CDL Requirements for earning your Class A Commercial Driver's License

 CDL Requirements

A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL License) allows holders to operate some of the largest trucks on the road. It makes sense, then, that there are requirements in place to ensure the safety of all drivers on the nation’s highways.

Before the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) stepped in, anyone with a license could legally operate heavy machinery, such as tractor-trailers and busses. The Commercial Motor Vehicle Act of 1986 made it necessary to hold a specific class of CDL depending on the weight of the vehicle. 

Just as there are regulations for the road, there are also regulations for CDL truck drivers that ensure safety for everyone on America's highways. 

Standard Rules for Getting Your CDL

  • Stay healthy: Driving long distances requires focus and good health.  The trucking lifestyle can be demanding, and it’s important that you’re in shape enough to meet the responsibilities of the role. Physical examinations are mandatory for most CDL seekers. 
  • Don’t do drugs: Beyond the obvious negative impacts that drugs have on your life, obtaining a CDL requires the successful completion of a five-stage drug test. Random drug tests are possible for all drivers so long as they hold their CDL. Consider the safety of yourself and others on the road. Many carriers are transitioning to hair follicle test that look back up to 90 days for drug usage.
  • Keep a clean driving record: Schools and carriers alike look for drivers who have proven to be skilled and safe on the road. Unsafe or unlawful acts and violations can prevent you from obtaining a CDL. To learn more about what disqualifies a driver, view the FMCSA’s website here.
  • Be of age: Drivers must be at least 18 years of age to be employed intrastate (within your own state) and at least 21 to drive interstate (across state lines). 
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State Requirements

Specific CDL requirements may vary from state to state. Things like forms of identity, proof of residence, and physical examinations are likely to differ between each state as well as the amount of documentation you'll be required to bring. 

To make sure that you are up-to-date and well prepared, click below to learn specific details of your testing location's state regulations.

Improve Your Chances for Success

The Professional Truck Driving Industry has its own set of standards, and it’s important that those looking to enter the Industry keep a positive, healthy lifestyle. By being aware of what’s expected of you and abiding by the rules set in place to protect lives, you can improve your chances of success as a Class A CDL Professional Truck Driver!

Have questions? Contact a friendly Roadmaster representative through our Live Chat service on the right or fill out the introductory form below. 

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