How Do You Meet the Requirements for a CDL License?

A commercial driver's license applicant needs proper identification and must pass the required medical examinations, the written knowledge test and a road skills evaluation to meet the requirements for a CDL license. The requirements may vary by state, so applicants should obtain the CDL manual from their state to find out specifics.

Typically an applicant must show proof of identity, such as a standard driver's license, eligibility to work in the form of a social security card, and proof of state residence. Specific age requirements also vary between states.

Most types of CDL licenses require the bearer to have a U.S. Department of Transportation medical certificate. Applicants must go to a physician that is certified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The DOT physical is an extensive medical examination intended to make sure applicants do not have any past or existing medical conditions that might impair their driving abilities.

For the written examination, a general knowledge test is given for all CDLs. For additional certifications, other tests must be taken such as for driving school buses, passenger vehicles, hazardous materials, tankers and air brakes.

The road skills test is given by a certified instructor and requires the driver to prove ability to perform a pre-trip vehicle inspection, control the vehicle on a test course, and drive the vehicle on public roads.