How Do You Get a Commercial Driver’s License?

If you intend to drive for a living, a commercial driver’s license is often a necessity. If you lose your license, you could also lose your livelihood, which is why CDL driver protection plans may be a good idea. However, before you can protect your CDL, you have to have one in the first place.

Because a CDL is such a big responsibility, there are several steps you need to take to obtain one.

Commercial Driver's License

1. Determine the Class of CDL

Different types of vehicles require different classes of CDL. For example, there are different classes for tractor trailers, tank trucks, and school buses. The kind of driving you want to do and the type of vehicle you want to operate determines the CDL you need to get, so give some thought to this before attempting to get the license.

2. Get the CDL Manual

The CDL manual explains all the rules that commercial drivers must abide by. This resource is what you need to pass your knowledge tests to get the commercial license permit so you can start practicing on real trucks. Be sure you get the relevant CDL manual because it is different in every state.

3. Enroll in Training

An accredited training program provides both theoretical instruction and practical driving experience to qualify you to get your CDL. Some programs require you to have your commercial learner’s permit first, so be sure to check this before enrolling. In certain programs, obtaining the CLP is part of the curriculum, so you may not always have to have it going in. In either case, you should find out before you enroll to avoid confusion.

4. Obtain Medical Qualification

Driving a large commercial vehicle is physically demanding. You need to be able to demonstrate that you meet the necessary medical qualifications. The requirements for this vary by state.

The process of obtaining a CDL can take a while. You have to be patient.