How Do Drivers Get Their CDL?

  • Decide That You REALLY Want To Become A Truck Driver:

As with many career changes, it is a life-altering process, and drivers need to be prepared both mentally and physically.

See Also:

  • Choose Your Method Of Truck Driver Training:

Most new drivers will have attended either a private trucking school or a company-sponsored driving school. Getting a CDL on your own is generally not recommended, and may make it more difficult to find a job driving trucks.

  • Written CDL Knowledge Exam:

Drivers will be required to pass a written CDL knowledge exam.

  • CDL Skills Test:

The physical driving test, inside an actual truck. Just like any other driving test, but on a much bigger scale.

The FMCSA has issued guidelines on the physical requirements for over the road (OTR) CDL drivers. Additionally, regular drug and alcohol testing Should be expected.


Do I Need A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)?

Driver’s will need a CDL in order to operate any of the following vehicles or combination vehicles:

  • A single vehicle with a GVWR over 26,000 lbs.
  • A combination vehicle with a GVWR over 26,000 lbs, towing a unit over 10,000 lbs GVWR.
  • A passenger vehicle designed to carry 16 or more people, including the driver.
  • Any size vehicle requiring hazardous material (Hazmat) placards, or carrying a select agent or toxin listed in 42 CFR Part 73.


What New Truck Drivers Need To Know About Commercial Driver’s License (CDL):

Most drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMV’s), or those wanting to, will be required to obtain some class of Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

CDL drivers are required to get a CDL from their declared state of residency, and state laws vary on residency requirements.

While licensing is done by states, the Federal government sets minimum testing and licensing requirements.

Pulling certain types of freight, or certain types of trailers, will require drivers to test for and obtain additional license “endorsements”.

Military CDL drivers are exempt from having to get a CDL , and individual states are authorized to exempt emergency, farm, and government workers, as well as drivers of recreational vehicles. These exemptions may vary state-to-state.