Need A Complete List Of All The CDL Requirements? Check Out This List!

CDL Requirements

Getting a commercial driver’s license includes several steps. Aside from the well-known knowledge and skills requirements, candidates also need to comply with the medical requirements and residency requirements in order to get a CDL successfully.

To help you become familiar with the CDL license requirements and the steps to obtain them, we’ve created a general walkthrough guide that you can use as your reference:

Step 1: Obtain a copy of your state’s Commercial Driver’s Licensing (CDL) Manual. The manual is available in field locations and can also be downloaded and printed. Take note that each state has its own processes to getting the CDL.

Step 2: Decide which type of vehicle and what kind of driving you prefer to get the license for. There are three CDL classes with endorsements for specialized qualifications for vehicles like tank trucks, school buses tractor-trailers, etc.

Note: As we all know, each type of CDL and endorsement requires candidates to pass a skills test and a written test. It is necessary to make sure that you pass all the requisite tests. Any failing marks may result in the risks of having restrictions on your license.

Minimum Requirements to Apply for a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

Once you have made up your mind and ready to make a decision, here are the general steps and guidelines to successfully get your CDL:

  • Be at least 18 or 21 years old (driving interstate).
  • Present your state’s CDL application form and fee.
  • Verify your identity and undergo Social Security Number verification.
  • Declare proof of residency.
  • Provide a Medical Examiner’s Certificate Form and a completed Medical Examination Report Form.
  • Secure vision test.
  • Acquire a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) by accomplishing the CDL Knowledge Test.
  • Schedule your Skills Test after 14 days.
  • Accomplish the pre-trip inspection.
  • Accomplish the road skills and CDL driving test using your own vehicle.
  • Pay the required CDL fees.

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CDL Medical and Physical Requirements

The physical requirements of the trucker’s job depend on the driving type. Moreover, regardless of the type, a driver must be physically capable of running a commercial motor vehicle and to perform the different types of non-driving trucking responsibilities. 

The duties of a commercial vehicle driver may involve handling long periods of driving, potential family and/or social challenges, job-related stress, and irregular sleep schedules. Additionally, a trucker’s job may also include the following:

  • Heavy lifting in the loading and unloading process.
  • Getting in and out of the truck numerous times a day.
  • Occasional installation of tire chains
  • Other possible physical activities.

In order to secure your physical and medical requirements, you must have a valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate or a DOT card. You should also need to present a photographic copy of your authentic Certificate to receive a CDL. This is a federally mandated certificate given by the U.S Department of Transportation that serves as the basis that you were able to meet all medical and physical standards for operating a commercial vehicle and the original copy must be in your possession whenever you are driving.

CDL Requirements Per State

Below is the list of states and their corresponding manuals containing all the information that you need regarding the requirements that you need to meet to get your CDL:

Alabama CDL Requirements
Arizona CDL Requirements
California CDL Requirements
Colorado CDL Requirements
Florida CDL Requirements
Georgia CDL Requirements
Illinois CDL Requirements
Indiana CDL Requirements
Michigan CDL Requirements
Ohio CDL Requirements
Texas CDL Requirements

Each state may cover the following requirements:
  • You need to have 20/40 acuity (Snellen) in each eye with or without correction. At least 70 degrees peripheral in horizontal meridian measured in each of the eyes. Eyeglasses or contact lenses are acceptable, but the use of corrective lenses should be remarked on the Medical Examiner’s Certificate.
  • You cannot be a diabetic who needs insulin via needle injection. However, take note that some drivers may be exempted.
  • You must first understand forced whispered voice greater than 5 ft. with or without hearing aid.
  • Drivers should not have any current clinical diagnosis of high blood pressure that will likely interfere with their ability to operate a commercial motor vehicle safely.
  • Other medical conditions like sleep apnoea may also be a disqualification.

Note: The conditions above may also apply to Class A CDL requirements and Class B CDL requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the specifics of driving a truck?

Driving a truck requires professional knowledge and skills. If you are planning to drive one for your next job, you should consider the following:

  • Safe Driving Rules
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Driving Tank Vehicles
  • Inspecting Tank Vehicles
  • Hazardous Materials—Driving and Parking Rules
  • Communication Rules

What is a medical truck?

As the name suggests, a medical truck is a transportation vehicle intended for medical purposes and also provides medical assistance during emergencies and patient care.

In what US state is it easy to get a driver’s license?

There’s no specific state that one can get a driver’s license easily. Since most states require applicants to follow a process, it can be a pretty long procedure.

What is the quickest way to get a CDL driver’s license?

The quickest and most reliable way to get a CDL is to follow the process set by your state. There are no shortcuts when getting a CDL, you have to strictly follow the guidelines if you want to save time and successfully get one.

What is the required age for a truck driver?

In most cases, you need to be at least 21 years old in order to become eligible for employment as a truck driver.

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