July 18, 2018

Getting Your Commercial Driver License: California

With this post, we will begin looking at CDLs on a state-by-state basis.

For basic information on California’s Department of Motor Vehicles, click here.

For an in-depth look at what is required by the state of California before a CDL can be issued, please click here.

CDL Jobs – How To Get One, Types, Requirements

Driving a commercial motor vehicle can land you a tidy salary, but how do you find the best CDL jobs?

Cdl Jobs

CDL Classifications

The three classes of CDL vehicles and licenses (Class A, B, C) indicate those vehicles for which you are qualified as an operator. Use this information to filter job notices, quickly narrowing the options to only those for which you qualify.

CDL Endorsements

Endorsements are additional certifications you can add onto your standard CDL license that permit you to operate a vehicle with particular characteristics.

The following endorsements, or CDL certifications, are available:

• H – hazardous materials transport
• N – tank trucks
• P – passenger vehicles (16+ passengers)
• S – school buses (11+ passengers)
• T – tractor trailers with two or three trailers
• X – combo tank and hazardous

All complete CDL job postings should include the vehicle/license class (A, B, or C) as well as any applicable endorsements and restrictions. Do not waste any of your time on job listings that you don’t qualify for.

Searching for CDL Jobs

A fistful of good sources exist for finding current CDL jobs and in many cases job postings are categorized (flatbed/trailer, region of the country, long- or short-haul, solo/team, etc.)

• Online Job Boards: Aggregate sites that collect all types of job listings are a dime-a-dozen. If you trust the site, use it as a component in your CDL job search, but don’t make it your one and only strategy. Be cautious of the information you give out on any online job board.

• Truck Driving Schools: If you’ve trained to drive a tractor trailer or other type of commercial truck through a school, it’s possibly a good CDL job resource. Many employers are looking to reputable resources to refer qualified commercial drivers and truck driving schools fit the bill. Ask your instructors and any career personnel at your school about current CDL job opportunities.

• Major Commercial Trucking Companies: Major commercial companies openly advertise the CDL jobs they have available. In fact, many companies advertise their career opportunities on their trucks, providing phone numbers and website addresses where you can find information on well-paying careers driving a commercial truck. Bookmark those career sites you’d like to revisit. Store applications where possible to help save time when you return to search again.

• Public School Systems: For Class C passenger CDL licenses you can check with your local public school system or a local municipality for transit bus job opportunities.

Additional sources include state and local government, excavation and large construction/demolition companies for CDL jobs.

For more information, visit http://www.cdlbjobs.org/

CDL License – About The Commercial Drivers License

Thinking about driving a commercial motor vehicle? The Commercial Drivers License (CDL) permits you to get behind the wheel in a wide variety of commercial vehicles, such as school and commuter buses, taxicabs, dump trucks and tow trucks, and tractor trailers.

Cdl License

Your state DMV is responsible for administering the required skills and knowledge tests as well as all the paperwork associated with that state’s CDL licenses, but the U.S. Department of Transportation provides some initial requirements and oversight.

Types of CDLs

There are three classes of commercial motor vehicles that require CDL licenses:

• Class A vehicles have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26001 pounds or more. This must be a combination of vehicles, where the one being towed weighs over 10,000 pounds. Examples include tractor trailers and some truck/RV combinations, among others.
• Class B vehicles indicate a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26001 pounds or more. This can be a single vehicle or a vehicle towing another, where the one being towed is less than 10,000 pounds. Examples include dump trucks, tow trucks, some RVs.
• Class C vehicles carry 16 or more passengers, like a school bus or transit bus, or vehicles that transport hazardous materials.

CDL License Endorsements

Because the types of commercial motor vehicles and their loads can be so variable and for the safety of U.S. roadways, the U.S. Department of Transportation established additional skills tests, called “endorsements,” that can be added to any CDL.

• H – hazardous materials transport
• N – tank trucks
• P – passenger vehicles (16+ passengers)
• S – school buses (11+ passengers)
• T – tractor trailers with two or three trailers
• X – combo tank and hazardous

Requirements for a CDL License

Requirements for a commercial drivers license are established on a state-by-state basis with the initial requirements as noted above. For example, some states set age restrictions on CDL licenses, such as minimum age of 18 for a license and additional restrictions for highway driving. Best advice: find out in advance what your state’s department of motor vehicles requires for a CDL license.

• Minimum age (usually 18 or 21)
• No licenses in other jurisdictions
• Medical tests if required
• Skills test
• Knowledge test
• Required endorsements (hazardous materials, passenger, tanker trucks, multi-trailer trucks, etc.)

Safety and CDL Licenses

Believe it or not, before 1986—when the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 was enacted into federal law—there were few requirements and restrictions for driving many types of commercial vehicles. If you had a regular drivers license in good standing, you could get behind the wheel of a tractor trailer, haul a wide variety of loads, and drive the U.S. interstates, no questions asked.

The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act has made the roadways considerably safer by ensuring only the most qualified drivers get their CDL licenses to operate on the nation’s roadways.

How To Pass The CDL Test

Federal law requires that commercial drivers hold a current CDL. The CDL test is not administered at the federal level but rather by individual states. In addition to federal regulations, a state may have additional requirements for obtaining a CDL in that state.

CDL Test

For those who wish to obtain a CDL, federal rules in combination with the variation in state by state CDL requirements can cause a large amount of confusion. The confusing nature of the numerous and various requirements makes it critical for prospective drivers to do some research to find out exactly what tests they need to take and how to pass them. Once they determine what is needed they can go ahead and pursue their dream of entering the transportation industry.

For those who can afford it a course from a certified Commercial Driver Training School is likely the best route. These schools offer extensive classroom education and hands on training. CDTS graduates are much desired by the transportation industry since they are so well informed and have plenty of practical, supervised driving hours.

For those who would prefer to prepare on their own for testing the Internet is a great place to find copious amounts of learning material. Numerous websites not only offer information but they offer sample tests complete with answers for every state in the US. First time applicants have easy, affordable (sometimes free) access to information meant to take the confusion out of the process of obtaining a CDL.

Whether a prospective driver decides to attend a training school or to educate themselves online, the fact remains that for the training to be meaningful it needs to make the person aware of what is needed to get to the point of even testing for the CDL. Certain physical conditions can preclude a person from obtaining a CDL; it is much better to find out before investing time and money to train that a condition will stop them from getting the CDL. Before committing to a training program, first confirm that you meet the criteria for being a CDL driver.

Preparation is the key to passing any exam. Course study saves the student a lot of time and effort by targeting the areas of study and by preparing them with critical questions and correct answers for exams. Learning from the pros is the best way to pass any state’s CDL exam. Online there are numerous websites that publish the latest state by state exams at no charge.

The first time CDL applicant must acquire a CDL permit which allows them to drive a vehicle of the type they intend to be licensed for as long as they are in the company of a person who holds a current CDL for that type of vehicle. After 30 days a permit holder is allowed to take the CDL exams. The one exception to the 30 day rule is that a graduate of a CDTS is exempt from the 30 day permit period.

Some employers provide on the job training to train their drivers. The student driver must still obtain a permit and to become commercially licensed, take the CDL exams. Every state requires the passing of a general knowledge written test and a practical skills driving test. A CDL test may seem intimidating but with study and practice it will be a breeze.

For more information, click here: http://www.in.gov/dor/4213.htm

CDL Requirements – What You Need To Get Your CDL

Many good jobs await drivers who get a CDL. With a CDL you can drive a school bus, a passenger bus, a big rig semi, a gas tanker and many more types of vehicles. It may seem a little confusing when first looking at CDL requirements but with a little research you will easily be able to determine which type of CDL is appropriate for you.
Commercial Drivers License

Even though formal schooling is not required for a CDL many drivers have found this route to be the quickest and surest way to obtain a CDL. One of the advantages to a CDL training course is that you will receive assistance in sorting through both federal and state regulations and requirements along with assistance deciding which course to take. Then, extensive classroom and hands on training prepares you for the written and practical CDL testing.

Before signing up with any training school, be sure that they are certified. These courses are not inexpensive; don’t waste money on unrecognized schooling. Check with the DOT (Department of Transportation) or the FHA (Federal Highway Administration) for certified courses near you.

Even though there are federal requirements for CDLs, they are issued by states. Formal training is not a requirement for a CDL. Applicants are required to pass written tests pertaining to highway safety as well as a written test pertaining to the various parts of a truck (30 question minimum). In order to pass applicants must correctly answer a minimum of 80% of the questions.

The administration of the practical exam involves the applicant performing a required set of operator maneuvers designed to test driving skills. It is a requirement that the practical test be taken in a vehicle of the type the applicant intends to drive. Applicants can test for endorsements to their CDL. To test for an endorsement the exam must be administered in a vehicle equipped with the same equipment the endorsement enables. In other words, to test for an Air Brake Endorsement the exam must be administered in a vehicle equipped with Air Brakes.

Facilities other than state testing sites can administer CDL tests. Private institutions, employers, training schools and governmental departments are allowed to give knowledge and skills driving exams under certain provisos. Instructors and trainers must have the same professional certification as state instructors and the tests have to be the very same as those administered by the issuing state. Annual state inspections and evaluations assure that third party facilities meet state and federal CDL mandates.

The USDOT sets 21 as the minimum age at which one may apply for a CDL. However, there are a few states that allow 18-20 year olds to hold a CDL valid only within the state of issue (single state CDL). Single state CDLs automatically become valid nationwide at age 21. 18-20 years olds are precluded completely from obtaining either School Bus or HazMat endorsements. Some states preclude 18-20 year olds from obtaining Class A CDLs altogether (New York for example).

CDL requirements are delineated clearly in state specific CDL manuals. Any potential CDL licensee ought to confirm their states requirements in their quest to become a licensed CDL driver. Don’t overlook the details if you want to successfully get your license.

Learn more, click here: http://itd.idaho.gov/dmv/motorcarrierservices/mc_qual.htm

CDL Practice Tests – A Great Way To Prepare For The Real Thing

All commercial drivers and haulers whose vehicle exceeds 26,000 GVW (Gross Vehicle Weight) are required by state and federal law to hold a current Commercial Drivers License. The vast array of requirements for obtaining a CDL can be overwhelming and daunting. One of the best ways to go about passing the exams necessary to acquiring a CDL is by using CDL practice tests to prepare for the real thing.

CDL Test

There are a variety of ways one can go about preparing with practice tests. Prospective drivers can quiz their truck driver friends, attend a Commercial Truck Driving School or they can go online to find all the practice tests they will ever need. Practice tests for every state of the union are easily accessed on any of a number of websites.

In order to obtain a CDL license, drivers must meet all the federal requirements as well as those of the state where they will take the CDL test. CDL exams consist of two portions, a written and a practical test. The written exam is designed to test general knowledge about operating the vehicle you are testing to drive. The practical test is designed to prove your actual driving skills. Both of these tests must be passed in order to be issued a CDL.

Further tests must be passed in order to be endorsed for driving certain types of loads. Hazardous material loads, double trailer hauling and other specific types of driving require extra training and testing before an endorsement can be added to the CDL. The extent of testing may seem a bit over the top at first glance but in reality the nation’s highways are much safer as a result of weeding out drivers that are not qualified to carry dangerous loads.

Periodically CDL’s come up for renewal just like a regular drivers license. No matter how experienced a driver may be they must be retested to renew their CDL and endorsements. Many drivers have little time to devote to study. They often turn to practice tests specific to the state their CDL was issued in to prepare for the tests.

Practice tests are tests taken directly from state written CDL exams. We all know that the best way to take and pass a test is to know the answers. The beauty of practice tests is that for every test question a correct answer is provided. Websites that offer CDL practice exams constantly monitor exams from every state to make sure that they feature only the latest version of test questions and answers.

Taking advantage of the practice tests certainly cuts down on the amount of information one must wade through in order to pass the actual tests. Practice tests are a very good way to test ones knowledge. Taking a test without peeking at the answers until you are done gives a good indication of where you need a little more work.

Don’t be perplexed by CDL rules and regulations! CDL practice tests are no doubt one of the best study tools for preparing to take CDL exams. Practice tests prepare you for written exams. Beyond that, developing driving skills is up to you.

For more information, click here: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/driverid/testknow.shtml

How To Get A CDL Permit

Before you can take the exams for a CDL you must first obtain a CDL permit. A permit allows a prospective CDL driver to practice driving a commercial vehicle before actually taking the CDL exam. There are of course, restrictions attached to this permit. The permit holder is only allowed to drive a vehicle of the type and class as shown on the permit. Furthermore, permit holders are not allowed to drive alone; they are only allowed to drive when accompanied by a person who is CDL licensed for a vehicle such as that which you desire to drive.

CDL Permit

In order to obtain a CDL, applicants are required to be at least 18 years old. Federal law mandates that commercial drivers must be at least 21 years old to transport hazardous materials, drive interstate and to carry interstate freight within the state of issue. To determine age requirements for a permit, refer to state specific CDL manuals or go online and search for state specific information.

To obtain a permit the applicant must show a valid state drivers license for the state they reside in. Applicants should be aware that they will have to pass drug screening and a DOT physical to obtain their CDL. Drivers can legally be subjected to random drug testing at any time.

In order to obtain a permit it is necessary to first pass a general knowledge CDL test and general knowledge tests specific to the type of vehicle(s) you intend to operate. A specific example of the testing required to obtain a permit is that of the school bus driver. To obtain a permit to learn school bus driving an applicant is required to take a general knowledge school bus exam as well as that for passenger vehicles.

Permit holders are required to hold their CDL instruction permit for a minimum of at least 30 days. The only alternative to this time frame is to show proof of successfully completing a Commercial Driver Training School (CDTS) course. Even drivers with years of experience will need a permit if their experience has been with trucks less than 26,000 pounds GVW (hauling capacity).

The transportation industry offers many good driving jobs for those who like to drive. Those interested in obtaining CDL training permits have many options available to them to prepare for taking the exams. The Internet has many websites offering state by state information about requirements for CDL licensing.

Not only is information readily available online but you will find training courses that prepare one for permit exams in every state; even sample test questions and answers can be found online. Many of these websites prepare applicants with questions taken directly from state exams; these sites change their training exams as the states update their tests.

Not everyone is cut out to be a commercial driver. The stringency of the CDL permit process is meant to weed out those who lack the knowledge and skills to be good, safe drivers on our nations highways. If you dream of driving professionally, take the time to really learn the skills you need to acquire your permit successfully.

Additional information at: http://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/cdlcdip.html

CDL License – All About The Commercial Drivers License

A Commercial Drivers License endorsement on a driver’s license can be parlayed into a variety of good paying jobs. The federal government has their guidelines regulating CDL license; in addition every state has their own training rules and application processes. In general, training for a CDL is completed through a driving school specializing in readying drivers for CDL testing.

Commercial Drivers License

The complexity of rules and guidelines for obtaining a CDL can make it confusing for those seeking the training to become a licenses commercial driver. Before signing up with any school that offers CDL training, prospective students should research the types of CDL available and decide what sort of training they need. Only then should they sign with a school.

Tip: It is very important to make sure that the training facility is a certified facility. Nothing could be worse than to pay a large amount of money for training only to find that the training is not recognized (certified). Check local colleges as many of them offer reasonable priced CDL training courses.

In the United States a CDL is a requirement for those driving any sort of vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating in excess of 26,001 pounds. When these vehicles are used to transport hazardous materials that require a hazard warning placard, when a driver transports more than fifteen passengers and for commercial use the operator is required to possess a current CDL. For example, bus, gasoline tanker and all tractor trailer drivers must have a CDL.

To ensure that truck drivers using the highways are actually qualified to operate big rigs and that bus drivers are qualified to transport large amounts of passengers, the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 was made into law. With this act the federal government created minimum requirements necessary to obtain a CDL. The intent of this Act was to increase safety on highways by eliminating those drivers that were not qualified and considered unsafe. Each state retains the right to issue CDLs under this Act.

Formal training is not necessary to obtain a CDL. However, every applicant is required to take written and practical tests and pass both to get the CDL endorsement.  Furthermore, applicants are required to take the practical test in the type of vehicle they will be operating. For instance, an applicant intending to be a long haul tractor-trailer operator must take the test in a comparable rig. In essence, applicants must prove that they are knowledgeable about highway laws, DOT regulations, vehicle operation and maintenance and be able to exhibit that they can safely operate the type of vehicle they will be driving.

There are three basic types of CDLs: Class A, B and C. Additional endorsements may be obtained with additional testing; these include semi-trailer, hazardous material, passenger vehicle, school bus and tank truck or any combination of these.

A CDL license opens the door to job opportunities aplenty. Anyone interested in obtaining a CDL will need to look closely at the types and determine which is appropriate for their needs and then get the education and experience to successfully test for their CDL license.

Additional resource links: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration-licensing/cdl/cdl.htm

CDL Training To Get The Skills You Need To Get A CDL

To find work as a truck driver or operator of any large commercial vehicle you must first of all acquire your commercial drivers license, this is a legal requirement if you are to drive a vehicle over 26,000lbs. To ensure that you can be provided with the necessary license with the minimal amount of effort it is usually preferable to enroll on a CDL training program that would provide you with the necessary skills and knowledge.

CDL Training

Being a driver of a commercial vehicle is a desirable job. It offers the opportunity to travel extensively and be paid handsomely for the privilege. Before you start to look around at the current vacant positions you should spend time checking out the CDL driving schools that operate in your area. As there is a constant demand for qualified truck drivers you will discover that there are likely to be a number of establishments that can provide the required training.

Do not be overly concerned about the cost of the course. At the end of the day being a truck driver is a lucrative role and one that offers a lifetime career. If you are currently out of work and therefore low on funds there are a number of ways you can be given the finance to cover the cost of the training program.

You may find that there is a trucking company in your town or district that has a constant demand for individuals with the right attitude to take up employment, such firms may offer to pay for your CDL training with the stipulation that upon obtaining your license your choose to work for them.

Apart from the option of being sponsored to undertake commercial drivers license training, there is likely to be a choice of educational establishments that offer vocational courses relating to this field of expertise. Though the equipment that is available may not be as new or modern as if you were to join up with a trucking company prior to getting your license, the costs may be low or even non-existent.

The internet is a great resource when it comes to finding information relating to CDL training. Apart from locating details of the programs and courses you could attend you can also browse those sites that offer advice and tips to aspiring truck drivers.

Never underestimate the value of having access to as much information as possible relating to CDL training. There are portals you can visit that provide comprehensive guidance to the best approaches to adopt for acquiring your commercial driver’s license and with the least amount of effort.

Once you have completed your training and successfully been given a license you will discover that there are in fact a huge range of job options open to you. Apart from joining up with a trucking company there is also the possibility of buying your own rig and setting up a business in your own name. With economic hardship a reality today, choosing a career path such as a driver of commercial vehicles should ensure you can support yourself and your family until you retire.

Find out more: http://www.brcc.edu/wsce/driving/

CDL Training Info – What You Need To Know

Before you can set out on a career as the driver of large commercial vehicles you will first of all need to acquire the correct license known as a CDL. As there is now a shortage of trained truck drivers in the US, by opting to go down this career path you can have peace of mind that you will have a job for life, this would hardly be the case in other sectors such as construction or the service industries. If you want to ensure you get your license with the minimal amount of effort and in the quickest time it is important to have access to the greatest amount of CDL training info.

CDL Training

Your first step to having a career as trucker would be to find out which institutes and training schools operate in your area. This can be done by browsing information online, or if you have a friend or family member already employed in the industry you can discuss with them your aspirations and needs.

One of the best options would be to search for a trucking company that would pay the cost of the training on your behalf. Prior to enrolling on any commercial driver’s license training program it would be useful to check what type of qualifications and knowledge would be necessary to take up the type of employment you desire.

There are in fact a number of different types of commercial driver’s license, not every job would necessitate that applicants held a Class A license. There can also be different rules and regulations depending upon the state you reside in.

You may find it worthwhile exploring the option of enrolling at an independent training school. Here you can have access to the latest equipment and be provided tuition by people who are experts in the field. The training program should include as much hands on learning as possible rather than solely imparting theoretical knowledge.

Do not be overly concerned by the cost of the course, any money that is spent should be recouped quickly once you are employed as a truck driver. If possible do research into the background of the training establishment you are considering.

Find out how many of the establishment’s students were able to pass the commercial drivers license exam first time as this would allow you to understand how desirable the program really is. Do not always seek out a school that can provide the briefest training schedule as they may not be able to offer a comprehensive learning program that would teach you all the skills necessary to have a career as a truck driver.

You can also find valuable information relating to CDL training and jobs by visiting forums and blogs that are dedicated to this subject. The value of being given advice and knowledge from drivers that have already completed their training is highly desirable. At the end of the day they would have already experienced what you are going through and can pass on tips that should allow you a positive outcome.

Additional resource links: http://www.dds.ga.gov/training/