How to Get Your CDL in 5 Steps
A commercial driver's license (CDL) is a type of driver's license that allows an individual to operate a commercial vehicle. In order to obtain a CDL, you must complete a number of steps, including passing both a written and skills test. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to get your CDL.
Step 1: Determine if You Meet the Eligibility Requirements
The first step to getting your CDL is to make sure you meet the eligibility requirements. In order to obtain a CDL, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old (21 years old if you want to drive interstate)
- Have a valid driver's license
- Have a clean driving record
- Pass a DOT physical exam
- Pass a TSA background check (if you want to transport hazardous materials)
If you meet all of the above requirements, you can move on to Step 2.
Step 2: Get the Proper Training
The second step is to get the proper training. Depending on what type of CDL you need, the training process will vary. For instance, if you need a Class A CDL, which is necessary to operate vehicles such as tractor-trailers, tank trucks, and flatbed trucks, you will need more training than someone who needs a Class C CDL, which is only necessary for operating smaller vehicles such as vans and cars. Once you have determined what class of CDL you need, you can begin training with a local trucking company or truck driving school.
Most truck driving schools will offer both classroom instruction and behind-the-wheel training. Once you have completed your training, you will be ready to take the written and skills test required to obtain your CDL.
Step 3: Pass the Written Test
The third step is to pass the written test. The written test is comprised of multiple-choice questions that cover topics such as road signs, traffic laws, and weight limits. You can usually take the written test at your local DMV office. In order to pass, you must answer at least 80 percent of the questions correctly.
Once you have passed the written test, you will be issued a permit that allows you to practice driving with a licensed driver before taking the skills test.
It is important to note that some states also require applicants to take a vision test before being issued a permit.
Step 4: Get your Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) Certificate
If you are applying to obtain a Class A or B Commercial Driver's License (CDL) for the first time, you must take and pass the Class A or B Theory Course.
ELDT Theory Course MUST be completed before the first week of CDL Training at your Truck Driving School.
ELDT Theory Course can be found at: https://online.cdleldtprep.com/register
Verify that the course you are taking is FMSCA-APPROVED. Watch below to know how.
Once you completed the ELDT Theory Course a Certification will be issued, you must present the certificate to Florida CDL
Step 5: Pass the Skills Test
The fourth step is to pass the skills test, which consists of two parts—the vehicle inspection test and the road test. For the vehicle inspection test, you will be asked to identify various parts of the vehicle and explain how they work. For the road test, you will be asked to demonstrate your ability to safely operate the vehicle by completing various maneuvers such as backing up, turning corners, parallel parking, etc. Once you have passed both parts of the skills test, you will be issued your CDL!
Getting your CDL doesn't have to be difficult—just follow these five simple steps and you'll be on your way in no time!