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:
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.
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.
📋 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 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?
“What are CDL age requirements?” many young people wonder as they consider earning a CDL instead of a regular four-year college degree. To obtain a commercial driver’s license, you must be at least 18 years old in every state. To transport merchandise across state lines, however, federal regulations require drivers to be 21 years old.
What are the CDL vision requirements?
The Snellen Test is the most popular method of determining whether or not someone meets the vision standards for CDL drivers. This is a basic doctor’s eye chart or vision chart test that determines if a driver can see as clearly as someone with average vision at the same distance. People with 20/20 vision can detect the same size text from a distance of 20 feet as people with normal vision.
The vision requirements for CDL drivers, on the other hand, go a step farther. Individuals must have 20/40 vision to earn a CDL, which means they can see text from 40 feet away with the same precision as if they were just 20 feet away. If a motorist fails to meet this criterion, they will very certainly need glasses or contact lenses to acquire this Snellen score.
CDL Driver License Requirements Per State
Below is the list of CDL requirements by state 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
- Arkansas CDL Requirements
- California CDL Requirements
- Colorado CDL Requirements
- Florida CDL Requirements
- Georgia CDL Requirements
- Illinois CDL Requirements
- Indiana CDL Requirements
- Kansas CDL Requirements
- Michigan CDL Requirements
- Minnesota CDL Requirements
- Missouri CDL Requirements
- NJ CDL Requirements (New Jersey)
- Ohio CDL Requirements
- PA CDL Requirements (Pennsylvania)
- Texas CDL Requirements
- Utah CDL Requirements
- Virginia CDL Requirements
- Washington State CDL Requirements
- Wisconsin 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.