Each state has somewhat different requirements for obtaining a CDL license. However, there are generally four steps that can serve as a basic guide for what to expect when you set out on the path to become a commercial driver. At H.O. Wolding, we offer a range of CDL trucking jobs for those interested in starting or continuing a very profitable career.
The general requirements for obtaining a CDL license are as follows:
Review the Requirements
To begin with, it is important to review the CDL requirements of the manual to confirm whether or not you qualify to obtain a commercial driver’s license. Requirements include CDL physical requirements and minimum age requirement.
Obtain a CDL Permit
Similar to the way in which you obtain a permit before you can obtain your regular driver’s license, a permit is required as an initial step before obtaining a CDL. You can qualify for a Class A CDL permit by passing written exams. The exams generally include: General Knowledge, Combination Vehicles, and Air Brakes. Each state will provide a CDL handbook or manual at the testing site or online.
Add CDL Endorsements
You will need to pass the written CDL endorsement test in order to obtain CDL endorsements. Certain endorsements, such as HazMat, may include a background check before they can be included with your CDL license. You can find the information you need about these issues in the CDL endorsements section of the manual.
Take the CDL Skills Exam
Finally, you must pass the CDL driving test. This involves a three-part exam that includes a basic control skills test, pretrip inspection test, and driving test located at either a third-party test site approved by the state, or a state-run CDL test site. After the driver has passed the skills test, he or she can be issued CDL license in the state.
Depending on your state, a CDL license itself will often cost less than $100. If you attend trucking school you may pay between $3000 and $7000, depending on the Class of license you are seeking, and the types of endorsements you want to earn.