How Do You Get a CDL?

How Do You Get a CDL?

The requirements to obtain a CDL, or commercial driver's license, vary by state. Regardless, all states require the driver to complete a training program, pass a written exam and take a hands-on driving test.

  1. Review state-specific CDL requirements

    Obtain a copy of your state's CDL requirements by contacting the state Department of Motor Vehicles. Current CDL requirements are often available by visiting the state DMV website.

  2. Choose the ideal CDL type

    There are three main CDL types: Class A, B and C. Classes determine what the license holder may drive. For example, Class A drivers may operate any size vehicle, while Class C drivers may operate a vehicle carrying less than 16 passengers or weighing less than 26,001 pounds.

  3. Enroll in a CDL training program

    Register for a CDL training program based upon your intended license class. License type determines training hour requirements. For example, in the state of Washington, Class A licenses require 160 hours of training, while Class C licenses require 36 training hours. Select a training program approved by your state's DMV.

  4. Take CDL examinations

    After training is complete, locate a driver's licensing office that offers CDL testing. Schedule and take the required exams for your license class. Exams typically include a vision test, a multiple-choice knowledge test and a road-skills test. To obtain a CDL license, you must pass all required exams.