All About The Commercial Drivers License IV

by Joshua on November 25, 2013

Getting a Commercial Driver’s License or CDL as it is most commonly known as can be a beneficial start to securing a job in truck driving, long hauling or passenger transport system— all of which can be fruitful careers for any person who enjoys travel and great pay. To obtain your CDL you must pass a series of test both knowledge and skills test, pass a vision test as well as bring in a variety of documents for confirmation. Each state has its own detailed qualifications that you must meet relative to your individual states standard.

In general, you must be 18 years of age to apply for a CDL and in some states you may not be eligible for all of the endorsements until the age of 21.

General Applicant Requirements for the CDL

In most states, to apply for and be granted your CDL; generally the same standardized requirements must be met. This is to ensure when travelling for your job that you aware of the regulations and rules for each state you enter and that you are always driving legally. Applicants are usually required to come into their local testing office to begin the application process but there may be forms for your state that you can print and fill out ahead of time to cut down on wait times. Call ahead to your area facility and make sure you have all the required documents, forms and requirements before you head in for your testing day, this can help cut down waiting time and the total time you will spend there.

Some of the documents you may need to bring to be verified on testing day consist of proof of residency, proof of citizenship, social security cards, valid and current insurance and registration for any vehicle you will operate or any vehicle you own. In some states you can be disqualified from obtaining a CDL if you have certain moving violations on your driving record or if you have any outstanding violations. Certain convictions of other crimes may permanently or temporarily disqualify you from getting a CDL If you have a suspended CDL in one state you may not apply for another in most states.

The Testing Phase of Acquiring a CDL

After you have turned in all your required documents the next step is to complete the General Knowledge Test and the skill tests for each endorsement you need for your vehicle class type. Next, is the road skills test and finally, you will be issued an official CDL for your state.

Planning and preparation for the testing stages of the acquiring your CDL are very important. The tests cover a wide range of subject matter from the CDL manual. No two tests are alike and the questions are randomized. This makes it especially hard to know which subject matter you really to focus on. Each subject is equally important to know and apply to your CDL career but there are some things more important than others that will be featured most on the test. You can spend days reading the manual from cover to cover only to find that you haven’s been able to absorb it all.

You can find free tests online to test your knowledge but they only go to a certain depth of the test and do not present you with the broad range or combinations of tests that will actually be featured when testing for your CDL. is a wonderful site full of useful tools you can utilize to ensure that you are really getting everything you can out of your study and practice methods. You can use their practice tests and cheat sheets as well as answer guides on any type of license you need to study for in any state. You will get the added confidence of being able to test yourself over and over on your study material with an assortment of test question combinations so what you get the same broad testing effect as the real test. You can see the incorrect and correct answer right away— eliminating extra study efforts in the areas you’ve mastered and helping you concentrate your studies to the areas that need more work. Passing your CDL requires a correct answer rate of 80% or more.

Passing Your CDL Test

When you finally pass your test you will be asked to present the testing office with a commercial vehicle of the class type in which you will use your license. This vehicle must be current on registration and insurance and will be used in your road skills test. In some areas you may have to schedule the road skills test ahead of time so they can provide accommodation you or find a facility that can. The road skills test takes part with you and a certified examiner driving around the local area while they grade you in different areas of hands on technique and knowledge such as inspection of your vehicle and cargo, proper procedures for operating and inspecting air brakes and many other areas.

After your road skills test is graded for a pass you will finish up by having a temporary CDL license issued to you. This will be valid until the official one makes its appearance in the mail some weeks later. Before you leave the testing or issuing office make sure all your information is recorded correctly on the temporary license— if not this can cause you to wait weeks for a correct replacement and not be able to use the CDL for work until it’s correct.

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