All About The Commercial Drivers License III

by Joshua on November 18, 2013

Commercial Drivers License or a CDL as it is most commonly referred to— is required for anyone who wants to operate a commercial class vehicle or a motorcycle/moped. Those that qualify and earn a CDL can operate any type of commercial class vehicle in the class for which their license was issued. An exception applies to those who got a CDL to drive a motorcycle type vehicle. Many types of day to day jobs require a CDL to operate the type of vehicle you need to perform your daily tasks. Truck driving and long haul driving are very lucrative careers to enter but also require that you have a CDL and various endorsements depending on the type of vehicle you will operate.

General Requirements and Qualifications for CDL

Each state has its own set of requirements and qualifications an applicant must meet before the can test or obtain their CDL. Call ahead to your local testing office and find out what the requirements for your state in order that you are prepared come testing day.
Generally, you must be over the age 18 and must apply in person at your local office. To start you must bring in some documents for verification. These documents may include but are not limited to proof of residency, proof of identification, proof of social security number as well as current vehicle registration and insurance. In some states you must also complete a self certification of medical status and a complete a supplement CDL application. The most common accepted documents are certified copies of your birth certificate, a non laminated social security card and a medical insurance card.

Every state also requires that you pass the CDL General Knowledge Test as well as a roads skills test. Depending on the type of vehicle you want to operate there are different endorsements you may have to test for.

Testing For Your Commercial Drivers License

When you reach the testing phase of applying for your CDL there are a few different things you must pass. A vision test is required in all states just like if you were applying for any other license. Some states require you always pass a medical screening before going any further in the application or bring proof from a health care provider. The next step is taking the General Knowledge Test. The purpose of the General Knowledge Test for the CDL is to ensure you are knowledgeable and prepared to use the skills required for your job type and endorsement type.

The test will cover content from all areas of the CDL manual in your state, so be sure you have studied as much as you can before you test date and used all the resources you can to learn the information before you test. Retaking the knowledge test over and over is costly and time consuming so this part of test preparation is imperative to spend time on! offers a host of testing preparation including practice tests in numerous combinations to imitate the real CDL knowledge test. You can also access cheat sheets and answer sheets to score yourself on the material and practice tests. This is especially helpful in helping to reduce the material you need to continue studying and which material you have studied satisfactorily. Some of the subjects covered in the CDL manual on which the test will cover include but are not limited to are— “Driving Safety” meaning all areas of safety when it comes to operating a commercial vehicle. “Air Brakes” will also make up a good portion of the test, and can cover any subject matter about the air brakes of a commercial vehicle or how to properly operate and inspect them. “Cargo” and all related areas of handling cargo, transporting or inspecting cargo may be covered on the test.

After you Pass the CDL General Knowledge Test

The General Knowledge Test will also have a multitude of questions about general types of commercial vehicles, combination vehicles, double and triple trailers and tank vehicles. After you pass the CDL General Knowledge Test you must present your testing office with a commercial vehicle in the class type of which you will be operating for your road skills test. The Road Skills Test may have many different parts of which you will be tested on, proper vehicle and cargo inspection, and you may have to demonstrate a variety of skills related to your class endorsements. It must be noted that not all testing facilities can accommodate the CDL road skills test and you may have to make arrangements before hand to perform this part of your test at another location.

You must also be prepared to spend at least two hours for each part of your test in total possibly even longer depending on the demand at your office, even if you schedule the road skills portion of your test, you may have to come back a separate day to complete it.

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