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CDL Requirements

Updated on May 18, 2013

Commercial Drivers License Requirements

This lens deals with the requirements for getting a commercial drivers license. For more generic information about cdl training, be sure to check out my CDL Training lens here:

CDL Requirements Video

This video explains the 6 main CDL Training requirements.

Visiting New Places with CDL Requirements

Commercial Driver’s License or CDL can take you to places you have never visited before and provide a decent lifestyle for you and your family. If you are at least 18 years old and have a driver’s license, you can file an application to become a commercial driver and reap the benefits that go with it. The CDL requirements include a written exam, a road exam, a medical exam and a drug test.

The written exam is about general knowledge and basic driving aptitude test. To be able to pass this exam, you must be able to know the road signs, how to use air brakes, and how to read road maps. You can successfully pass this written test if you have finished a commercial driver training course.

This course is your key to passing the written and road exam. The road exam is about inspecting the vehicle to insure it is in running condition before the voyage. The road exam is conducted on the road where there is real traffic.

You have to be sure you have the right skills before taking the road exam. The test dwells on your moving ahead skills, turning skills and moving back skills. You need to show your examiner that you can safely maneuver the ascending as well as the descending roads.

Your examiner has to see to it that you know how to deal with intersections, lane changing, and railway junctions. Truck drivers have many responsibilities and you need to prove your examiner that you are capable of handling a big rig safely. Aside from these skills, you have to show your examiner that you can park effectively.

The final requirement is a routinely medical exam and the compulsory drug test. If you are physically and mentally capable and are free from any drug traces, you are a fit to acquire a CDL.

Starting a Successful Driving Career

You may be wondering on how to obtain a CDL or a Commercial Driver’s License. You are interested in knowing about the CDL requirements to start a successful driving career. The basic requirement for a CDL is your residency in the state and your driver’s license.

This means that to be able to apply for a CDL, you must be first a certified driver. You can never get a CDL right away. Being a certified driver, you must also prove that you have a clean driving record.

The age requirement for a CDL is 18 years old. You are allowed to drive around your state. As you reach 21, you are eligible to drive out of your state.

Most of the States require you to pass 2 exams, a written examination and a skills test. The written examination is a test on your know how on general driving topics. The skills test is commonly referred to as the road exam.

To pass this exam, you have to be able to successfully maneuver a truck on busy streets. You are tested on how competent you are on the road. You have to show your examiner that you are capable of driving safely and can hold the many responsibilities that go with it.

One of the things you need to learn is how to inspect your truck before driving it. You must be a dedicated driver who can drive under various conditions like changing weather, rough roads, descending and ascending roads, and railroad crossings. You are tested on your parking, turning, and backing up skills.

Once you are able to pass all of these rigorous tests, you have to submit yourself to a medical exam. This final and conclusive exam includes the essential drug test. The completion of all of these requirements makes you eligible for a CDL.

CDL Endorsement Limitations

Removing CDL Endorsement Limitations for a Higher Salary

You may be pleased to know that your existing gainful CDL can be more profitable if you can get hold of the different endorsements that you can further obtain. CDL in itself is rewarding, and having an upgraded one can add more earnings to your existing salary.

Having an H endorsement in your CDL entitles you to carry little amounts of hazardous materials. The N endorsement is the tank vehicle endorsement providing you with the option on driving a vehicle with bulky containers with liquid content of around 1000 gallons. The X endorsement is applicable to tankers that carry hazardous materials. If you need this endorsement, H and N are prerequisites.

The M endorsement is valid for your motorcycle use. The T endorsement is suitable for your truck that is capable of hauling two or three trailers. The P or passenger endorsement is appropriate whenever you are driving a truck that is carrying 16 passengers.

The P1 endorsement is created for the vehicles with load capacity of less than 26001lbs. The P2 endorsement is designed for trucks carrying a load of more than 26001lbs.The S or School Bus endorsement is used by drivers who are assigned to transport the pupils from pre-primary level to secondary level.

There are CDL endorsement limitations shown on your license also. A K indicates that you can not leave your state because you are below 21 and you do not possess a medical certificate. You can apply for the removal of these limitations as you reach 21 and after submitting yourself to a medical examination.

An L indicator on your CDL shows a restriction against vehicles with air brakes. If you want this removed from your license, you must pass a written test and a CDL skills test. Passing all these tests, you become licensed to drive more vehicles and earn more.

CDL Medical Limitations

For you to have a successful commercial truck driving career, you must have a CDL or a Commercial Driver’s License. Professional truck drivers are well traveled employees who could provide their families with a decent lifestyle. In order for you to jumpstart your truck driving career, you have to acquire you license by passing the written and on-the-road exams and complete the CDL Medical Requirements.

You can handily pass the written exam if you have taken a commercial training program course. The first phase or the classroom phase of the course deals with reading road maps and road signs. This phase prepares you for the written test.

Other topics taken during the classroom phase is the use of air brakes, transporting hazardous products, and keeping your logbook. The on the road exam is a practical exam that tests your driving skills on the road. You have to prove your examiner that you know how to inspect a vehicle and determine if it is in good running condition before takeoff.

One of the skills you need to present is your ability to maneuver ascending as well as descending roads, intersections, and railroad crossings. After efficiently presenting your driving efficiency, your final requirement is a routinely medical exam and a mandatory drug test. Medical exams are the last factor you need to make a confirmation about your capacity to drive.

To be able to drive with efficacy, you have to be physically and mentally fit. You must not have any health condition that can hamper your driving tasks. The mandatory drug test is your solid proof that you can be held responsible for the lives of the people you are transporting.

The CDL is your ticket to a successful commercial truck driving career. Completing all the requirements is all you need to ensure your family of a bright future.

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