The process of getting a commercial driver's license (CDL) can be both time-consuming and expensive. Also, there are certain requirements that you must meet before you can obtain this type of license. If you have decided that transporting goods across state or international borders is something you'd like to do, then keep reading! In this article we'll go over what it takes to get your CDL license—from obtaining the required documents and passing exams all the way through finding employment once your license has been issued.
Must meet age requirements
In order to get a CDL license, you must meet certain age requirements.
Must be at least 18 years old
Must be at least 21 years old to drive a commercial vehicle across state lines (or more specifically, from one state into another).
There are two ways that you can apply for your CDL license if you are underage: with an exception permit or with a school permit. If you apply with an exception permit, it will allow you to drive alone during the day time hours (6am - 10pm). You can obtain one of these permits when you turn 16 by taking the written test and completing all necessary requirements. If your chosen career path involves driving after dark (10pm - 6am), then consider first applying for a school permit; this will allow any student who is 16 or older to take the written test before being able to obtain their full driver's license once they turn 18.
Must be a U.S. citizen or a resident alien and pass the citizenship test
In order to get your CDL license, you must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident alien who is at least 18 years of age and has held a valid Class D (car) driver's license for at least one year. If you are not a citizen, you must have your green card with you when applying for the CDL test so that it can be verified that you are indeed an eligible resident alien. You must also have been residing in the United States for at least 30 days before taking the exam.
A valid driver's license
To apply for a CDL, you must have a valid driver’s license. Your license must be valid in the state where you are applying, and it must be valid for at least 1 year. If you are applying for your CDL in a different state than where you currently live, be sure that your current driver’s license is still valid before attempting to find employment or starting an application process.
If your driver’s license has recently been suspended or revoked, contact the DMV in person to discuss ways of restoring it back to good standing so that you can qualify for an interstate commercial driver's license (CDL).
Successfully pass physical fitness examination, drug and alcohol test
Be able to read, write and speak English
You must be able to read, write and speak English.
You must pass a written test.
You must pass a driving test.
You must pass a vision test.
You must pass a road test
Have a clean driving record
To qualify for a commercial driver license, you must have a clean driving record. Your driving record must meet the following criteria:
No more than 3 moving violations in the past 3 years
No more than 1 major violation in the past 3 years
No more than 1 refusal in the past 3 years
No more than 1 alcohol-related violation in the past 3 years
Getting a CDL License can be difficult, but is well worth the effort.
Getting a CDL license can be difficult, but is well worth the effort. You'll need to pass a written test and a driving exam, but with the proper training and preparation you can prepare for these tests ahead of time.
Once you have your CDL license and are ready to drive on your own, there are many ways that you can earn money as an independent truck driver. Many people who opt for this career path choose to work in trucking companies where they'll be assigned routes based on their availability. If this sounds like something that would work best for you, there are plenty of opportunities available through various companies across the country. Sometimes, You can even set your own schedule making it even more attractive as a career choice.
Getting a CDL license is not easy, but it can be a rewarding experience. If you have the desire and determination to become a truck driver, then all that is left for you to do is get started!
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