Getting Your Commercial Driver’s License: What to Expect

So, you want to be a truck driver. The open road calls you and you think that the idea of having a career that involves traveling is intriguing to you. Plus, you think it would be pretty neat to be behind the wheel of a big rig.

Before you can realize your dream of towing large loads of freight behind a rig, you have to receive the proper licensing and certifications. A commercial driver's license (CDL) is the type of license you will need in order to operate a commercial vehicle. Here's a look at what is involved with getting a CDL license so that you can start your career as a truck driver.

Proof of Identification and Residency

In order to apply for a CDL, you need to provide the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) with the proper documents that prove your identification and your residency.

Documents that the DMV will accept include your social security card, your state issued driver's license, a birth certificate and a DMV-issued identification card.

Medical Testing

In order to receive a CDL license, you will have to successfully pass a medical exam. This exam will test your vision, your hearing, assess your mental health, determine whether or not you have a drug or alcohol dependency, and whether or not you have a pre-existing condition that could impact your ability to safely operate a big rig, such as epilepsy or hypertension.

If you are unable to successfully pass this medical exam, you will not be permitted to proceed with taking the CDL written and driving test, or receive a CDL license. This medical exam has to be taken and passed every two years after you receive your CDL license.

Driver's Educations Requirements

An appropriate driver's education class must be taken and successfully passed in order to proceed with applying for your CDL license. This class will provide you with the knowledge that you will need in order to successfully and safely operate a freight truck. Upon successful completion of the course, you will receive documentation that verifies you took the class and passed it.

CDL Written and Road Tests

Once you have taken and passed the coursework and you have passed the medical exam, you will be able to proceed with taking the written and road tests. The written test will ask a serious of questions related to driving a freight truck. Questions pertain to how to safely operate the truck, what to do in an emergency and the like.

The road test will involve driving a big rig in the presence of a DMV certified instructor. During the test, your driving skills will be assessed to determine how you operate the vehicle and whether or not you capable of being a truck driver.

Understanding what you will need to do in order to receive your CDL license will allow you to make the proper preparations so you can begin your career as a truck driver. Learn more by consulting with experts such as the Center For Transportation Safety.