Getting A Cdl In The United States, These Details You Can't Miss

Getting A Cdl In The United States, These Details You Can't Miss

Earning your CDL is an important process if you plan to hit the streets in a commercial motorized vehicle (CMV). It all starts with knowing about the rules and requirements set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Each state has their own application process, fees, and forms, but they all adhere to the federal requirements of the FMCSA. Learn about the different requirements so you can be well on your way towards a career in truck driving.

Federal CDL Application Requirements

To be able to apply for a CDL, you must first obtain a CLP. The CLP must be held for a minimum of 14 days (minimum days differ from state to state). A road skills test must be passed beforehand, as well as any additional knowledge or skills exams for endorsements.

Physical and Medical Requirements

To be able to drive a commercial motor vehicle, a truck driver must have the physical capabilities of doing so, alongside the various non-driving job duties. Being a trucker means unloading and loading freight as well as driving long hours. This can cause sleep deprivation, high stress levels, relationship challenges, and physical wear and tear. With that being said, making sure you are physically and medically sound for the position is important.

Physical and medical requirements will be examined by an approved Medical Examiner, listed on the FMCSA National Registry.

Written and Knowledge Exams

There are a few different written exams to pass when working towards a CLP or CDL. The first is the general knowledge test, followed by an air brakes test, and one or more CDL endorsement tests. To help you prepare for these tests, we have put together a number of free practice exams:

Road Skills Test

A road skills exam is required to demonstrate knowledge and skills in regards to pre-trip inspections, basic vehicle control, and on-road driving. Knowing the vehicle is safe to drive, full control of the vehicle, and safe driving habits will be assessed. The road skills test can be taken after a CLP is earned.

The road skills test must be taken in the type of commercial vehicle to be licensed in. This means bringing a Class A, Class B, or Class C commercial vehicle.

CDL Requirements by State

In addition to the requirements outlined by your employer when trying to find top CDL drivers, you should also be aware of your state requirements. For specific CDL requirements for your state, refer to your state’s official 2024 CDL manual:

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