How to get a cdl – How to Get a Commercial Driver License in 2019

How To Get A Class A CDL License

Your Step by Step Guide to Getting Your Commercial Driver’s License

Get a CDL — Complete Guide for Each State

We have put together a complete guide to getting a CDL license for each of the states listed below.  To learn more about how to get a CDL license in your state, just click on its name.

4 Basic Steps To Getting A Commercial Driver’s License

The requirements to get a CDL are slightly different from each state, but these 4 steps serve as a basic guideline on what to expect.  For more on the specific steps, just click on a state name above.

1. Review CDL Requirements

For starters, you should review the CDL Requirements section of the manual to determine if you will qualify for a Commercial Driver’s License. Some of these requirements include a minimum age requirement and CDL physical requirements.  Meeting these requirements will make sure things go smoothly throughout the entire process of applying for and obtaining a CDL.

2. Get a CDL Permit

Much like getting a regular driver’s license, a permit is required to move forward with the steps of obtaining a CDL.  You can get a Class A CDL permit by passing series of written exams. In most states, the written tests to get a Class A CDL permit include: General Knowledge, Air Brakes and Combination vehicles.  A Commercial Driver’s License handbook or manual can be found at the testing site in each state or online. 

3. Add CDL Endorsements

Depending on the CDL endorsement you want to obtain, you need to pass the written CDL endorsement test.  However, some endorsements, such as the Hazardeous Materials (HazMat) endorsement may also require a background check before they can be added to your CDL license. Consult the CDL endorsements section of the manual for additional information.

4. Take CDL Skills Test

A CDL driving test must be passed in which the driver completes a 3-part exam that includes a pre-trip inspection test, basic control skills test, and driving test at either a state CDL test site or approved 3rd party test site in the testing state.  Once the skills test has been passed, a driver can be issued an actual CDL license from his/her state.   

Go To CDL Training School

Going to CDL training school is a great way to go about getting a Commercial Driver’s License.  Many people attempt the do-it-yourself method only to find out it’s much more difficult to drive an 18 wheel semi tractor trailer than it seems.  By getting CDL training, you will learn the classroom information needed to pass the written CDL exam and get the hands-on training required to pass the skills test.  For most people, this makes the process of getting a CDL much easier and greatly improves their chance of success.

Further, Driver Solutions provides a company sponsored CDL training program which not only helps new drivers get a Class A CDL license, but also provides job placement assistance with PAM Transport.  This means the driver can learn the skills needed to get a CDL without the upfront burden of school tuition costs AND has a job opportunity available upon completing training! 

CDL Training School Locations

Driver Solutions works with CDL training schools located in the hiring areas we serve throughout the United States.  We are continuing to form new partnerships and our representatives will always work to find the best location near you.  Currently, we’re able to help new drivers find truck driving schools to get a Class A CDL in and around the following states:

Ready to get started?
 

Apply Now

Let us help you find a truck driving school near you offering sponsored CDL training so you can get a Class A CDL.  Take a few moments to apply online today and you’ll be able to schedule a time to speak with a Driver Solutions’ representative about the truck driver job opportunities and CDL training schools in your area!

greatcdltraining.com

How To Get A CDL License

Not everyone has what it takes to drive a truck or school bus. It requires a higher level of knowledge, skill, experience and physical ability than driving a car. In all states, you are required to possess a Commercial Driver License (CDL) if you plan to operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). If you want to know how to get a CDL, follow these easy-to-understand steps to streamline the process and help you avoid missteps that could cost you valuable time and money.

NOTE: If you’re planning to attend a trucking school or company-sponsored training program, they should guide you through the steps below.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Getting a CDL

1. Determine which CDL you will need to drive the vehicle you want to drive

There are three types of CDL’s. Click here for descriptions of Class A, Class B and Class C.

2. Determine if you’re eligible for a CDL

  • Click here to check age and driving history requirements for getting a CDL in your state
      • Minimum age for an intrastate license (within home state) is 18 years in most cases, but varies by state
      • Minimum age for an interstate license (nationwide) is 21 years
  • Get the required medical certification (Department of Transportation medical card) by getting a DOT physical from an approved provider of DOT examinations. All approved providers are listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners
  • Locate and have ready all personal verification documents. In most States, you’ll be required to show the DMV/DOT the following documents:
      • Proof of Age and Identity (e.g., Birth Certificate, Driver’s License)
      • Proof of Social Security (e.g., Social Security Card)
      • Proof of Residency (e.g., Utility Bill)
      • Proof of Clear Driving History (i.e., Certify that you have your license, it is not suspended and that you maintain one current license, not multiple licenses)
  • NOTE: Due to the requirements above, most drivers must obtain their CDL in their state of residency

3. Study the CDL handbook or training guide

4. Fill out the application for a CDL Learners Permit (CLP) at the DMV, or online

Remember to be prepared to:

  • Show proof of identification
  • Show proof of residency
  • Have your driving record checked for all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia
  • Show your DOT medical card (if available)
  • Declare which type of commercial vehicle(s) you plan to drive

5. Turn in your CLP application in person and take the knowledge test

  • Pay the application fee
  • Pass the test and receive your learners permit for getting your CDL

6. Choose the right CDL training program

A good training program will prepare you to sit for your CDL exam. Training programs are offered by private schools, and certain trucking companies offer company-sponsored training.

7. Practice driving a commercial vehicle using your learners permit

  • You must practice with a qualified driver sitting next to you (private school and company-sponsored training programs will provide supervised driver training time)
  • Be sure to practice the inspection tests and the maneuvers in the CDL manual. Getting your CDL means you must pass all three parts of the driving skills test:



  • You must have your CLP for a minimum of 14 days before taking your CDL driving skills exam due to Federal Guidelines

8. Schedule an appointment for the CDL driving skills test

  • Contact your local DMV/DOT office to schedule your road test appointment
  • If you’re attending a trucking school or company-sponsored training program, they will likely guide you in scheduling your road test
  • NOTE: Very soon, all states will require CDL training verification before issuing a CDL license

9. Arrive for your driving skills appointment with the commercial vehicle you plan to drive

  • If you plan on being a tractor-trailer driver, arrive for your test with a truck (same applies for school bus drivers, etc.) If you’re attending a trucking school or company-sponsored training program, they normally provide the equipment for your driving skills test
  • Pay the required fee

10. Receive your CDL

  • After passing your skills test, take all documents to the nearest DMV/DOT office to obtain your physical CDL

11. Maintain your pristine driving record

  • Take pride in your status as a professional driver. As a CDL driver, you will be held to a higher standard. A serious traffic violation, even in your personal automobile, could impact your ability to maintain your CDL.

Now that you know how to get a CDL, you can go back to step one and get started!

www.cdl.com

How to Get a Texas Class A CDL

A Complete Guide to Getting a Texas Class A CDL.

4 Steps to Get A Texas Commercial Driver’s License

1. Review Texas CDL Requirements

Before you begin the process of getting a Texas commercial driver’s license, the best thing to do is review the state’s CDL requirements (page 7). In Texas, you can get an Interstate or Intrastate CDL. An interstate CDL from Texas allows you drive outside of the state borders, whereas an intrastate requires you to drive within Texas. There are different requirements for each. Some of these requirements include a minimum age requirement and CDL physical requirements. By reviewing this information ahead of time, you will be prepared to move onto the next steps without any unexpected surprises. In order to be eligible to apply for an Interstate Texas Class A CDL, a person must:

  • Reside in Texas
  • Be 21 years of age
  • Be able to read and speak English
  • No loss of limb that has not been waved
  • No impairment of hand, finger, arm, foot, or leg that interferes with driving
  • No diabetes that requires insulin for control
  • No heart problems
  • No respiratory dysfunction
  • No high blood pressure
  • No rheumatic, arthritic, orthopedic, muscular, neuromuscular, or vascular problems that would affect vehicle control
  • No epilepsy or other condition that can cause loss of consciousness
  • No mental, nervous, organic, or functional disease or psychiatric disorder likely to interfere with vehicle control
  • Vision 20/40 or better in each eye, not color blind
  • Have good hearing
  • Not addicted to drugs
  • Not addicted to alcohol

2. Get Your Texas Commercial Learner’s Permit

Just like getting a regular driver’s license in the state of Texas, a permit is required to move forward with the steps of obtaining a Texas Class A CDL. Before getting a Learner’s License, a person must meet the following requirements:

  • No multiple licenses
  • No driver license suspensions, revocations, disqualifications, or cancellations
  • No convictions in any type of motor vehicle for driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident, or committing any felony involving a motor vehicle
  • No convictions whatsoever in any type of motor vehicle for serious traffic violations
  • No convictions in any type of motor vehicle for accident connected traffic law violations and no record of at-fault accidents

(Source: Texas Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Handbook)

3. Add CDL Endorsements

If you wish to add an endorsement to your Texas CDL, you will need to pass specific written CDL endorsement tests.  Be sure to research your endorsements beforehand as some, such as the Hazardeous Materials (HazMat) endorsement, may also require a background check before they can be added to your CDL license in Texas. Consult the CDL endorsements section of the Texas manual (page 12) for more information.

4. Take Texas CDL Written and Skills Test

In Texas, a CDL driving test must be passed in which the driver completes a 2-part exam that includes knowledge tests and skills tests. An applicant must visit a driver’s license office to take both the written and skills tests. Not every office offers CDL skills testing, so a person needs to be sure to check with their respective local DMV office. Once both tests have been passed, a driver can be issued an actual CDL license from the State of Texas. To learn more about what to expect on both tests, you can read through the Texas Commercial Driver’s License Manual.

Go To CDL Training School In Texas

Going to CDL school in Texas is a great way to go about getting a Commercial Driver’s License.  By getting training from a CDL school in Texas, you will learn the classroom information needed to pass the written exam and get the hands-on training required to master the skills tests.  For many people, this makes the process of getting a Texas CDL much easier and greatly improves their chance of success.

Driver Solutions is proud to offer a company paid CDL training program which not only helps new drivers get a Texas Class A CDL license, but also provides job placement assistance with PAM Transport to find Texas truck driver jobs.  This means the driver can learn the skills needed to get a CDL without the burden of upfront school tuition costs AND have a Texas driving job opportunity available upon completing trucker training! 

Start Texas CDL Training Now!
 

Apply Now

We can find a Texas truck driving school offering company sponsored training so you can get a Texas Class A CDL.  Take a few moments to apply online today and you’ll be able to schedule a time to speak with a Driver Solutions’ representative about the truck driver job opportunities and CDL training schools in Texas!

CDL Training School Locations

Driver Solutions works with CDL training schools located in the hiring areas we serve throughout the United States, including Texas.  We are continuing to form new partnerships and our representatives will always work to find the best location near you.  Currently, we’re able to help new drivers find truck driving schools to get a Class A CDL in and around the following states:

greatcdltraining.com

How to Get a CDL License

Not sure what type of license you need? Click Here

What is a Commercial Drivers License — CDL?

A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is a type driver’s license required in the United States to drive vehicles that weigh 26,001 pounds or more OR vehicles that transport more than 15 people or contain hazardous cargo.

How do I get a CDL License?
(Expanded Information)

  • Decide the type of CDL license you need. (Note: there are 3 Classes of CDLs — Class A, Class B, and Class C — and endorsements for specialized qualifications for certain vehicles like school buses, tanker trucks, etc.).
  • Get your CDL Learners Permit (CLP) by passing the knowledge test at the DMV. Be sure to study your state CDL manual or ensure you’re prepared with TestQuestionsAndAnswers.com. (Note: you’ll also need to show the state proof that you are medically qualified (DOT medical card), proof of name and residency, and have your driving record checked for all 50 states. The CLP enables you to practice driving with a qualified driver sitting next to you).
  • Get your CDL License by passing a skills test which consists of of 3 parts: the Vehicle Inspection Test, the Basic Controls Test, and the Road Test. (Note: you must have your CLP for 14 days before taking the sills test which After passing the test, you must take all documents to the DMV to obtain your CDL. Note: some states require CDL training before issuing a CDL license).

How do I get a Class A CDL License?

Class A Requirements — To drive trucks or truck combinations weighing 26,001 lbs or more, and towing a vehicle/unit over 10,000 lbs, then a Class A license is required. You must pass the following tests:

  • General Knowledge test
  • Combinations vehicle test
  • Air Brakes
  • Pre-Trip Inspection test
  • Applicable exams for desired endorsements (for example, Hazardous Materials if needed)

After passing all of the knowledge tests above, and meeting the other state requirements, you’ll receive your CDL Learner’s Permit. After 14 days, you may take the Road Test consisting of Vehicle Inspection, Basic Controls, and the actual On-Road Test.

Start Now!

How do I get a Class B CDL License?

Class B Requirements — To operate straight trucks and buses 26,001 lbs or more, then a Class B license is required. You must pass the following tests:

  • General Knowledge test
  • Air Brakes (if applicable)
  • Pre-Trip Inspection test
  • Applicable exams for desired endorsements (for example, Hazardous Materials if needed)

After passing all of the knowledge tests above, and meeting the other state requirements, you’ll receive your CDL Learner’s Permit. After 14 days, you may take the Road Test consisting of Vehicle Inspection, Basic Controls, and the actual On-Road Test.

Start Now!

How do I get a Class C CDL License?

Class C Requirements — To operate vehicles transporting placarded amounts of hazardous materials, or vehicles designed to transport more than 15 persons including the driver with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of less than 26,001 lbs, then a Class C license is needed. You must pass the following tests:

  • General Knowledge test
  • Air Brakes (if applicable)
  • HazMat (if carrying hazardous materials)
  • Passenger Transport (if transporting more than 15 people, including the driver)

After passing all of the knowledge tests above, and meeting the other state requirements, you’ll receive your CDL Learner’s Permit. After 14 days, you may take the Road Test consisting of Vehicle Inspection, Basic Controls, and the actual On-Road Test.

Start Now!

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How to Get a Florida Class A CDL

Your guide to getting a Florida Class A CDL!

4 Steps to Get a Florida Commercial Driver’s License

1. Review Florida CDL Requirements

Before you begin the process of getting a Florida commercial driver’s license, the best thing to do is review the state CDL requirements. Some of these requirements include a minimum age requirement and CDL physical requirements.  By reviewing this information ahead of time, you will be prepared to move onto the next steps without any unexpected surprises.

2. Get Your Florida CDL Permit

Just like getting a regular driver’s license in the state of Florida, a permit is required to move forward with the steps of obtaining a Florida Class A CDL.  You can get a Class A CDL permit by passing a series of written exams as well as a vision test.  You can review the requirements to obtaining a Florida Class A CDL permit here.

3. Add CDL Endorsements

If you wish to add an endorsement to your Florida CDL, you will need to pass written CDL endorsement tests.  Be sure to research your endorsements beforehand as some, such as the Hazardous Materials (HazMat) endorsement, may also require a background check before they can be added to your CDL license in Florida. Consult the CDL endorsements section of the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles’ website for more information.

4. Take Florida CDL Skills Test

In Florida, a CDL driving test must be passed in which the driver completes a 2 part exam that includes a knowledge and skills test. Once the skills test has been passed, a driver can be issued an actual CDL license from the State of Florida. A person can take both tests at either a Florida Department of Driver Services or approved 3rd party testing site. To view more information on current CMV testing locations in Florida, click here. For more information on 3rd party testing sites, click here.

Go To CDL Training School In Florida

Going to CDL school in Florida is a great way to go about getting a Commercial Driver’s License.  By getting training from a CDL school in Florida, you will learn the classroom information needed to pass the written exam and get the hands-on training required to master the pre-trip inspection and the CDL skills test.  For most people, this makes the process of getting a Florida CDL much easier and greatly improves their chance of success.

Driver Solutions is proud to offer a company paid CDL training program which not only helps new drivers get a Florida Class A CDL license, but also provides job placement assistance with PAM Transport to find Florida truck driver jobs.  This means the driver can learn the skills needed to get a CDL without the burden of school tuition costs AND has a Florida driving job opportunity available upon completing trucker training! 

Start Florida CDL Training Now!

Apply Now

We can find a Florida truck driving school offering company paid training so you can get a Florida Class A CDL.  Take a few moments to apply online today and you’ll be able to schedule a time to speak with a Driver Solutions’ representative about the truck driver job opportunities and CDL training schools in Florida!

CDL Training School Locations

Driver Solutions works with CDL training schools located in the hiring areas we serve throughout the United States, including Florida.  We are continuing to form new partnerships and our representatives will always work to find the best location near you.  Currently, we’re able to help new drivers find truck driving schools to get a Class A CDL in and around the following states:

greatcdltraining.com

How to Get Your CDL

Get your commercial driver’s license (CDL) by passing basic requirements and graduating from a trucking school or training program. This includes learning and familiarizing yourself with commercial driving through reading, lectures, behind-the-wheel experience and practical tests. The following is a step-by-step process on how to get your CDL.

9 Steps on How to Get Your CDL

1. Have a non-commercial driver’s license. Before you move on to large vehicles, it’s important you know the rules and regulations, and are comfortable with standard driving.

2. Pass the age requirements. Some states allow drivers who are 18 to get their CDL while other states require drivers to wait until they are 21. Drivers must be 21 to travel between states with a CDL. Check your state’s age requirements.

3. Read a CDL manual. Most states have a CDL manual you can access online or at motor office locations. These manuals provide information on CDL rules and regulations. They are also helpful for studying before taking CDL tests.

4. Get a CLP. A commercial learner’s permit (CLP) enables drivers to get practice driving vehicles similar to the ones they want to drive with a CDL. This will get you comfortable driving these vehicles before you take the skills test. When you drive with your CLP, you must have a CDL-holding driver sitting in the passenger seat next to you. A CLP can be obtained at your local DMV after passing a short test.

5. Attend a CDL program. Two options to learn about CDLs in the classroom are to attend a trucking school or a community college. The best option for you may depend on if you are looking to get on the road right away or if you are transitioning from another career. Some trucking schools offer Monday through Friday full-time programs that typically last about 3 weeks. A program at a community school is typically a few days a week and lasts for about 6 weeks.

6. Identify applicable exceptions. The federal government exempts some drivers from the skills test. Active military and veterans with two years of safe driving similar vehicles don’t have to take the skills test. This also applies to farmers, firefighters and some winter plow drivers.

7. Pass a knowledge exam. A knowledge exam is an online exam that tests what you know about commercial driving based on the CDL manual. This exam typically takes around an hour and a half to complete, and requires a pass rate of 80 percent or higher.

8. Pass a skills test. The skills test is where you get behind the wheel of a vehicle similar to the one you will be driving once you get your CDL. There are three parts to the skills test: vehicle inspection, basic controls and road test.

9. Research possible additional requirements. Some states have additional requirements and restrictions such as felony restrictions. Check your state’s CDL requirements.

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How To Get CDL License | CDL Test

Every state has their own set of policies and procedures to obtain your Commercial Drivers License (CDL).  All of the states, however, have to follow a set of Federal Guidelines administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administraton.  The purpose of the regulations is to insure that the operators (drivers) of large trucks and buses are qualified.  The rules are also intended to help remove unsafe and unqualified drivers from the roads.

In general, the steps to getting a CDL license are:

  1. Determine your CDL license type
  2. Verify the requirements and present documentation
  3. Take the CDL exams and pay fees

These steps are detailed below.

Determine Your CDL License Type

The first step in obtaining your CDL is to determine which class of vehicle you will be driving.  There are three Classes (A,B,C) of Commercial Motor Vehicles
Commercial Class A

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 pounds
  • GVWR of towed vehicles greater than 10,000 pounds

Commercial Class B

  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of more than 26,000 pounds
  • Any vehicle towing a vehicle with a GVWR less than 10,000 pounds

Commercial Class C

  • Any vehicle not described in Class A or B
  • Designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver
  • Used in the transportation of hazardous materials that require the vehicle to display a HAZMAT placard

Endorsements

In addition, you will need to determine whether you need any endorsements to your CDL.
Endorsements are special authorizations which allow drivers to drive certain vehicle types, transport certain materials, or carry certain numbers of passengers. The following endorsements can be added to any class (A,B,C) of CDL.

  • H — Placarded Hazmat: Required if you wish to drive vehicles that require a HAZMAT placard.
  • N — Tank Vehicles: — Required if you will be driving a vehicle over 26,000 pounds that carries liquid/gaseous materials.  This endorsement is required if you are driving a Class A or B vehicle with a permanently mounted tank greater than 119 gallons or a portable tank greater than 1,000 gallons.
  • P — Passengers: — Required if you plan on driving 16 or more passengers including the driver.
  • S — School Bus: Required if you will be driving students to/from school or school-sponsored events. The P endorsement is also required.
  • T — Double/Triple Trailers: — Required if you will be driving Commercial Motor Vehicles with double or triple trailers. Triple trailers are not allowed in certain states.
  • X — Placarded Hazmat & Tank Vehicles: — For drivers with both the H and N endorsements.

CMV Operation Type
Effective starting in 2012, CDL operators must certify to one of four federally defined types of Commercial Motor Vehicle Operation:

  1. Interstate (non-excepted) — Operates a CMV between states.
  2. Interstate (excepted) — Operates a CMV between states with the following exceptions: school bus operations, state and federal transportation, fire/rescue vehicles, transporation of human corpses, vehicles designed for transporting 9-15 passengers, and transportation of propane winter heating fuel
  3. Intrastate (non-excepted) — Operates a CMV within a state.
  4. Intrastate (excepted) — Operates a CMV within a state with the follwoing exceptions: public utility, telephone/cable repair, public utility service vehicle used in emergency, or implements of husbandry (self-propelled or pulled by farm tractor).

2) Verify The Requirements And Present Documentation

There are several requirements that must be met to become eligible for a Commercial Drivers License. These requirements may vary slightly depending on your state.  The requirements include the following:
Must be at least 18 years old — restricted to intrastate (within the state) operation
Must be at least 21 years old for interstate (between state) operation
You must also submit medical documentation (obtain a medical card) if you will operate your CMV in non-excepted Interstate or non-excepted Intrastate operation

Documentation

To apply for your CDL you will have to provide the following documentation:

  • Proof of age and identity — You will typically be required to present 2 forms of proof. Acceptable documents include driver license, birth certificate, social security card, school documents, Military ID, passport, marriage certificate or US Government or Court documents.
  • Proof of Social Security — social security card, 1099, W-2, payroll records, military ID or Medicaid/Medicare cards
  • Proof of Residency — acceptable documents include state government documents, bank statements, lease/mortgages, utility bills or school records.
  • Proof of Liability Insurance — required by some states
  • Proof of clear Driving Record — must certify that your license is not suspended, disqualified or revoked and that you currently do not hold more tha

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