Hi, I’m David Compton from truckjobsecrets.com on the steps you’ll need to take to get your CDL.
The first thing is to make sure you even qualify. And to do so, you need to check your state’s eligibility requirements. Each state has its own requirements for licensed commercial drivers. Generally, you must be at least 18-years-old or 21-years-old if you plan to drive across state lines. Even if you never drive across state lines, you may need to still be 21 if you work for a transportation or trucking company that’s involved in interstate commerce. Also, depending on the state you live in, that state may require you to have been a resident of the state for a certain period of time before you’re even eligible to apply for a CDL. So you want to check this first.
Next, get a copy of your state’s CDL manual. You can get one from the local DMV office. You can also check their websites. You need to really study the manual as it contains information that you’ll be tested on later. Also, do some web searching as you’ll be able to find some practice tests from lots of different websites. Next, complete your state’s CDL application. Your application will be an extensive record check, most likely going back at least 10 years. So, go ahead now and start gathering that information even before you start the application.
Before you can get your CDL permit, you’re going to have to take a general written test. Some driving jobs, such as transporting hazardous materials, may require that you take an additional written test. If you earn a passing score on your test, you’ll be issued a learner’s permit. If you don’t pass, you can take it again, but you’re going to have to pay another fee. There are three keys to passing your first time: study, study, study.
Once you get your learner’s permit, you can’t drive solo. You need a supervising driver who has a CDL of the same class and type as the one you wish to obtain. In some states, they may ask a supervising driver to fill out a form clearing you to take the skills test. If this is a requirement for you, the DMV will give it to you. There are two choices when you have your learner’s permit. One is to attend a trucking school. Or two, join a company-sponsored training program. Both of these are good ideas, but have quite different financial ramifications to consider and we’ll be covering this in-depth in another video.
After you’ve begun your training behind the wheel, either at a driving school or a company-sponsored program, you’re eventually going to need to take the skills test necessary to get your full license. Some states require you to have a certain amount of training time before you can actually take your skills test. The DMV in your state at the training facility, they’ll let you know.
When you take your skills test, you must be in the exact vehicle that you’re going to be driving. Just like your learner’s permit test, if you don’t pass the skills test, you may be able to retake it. Again, check your state’s rules to find out. There are three steps, one more time, to pass: practice, practice, practice.
Well, there you have it. The simplified steps you’re going to need to take in order to obtain that CDL. Once you have it, make sure to check out truckjobsecrets.com to find your perfect driving job. Thanks for watching.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.