Getting a commercial driver’s license is not an easy process. There are many steps that need to be taken in order to get your CDL and begin working as a trucker or bus driver, such as passing the written test and skills exam, getting medical records of a physical exam, and acquiring knowledge on how to drive certain types of vehicles. But there is good news: we have created this guide so you can easily follow these steps!
What is a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)?
A commercial driver’s license is given to people who operate large or heavy vehicles. These include buses, trucks over 26,000 pounds, and other types of large machinery. In order for a person to get their CDL, they must have regular licenses behind them as well.
If you want to drive a school bus then you will need several different types of permits including the Passenger Carrying Vehicle permit which allows you to transport passengers in your vehicle if it weighs less than 26,001 pounds. After that comes the School Bus Permit which lets drivers transport students in a full-size bus with more than 16 seats (including the driver).
Prepare for test
The first step to getting a commercial driver’s license is taking the written test. You can prepare for this by studying the state CDL manual, available in many places online or at your local DMV office.
There are also practice tests you can take which will help you get ready for what kinds of questions might appear on the real exam. It may seem like a lot of work, but it is absolutely necessary – too many people have lost their jobs because they failed their skills exam and could not continue working until they passed. You can find more information about these exams here, and you must take them seriously. Once you pass both exams (written and driving test), then you will receive the temporary paper license that lets you drive while waiting for your permanent card, this document should always be carried with you.
The next step is getting a physical exam from your doctor, who will give you some paperwork to fill out. This one may seem strange, but it’s legally required for all commercial drivers and must be submitted before the state can issue a permanent driver’s license with an endorsement on it. The health records document proves that after going through the medical tests at their office, you have been deemed fit to safely operate large vehicles by a trained professional.
Why do you need a CDL if you’re not driving commercially or for work purposes?
There are many reasons you might need to get your CDL even if you never plan on driving large vehicles. Many people use this license as a way of showing employers that they have the skills necessary for professional trucking or bus driving, which can be very lucrative.
There is also no age limit in most states so children who wish to start learning how to drive may apply with their parent’s permission and guidance – getting your commercial driver’s license when you’re young will help set up a long career later on! It doesn’t matter what kind of vehicle you want to operate either; anyone over 18 years old who has passed all tests can learn where roads begin and end by earning their CDL.
How much does it cost to get your commercial driver’s license (CDL)?
The cost of getting your commercial driver’s license can vary depending on where you live. In some states, it costs around $50 to take the written test and another fee paid directly to them for each driving skill exam that is required in order to get a CDL. There are also criminal background checks, drug tests, fees for paperwork processing, or physical exams by doctors – all things which will raise the price of obtaining your CDL.
The good news is that if you have already passed these exams once before (for example, when applying for regular licenses), then there shouldn’t be any new charges since they do not need to be repeated. This saves people time and money.
Do I qualify for a CDL permit?
The main requirement to get a CDL permit is being at least 18 years old and holding a regular driver’s license. This way, you have already shown that you can safely operate smaller vehicles so this next step of learning how to drive larger ones should be easier than expected. However, there are other requirements that vary by the state such as having experience driving commercial trucks or buses in order to show your skills on paper – this often means working with one for many months before applying for a CDL.
Getting your CDL is a process, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Take some time to prepare for the test so you’ll do well on day one and get your permit in no time at all. These tips will be helpful to any new drivers interested in becoming commercial truckers.