What Are The Steps To Take In Order To Receive My CDL?

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Everybody dreams of being a truck driver someday, but not all are cut out for life on the highway. This is why it is a big deal to get a CDL. You have to go through hours of training, take an exam, and get certified before you are allowed to drive a commercial vehicle in most states. With all that work, you want to ensure everything goes smoothly when the time comes for the DMV application process. Here are some steps that will help ensure that everything goes as planned!

What is a CDL?

A commercial driver’s license (CDL) allows individuals to operate large or heavy vehicles such as semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, and dump trucks. It requires more skill to drive these vehicles safely on the road compared to smaller cars. The CDL requirements are more demanding, and so is the testing process for earning a CDL license. A commercial driver’s license has many benefits over conventional licenses, such as allowing drivers to transport materials across state lines or drive large trucks with air brakes/trailers that require additional skills.

What to expect when you apply for a CDL license at the DMV

The application is made online or at an office near you, and there are specific steps that must be followed depending on which state you are applying in. First, you must have a valid driver’s license from the state you live in or your previous home state if it was issued recently enough to be still considered valid by the DMV. If not, you need to get an operator’s permit first before applying for a CDL. The written tests will be explained to you, and if the DMV representative feels that you are not ready for it, they can let you take a basic written CDL exam instead. The fee is usually around $40 depending on your state of residence.

Steps for obtaining a CDLCDL truck school

Getting your CDL can be complicated, but the benefits are well worth it in the end! Several steps are involved when applying for a CDL license. These include taking the required CDL training and getting certified by the DMV. CDL applicants must meet the following requirements:

Be at least 21 years of age

The first requirement to get a commercial driving license is to be at least 21 years of age. This may vary slightly between states, but not by much. Some states require that you are at least 18 years of age to be eligible to drive intrastate.

Submit your state CDL and pay the application fee

The application for your CDL permit is submitted to the DMV, and they will inform you of what documents are needed to process it. This includes a valid driver’s license or permit from your state of residence, along with any driving records that have been reported by other states you were previously licensed in. The fee ranges around $40, and you can pay it by cash or check.

Provide social security number for identification

For the DMV to correctly identify you as a citizen, they will need your social security number. Once that is submitted and verified, it should be easier for them to process everything else through electronic means rather than needing original documents sent in by mail.

Pass a CDL skills test

A CDL test has two parts; a written general knowledge test and a physical test. Here, you’ll be required to exhibit your knowledge of truck operation, followed by a driving skills test to determine your competency behind the wheel. Passing the CDL skills test brings you closer to the license, which is why you have to attend truck driving schools.

Proof of residency

The DMV will need proof of your physical address, so if you do not have a fixed residence, they may require documentation with the name and address of where you are staying. This can be provided by an official letter from someone who lives at that location stating that you reside there and their contact information if anything arises while processing all this information.

Pass a physical exam, drug test, and background check

Before being issued a CDL license for interstate driving in the United States, all drivers must have passed an extensive physical exam. This ensures that they are able-bodied enough to drive safely before getting behind the wheel of a large commercial vehicle. They must also pass a drug test, and the refusal to do so will result in disqualification from ever obtaining a CDL. In addition, there is an extensive background check that all drivers have to go through before they can operate a commercial truck for interstate travel.

Pass a vision test

Along with the physical exam, a vision test must be passed before receiving your CDL. This helps ensure that drivers will not have to deal with any potential eye problems while on the road and avoid causing accidents.

Pay fees for your new CDL after passing the above tests

After passing all the required exams, drug tests, and background checks, you will have to pay for your new commercial driver’s license. The fee depends on your state of residence. This covers a special endorsement that can also be added along with a medical card if needed. These are sent by mail after being issued by the DMV.

How long does it take to get a valid CDL?

Completing a CDL training program can take anywhere from two weeks to a month for the state of residence to process your application and send you any additional needed documents. However, it is critical to note that this does not include mailing time. If you have any questions, the DMV representative will be able to answer them.

Need a CDL?

At Western Pacific Truck School, we have qualified instructors who will help you achieve your dream of being a commercial truck driver. Our rates are very competitive, and we offer flexible classes to fit your work schedule. If you are interested in CDL training in Portland, contact us today!