I enrolled and finished schooling at Swift Transportation's driving academy in Millington, TN in spring of 2006 to receive my Commercial Driver's License. I came home to Michigan and transferred my CDL. I drove for Swift for over a year and then left due to personal reasons.
I received a letter from the Michigan Secretary of State stating: "The State of Tennessee has provided us with information that the knowledge and driving skills tests provided in Tennessee to obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL) were not given in accordance with the Rules of the Tennessee Department of Safety, nor Federal Regulation 49 CFR 383. Unfortunately, this means you must be retested in Michigan in order to maintain your CDL."
Upon receipt of this letter, I no longer work for Swift or any other trucking company. In talking to the State of Michigan I was told that to maintain my CDL I would have to pay for the retesting fees, and find/rent a tractor trailer to take the test in. At present I have no access to a semi and have not been behind the wheel of one for about 18 months--I had left the industry with the hopes of returning in the future, and plans to take some kind of refresher class upon choosing to do so. The date given by the Michigan Secretary of State does not give me enough time to sign up for a refresher course to prepare myself, nor to gather the funds necessary for retesting and truck rental. I do not have the money to do this. They offered me an extension, but I do not expect to have the money or access to a rig at any time in the near future. In the letter I received it also states that failure to act by the date provided will result in an automatic license downgrade to a non-CDL license.
At some point I had planned on returning to trucking. Now instead of taking a refresher course to return, I will have to start all over with full schooling to obtain a CDL.
This is a travesty to all of the Millington Academy graduates between 2005-2008. We paid $3900 in good faith that we were given a legitimate CDL. We trusted the employees of the school when they told us things were being done legally. Many of us drove trucks and other commercial vehicles for several years, not knowing that our CDL was in jeopardy... we had no warning that this could happen until our states notified us with very limited time to act.
Considering that many thousands of people paid a great deal of money for a service that was not rendered, something needs to be done. Legal action should be taken to rectify the damage done to these CDL holders. According to the Michigan CDL Help Desk the school was at fault.