What Benefit Programs Can Help You Take CDL Classes for Free?


Quick Answer

Benefits programs and resources to reduce the cost of commercial drivers license training to free or nearly free include the Post 9/11 GI Bill for veterans, employer tuition reimbursement and contract training. These benefits may vary among different truck driving schools and carriers.

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Full Answer

Some United States Armed Forces veterans may qualify for benefits paid by the GI Bill. The Bill was amended after the events of September 11, 2001 to include coverage of training at non-college degree schools, which includes most trucking schools. GI Bill benefits cover all net tuition and fees for CDL training, plus a monthly housing allowance and $83 per month for books and other supplies, as of 2015. Additionally, GI Bill benefits cover the cost of numerous professional certification tests, including CDL exams.

Non-veterans may also receive free or highly-reduced training through tuition reimbursement if they work for trucking carriers who offer those benefits. This is not technically free, because students pay the cost in advance, and employers then pay the students for tuition in return. The amounts offered for reimbursement may be all or some of the costs, depending on the carrier's policy.

Some truck driving schools cover the cost of training if students agree to carrier contracts. These contracts stipulate that the students agree to work exclusively for a certain carrier company for a specific amount of time following completion of the CDL exam. Though this limits students' choices for employment, it typically reduces the cost to free.

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