3 Important Steps to Take for Getting Your CDL

There are hundreds of different driving-based career options out there— and some can even be particularly lucrative.

In order to drive a commercial vehicle (such as a semi-truck) without infringing upon the law, you’ll need to first obtain your commercial driver’s license (CDL). But, not everyone knows as much as they should about doing so.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.

1. Decide What Vehicle You Want to Drive

Although getting a commercial driver’s license will allow you to drive many different types of vehicles, 
there are some that require additional certification. For example, any vehicle that uses air brakes requires certified drivers to pass a separate exam.

The same can be said for a vehicle that carries hazardous materials, transports passengers, etc. Otherwise, you won’t be legally allowed to operate vehicles of this type.

It’s important to note that you’re often required to pass multiple exams in order to drive for many companies. So, be sure that you obtain all of the necessary certifications to avoid running into complications in the future.

If the vehicle you intend to drive is covered under a CDL, though, then you’re set to move forward. 

2. Study The Required Materials

Before you’re able to obtain your license, you’ll need to pass an exam that’s administered by your state. Fortunately, there are manuals that you can use in order to thoroughly study all of the appropriate material.

The manual will also help ensure that you meet all of the necessary requirements in order to operate the vehicle. These typically include:

  • Being at least 18 years old (21 in some scenarios)
  • Having state citizenship
  • Being able to pass relevant background checks
  • Proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking English

Your state’s manual is one of the most valuable resources that you can take advantage of. So, be sure to make full use of it while preparing for your exam.

3. Take and Pass Your Exam

After you’ve sufficiently prepared for your exams, it’s time to take and pass each one that you need to.

As previously mentioned, you may end up taking multiple exams in order to secure a position at a particular company. This also means that you need to pass all of them in order to be able to legally work in these scenarios.

For example, someone who intends to drive a truck that carries multiple trailers will need to pass both their General Knowledge exam and tests focused on properly driving with and handling trailers.

You can check out this resource to access an ultimate guide on everything you need to know about semi-trailers.

Afterward, you’ll be ready to hit the road.

Obtaining Your CDL Can Seem Like a Difficult Process

But it doesn’t have to.

With the above information about how to efficiently get your CDL in mind, you’ll be well on your way toward ensuring that everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Want to learn more tips that can help you out in the future? Be sure to check out the rest of our blog

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