How to obtain a CDL License
If you’ve considered a career in truck driving, then you know there are far more qualifications and testing programs that you have to go through than meets the eye. More specifically, whether you’re interested in becoming a professional truck driver or an intrastate courier, you are required by law to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
Attesting to your advanced driving knowledge and skills, this certification ensures that you are eligible to operate tractor-trailers for commercial use. If you’re curious about how to acquire the necessary documentation to make your practice professional, then keep on reading for a short guide on CDL licenses.
This documentation is generally offered by training schools, which also teach you about maneuvering large vehicles and properly inspecting freights and trucks for conformity with federal and local regulations. Moreover, certain states require that potential drivers carry out at least one training course before collecting their CDL license. It’s important to note that formal training is not always compulsory for obtaining authorization. You can also receive proper certification after completing a specialized instruction program offered by a truck driving school. These courses will give you the basic information you need in order to handle and examine commercial vehicles, which will in turn help you pass the tests required to receive a CDL license.
Whether you’re driving intrastate, interstate, a CMV (commercial motor vehicle) or foreign commerce, you will need certification. However, there are separate types of truck driving licenses, conditioned by the different laws and regulations that administer a certain state’s licensing system. That being said, you can acquire one of the following 3 types of CDL licenses. Class A enables you to drive almost all vehicles (any combination with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more) and is the most commonly collected certification. Class B allows you to drive almost everything that is trailer-free (any single vehicle with gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more), whereas class C only offers you access to smaller vehicles (any combination or single vehicle that does not adhere to the class A or B specifications, but is devised to transport 16 passengers or more).
But how exactly to you obtain a CDL license? The first step is to decide whether you want to pursue formal training, join the school of a particular trucking company or enroll in a qualified CDL training program to obtain your certification. Next, you have to start studying and practicing for your written examination, as well as your local driving test. We recommend that you get a copy of your state’s CDL manual, which can be found in field locations or downloaded online, as each state has its own rules and regulations when it comes to CDL licenses. You also have to decide which type of vehicle and what type of driving you want to engage in, as there are different CDL classes available. Lastly, in order to avoid restrictions to your license, it’s important to make sure that you pass all the required tests.
There are also several endorsements that you can obtain with additional testing, which can only be received after you have been issued your CDL license. These include S (School Bus), W (Tow Truck), T (Semi trailer), P (Passenger Vehicle), N (Tank Truck) and H (Hazardous materials). Whatever specific requirement your profession demands, a CDL license will always be a must for becoming a truck driver. This is why it’s important to find the right training program for you, which can help you learn and practice in order to pass all the necessary CDL examinations.