How to get your Class A Drivers Commercial Drivers License
How do I get my Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)?
States are able to issue you a CDL driver’s license only after a successful written and driving test has been completed at a state or approved testing facility. In order to get a Class A CDL, you need to have a minimum of 160 hours of combined classroom and behind-the-wheel training driving a truck.
- The test itself can be extremely difficult to pass without the proper training.
- Many carriers won’t hire a candidate without at least 160 hours of proper training, even if you’ve passed the CDL exam.
Tips for getting and maintaining your Class A 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: Obtaining a CDL requires the successful completion of a five-stage drug test at the school level. Random drug tests are possible for all drivers so long as they hold their CDL. Many carriers are transitioning to hair follicle testing that looks back up to 90 days for drug usage. Testing positive for drug usage at any point will result in a driver losing their CDL and being unable to work in the industry.
- Keep a clean driving record: CDL training schools and trucking carriers look for drivers who have proven to be skilled and safe on the road. Speeding tickets, DUIs, and other traffic violations are important factors when getting a CDL but don’t automatically mean you’re disqualified.
- 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).
- Sign up for training at an approved training school: Best in industry schools like Roadmaster are a great way to get your foot in the door. Virtually all carriers recognize the value of a Roadmaster-trained driver.
Commercial Drivers License Requirements
- Identification – You will be asked to provide proof that you are either U.S. citizen or else have a lawful presence. Your identification must have your full name on it (including first, middle, and last) and must state your age. Drivers ages 18-20 are only permitted to drive intrastate (within the same state) while drivers 21 and older are permitted to drive interstate (between states).
- Proof of State Residency – In order to get your Class A CDL, you’ll need to show proof of where you live. The CDL exam is a state-level exam and licenses are also issued through the state.
- Evidence of an SSN – You will be asked to provide proof of a Social Security number by presenting official documents stating it. All SSN documents must be originals and copies will not be accepted.
- Passed CDL Exam – This is the last stage before earning your CDL exam! It’s very important that you come prepared to answer trucking questions and demonstrate driving skills in a truck on the road.