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Program To Give Veterans Driver’s Licenses Is Struggling

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Photo: flickr (kate.gardiner)

An Indiana veteran program is having little success

Few people have taken advantage of an initiative created at the Bureau of Motor Vehicles in 2012 that aims to providing a shortcut for veterans to obtain their commercial drivers license.

Rep. Chuck Moseley, D-Portage, says the legislature needs to find out how it can help. He says it could be as simple as better marketing efforts.

“Doing something is obviously better than doing nothing,” Moseley said.  “We’re not getting anywhere just sitting back and hoping that people kind of have an epiphany someday and say, ‘Hey, I wonder if I can get this done.’”

Moseley says the solution might not require legislative action but that the General Assembly should provide extra resources to the BMV if necessary to generate better participation in the program.

But an effort to help recently-returned military veterans obtain their emergency medical technician licenses is achieving significant success in its first few months.

One such effort was legislation that allows combat paramedics and emergency medical technicians to skip costly and unnecessary retraining once they return from service. They only have to pass the state’s license exam.

Since the bill became law just four months ago, more than 50 veterans have applied, with an exam passage rate of about 90 percent.

Veteran unemployment in Indiana is more the double the state’s average unemployment rate.

The initiatives are part of the executive and legislative branches’ efforts to bring that number down by targeting employment opportunities for recently-returned vets.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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