With many jobs available for truck drivers, bus drivers, and other drivers of large vehicles, getting a Commercial Driver’s License is a smart choice for those who want to make a living behind the wheel. However, getting a CDL can be a complex process that requires careful thought and study to pass the exam. If you’re interested in obtaining a CDL, here are some key tips to keep in mind.
Check the Eligibility Requirements
Since states have different CDL requirements, it’s important to check your state’s requirements. Generally, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old, and in many states 21 if your job will have you driving across state lines.
Choose the Type of Vehicle You Want to Drive
Since there are three different classifications of CDL, you’ll need to know what type of vehicle you want to drive. For example, if you plan on driving a tractor-trailer, you may need one type of CDL. However, if you want to drive a school bus, another level of CDL will probably be needed.
Study Your State’s CDL Manual
If possible, get a copy of your state’s CDL manual as soon as possible and start studying it each day. Since most manuals have practice tests, they are a great source of knowledge for you prior to taking the actual licensing test.
Complete an Accurate Application
To be sure there are no unexpected problems, make sure you complete an accurate application and turn in all required documents to the local DMV office. Once you do this, you can schedule a time to take your written test.
Once you’ve got your written test scheduled, start practicing driving the type of vehicle you will be tested on. However, always remember that you’ll need to have another driver with you who has a valid CDL for the same type of vehicle to supervise you at all times.
Complete All Training and Pass the Driving Test
After you’ve received a CDL learner’s permit, you may need to complete additional classroom training prior to scheduling your driving test. However, once you do, you can schedule your driving test through the DMV. But remember, you’ll have to take the test in the exact vehicle you will be driving on the job.
By keeping these tips in mind, chances are you will have little if any difficulty obtaining your CDL. However, if for any reason you don’t make it the first time, most states allow you to take the test multiple times, so don’t worry if you need some extra prep time.