD-AGO)
    • Honorable Discharge Certificate (DD-256)
    • Report of Separation and Record of Service (NGB-22)
  • Certification from their commanding officer or a designee that they possess:
    • A military operator’s permit
    • At least two years of experience driving the same type of vehicle that the applicant plans to drive with a Tennessee Commercial Driver License (CDL) - For a list of CDL vehicle types, refer to CDL classifications, restrictions and endorsements
  • Successfully complete the written CDL knowledge exam
  • Possess a safe driving record