Getting a CDL can change your life for the better. Are you ready to make that change?
The trucking industry is booming. Drivers have an easier time finding loads and making money than in previous years. And now you can get paid while you learn!
You’ll need a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) to drive certain commercial vehicles, like tractor-trailers or 18-wheelers. But don’t worry, we’ll help you every step of the way with this complete guide.
Read on to learn all about the CDL application process.
What Is a CDL Application?
First, let’s start with the basics. What is a CDL application, and what types of vehicles require one?
A CDL is a commercial driver’s license application. It allows you to drive certain types of commercial vehicles. To get a CDL, you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license in your state.
You’ll need a CDL to drive any of the following vehicles:
- Heavy trucks
- Combination vehicles
- Refrigerated trailers
The specific vehicles you can drive will depend on the type of CDL you get. Sites like Cdlknowledge.com, can help break down the different licenses and their exact application.
Classes of CDLs
There are3 classes of CDLs: A, B, and C. The class you need depends on the type of vehicle you want to drive.
Class A is the most common type of CDL. Examples of Class A vehicles include tractor-trailers, tank trucks, and flatbed trucks. You need a Class B license to drive certain types of box trucks, dump trucks, and tow trucks.
You need a Class C license to drive any single vehicle or combination of vehicles that don’t meet Class A or B criteria. This includes vehicles that are designed to carry 16 or more passengers (including the driver) or Hazardous Materials. A Class C could also help you drive buses.
Now that you know what class of CDL you need, let’s move on to the application process.
Applying for a CDL
Before you can apply for a CDL, you’ll need to gather some documents. You’ll need to bring your current driver’s license and proof of residency and citizenship. Depending on your state’s requirements, you may also need to bring your Social Security card or passport.
Is There a Drug Test?
Do you have to pass a drug test to get your CDL? The answer to this question depends on your state. In some states, you may need to take a drug test when you apply for your CDL.
Check with your state’s DMV to find out their requirements. Once you know the drug testing requirements for your home state, it’s time to move on to taking the written exam.
Take the Written Exam
After you’ve gathered all of the required documents, you’ll need to take the written exam. This exam will test your knowledge of the rules of the road and safe driving practices. You can use these study tips to boost your chances of passing the first try.
The format of the exam will vary by state, but it is typically a multiple-choice test. If you don’t pass on your first try, don’t worry; you can usually retake it.
What to Expect for the CDL Test
After you’ve passed the written exam, you’ll need to take the CDL test for skills. This will test your ability to operate a commercial vehicle safely and correctly.
Here are some of the skills on the test:
- Backing up a truck
- Making a turn at a stoplight
- Parking a truck in a designated spot
- Driving in different types of weather conditions
- Trailer coupling and uncoupling
- Changing a tire
To prepare for the skills test, you may want to take a CDL training course. These courses will teach you the skills you need to know to pass the test.
Submit Your Application
Once you’ve passed the written and skills tests, you’re one step closer to getting your CDL! The next step is to go to your local DMV office and submit an application.
You’ll also need to pay a fee and have your photo taken. After your application has been processed, you’ll be able to pick up your CDL.
In order to keep your CDL, you’ll need to renew it periodically. The renewal process will vary by state, so be sure to check with your DMV for more information.
CDL Renewal Tips
You have to keep your CDL in good standing. CDL renewal is a process that needs to be done every few years. Although it may seem like a daunting task, it’s actually fairly straightforward if you know what to expect.
You can save yourself time (and money) by following the top tips and guidelines for CDL renewal. To learn the guidelines, check your state requirements for CDL renewal.
Ensure you have the required documents, such as your driver’s license and proof of residency, then take the written and skills tests. Pay the renewal fee and take your photo before picking up your new CDL card! Remember, the renewal process will vary by state, so check with your DMV for more information.
Life After Getting a CDL
Got your CDL? Now it’s time to find a job!
Once you have your CDL, it’s time to start looking for a job. There are many different types of jobs that you can apply for, depending on your interests and experience. You may want to drive a truck cross-country, or you may prefer to stay local.
Understanding How to Become a Commercial Driver
So, what are you waiting for? Start the CDL application process today and get yourself one step closer to a better life! To ensure that you’re fully prepared, it may be helpful to take an online CDL training course.
Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to a successful career in the transportation industry. If you’re still unsure about anything, reach out to a CDL school near you, they’ll be happy to answer your questions. We also have more answers; just look around this site!