Obtaining your commercial driver's license (CDL) requires training from a CDL program – many of which are offered at local community colleges, technical schools and other specialized training facilities. Most programs offer separate training for local commercial driving and long-haul commercial driving.
To participate in a commercial driving class, you must be 18 years of age or older and have a driver's license in the state where you are planning to train. Those who wish to participate in long-haul commercial driving training must be at least 21 years of age. Both programs require that you submit your previous 3-5 years' driving records, pass a drug test, and complete a physical exam and background check.
During CDL training, you will complete both classroom learning and hands-on driving exercises that will cover a variety of subjects related to the industry, including: state and federal laws, trip preparation, materials and cargo, open road driving, safety and first aid and more. Many programs also offer specialized training in very specific areas such as air brakes, tankers, transporting hazardous materials and hauling double or triple trailers. Drivers who complete these additional areas of training may qualify for endorsements, enabling them to apply for specialized jobs within the industry.
Each state has its own set of requirements for commercial drivers, so the training you receive in your state will be specific to what you need to drive there. Cost for training programs varies by state as well, but in general you can expect to pay between $3000 and $7000 to complete the course. That's a significant investment, so be sure you get the best training for your money and seek out a state-accredited school.
it's also wise to protect your investment by making sure you have experienced legal help available to you 24/7 once you become a licensed commercial driver. You can have peace of mind knowing you are protected with Interstate Trucker.
How long does CDL school last?
CDL school durations can vary based on the program and specific license type being pursued. On average, most full-time CDL training programs span between three to eight weeks, integrating classroom lessons with hands-on behind-the-wheel training. Part-time or weekend courses might extend over several months, depending on the school's curriculum and the student's pace.
Can you take the CDL test again if you fail?
Yes, if you fail the CDL test, you are generally allowed to retake it. However, there might be a mandatory waiting period before you can attempt the test again, and the number of retakes allowed can be limited. The exact regulations and waiting periods vary by state, so it's essential to check with the local DMV or licensing agency.