Fill out the application
Before starting the application process, you will need to gather the necessary information that will be requested on the official form. Commercial driver’s license requirements are different from a regular driver’s permit. The form must correspond to the state in which you reside, and can be filled out as long as you are 21 years of age and have.
Take the medical exam for the license
Check what the medical requirements are in your state. They may vary according to what you are transporting and the size of the vehicle you will be driving. You will need to make sure that the certifying doctor is in the national registry of certified medical examiners. The good news is that this exam will be valid for up to two years. The bad news is that if you have any condition that your state lists as disqualifying, you won’t be able to get your license.
Pass a written test
When it comes to learning how to become a truck driver, practice is a fundamental factor. But obtaining theoretical knowledge to ensure that you are a safe driver is also important. Each written exam costs approximately $5 dollars and, generally, they are given in the morning. However, it’s ideal to make a phone appointment to schedule the date and time of the exam. Once you have successfully passed, you will receive a list of driving skills that you will need to verify at a later date.
Get a CDL manual on how to become a truck driver
Commercial truck driving requires a wide range of knowledge, so you will need to take several tests to verify your driving skills and your ability to identify the traffic laws that apply to the vehicle you will drive. A good option is to download the manuals for obtaining a commercial driver’s license that are available online.
Once you have downloaded the manuals, carefully study the topics that are included in them, and consult with other people who have obtained the same type of license. Find out what kinds of questions were on their exams. Although your exams may be different, you will have a general idea of what to expect. Your results will be valid for one year and, if you do not pass, you will be able to take the test again as soon as you’re ready.
Gather the necessary documents
To receive a commercial driver’s license, you must prove that you are a citizen or legal resident of the United States so you will have to present several official identification documents. They may request your birth certificate, passport or legal residence permit. In any case, the documents presented will be valid for the entire duration of the license.
Get a commercial learner’s permit
Before your driver’s license is approved, you must go through a trial period, which lasts a maximum of 180 days. This permit costs $29 dollars, and is intended to help you gain experience on the road driving a commercial vehicle. Along with this permit, you will need an authorized companion to validate your knowledge and skills. They must be co-pilot on all your trips on public roads.
Practice your skills
One of the most important steps in obtaining a CDL is passing the driving skills test. This includes parking maneuvers, braking and avoiding obstacles, among others. Therefore, it is essential to practice as much as possible and study what the specific requirements are for each type of test (which actions take off points and which others help you obtain the license).
Prepare your vehicle for inspection
Commercial drivers need to go through a period of 14 days between filling out the form and taking the test. During that time, they are expected to perform a thorough inspection of your vehicle. Regardless of the size of the truck, an officer will accompany the vehicle inspection to verify that the aspiring commercial driver understands the internal and external aspects that guarantee its proper functioning.
There are many ways to learn how to drive a truck. In addition to studying, it never hurts to consult the information available on your state’s government website. The resources available online will serve as an effective guide to access as much knowledge as possible, regardless of the experience of the driver.
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