How You Can Get A CDL Without Going To School
Getting a commercial driver’s license requires a lot of preparations, studying, and practice which also takes time and money apart from the regular CDL exam fee when you choose to go through classroom training. If you are trying to save money by paying the least amount possible for getting a CDL, although it is very helpful to attend classroom training as much as getting a CDL, you may want to skip it and get your CDL.
Can I Get My CDL Without Going To School?
Although the most common way to get your CDL is to go to a CDL school for your CDL training before taking your CDL exam. But it is not a Federal requirement that you must enroll in a truck driving school before you can get your CDL. Some states only require that you pass just the CDL exam and pay the test fee. It is always a good idea for you to go through classroom training, also a certified driving instructor but your driving instructor does not need to be from a truck driving school, they can be a licensed truck driver that is not associated with any CDL training school.
Your CDL manual which is used in driving schools for classroom training can be downloaded from the CDL website of each state and not at a cost unlike in trucking schools. You may also be able to get it for free in print in some states. Practice tests are also completely free and can be accessed by anyone. You may contact the Department of Motor Vehicle of the state where you are taking the exam for CDL practice tests, or find some in the state’s CDL manual, if you need more you can download from their website.
Getting the right score in your CDL test both driving skills test and general knowledge is not the amount of time you spent in a classroom or the money you spent, but how determined and focused you are. So you don’t need a CDL training program from any truck driving school to pass your tests, and get your CDL, whether Class A, Class B, or Class C, you need your time, adequate study, and practice to help you.
The fear is that getting your CDL without a driving school might make it more difficult for you to land a trucking job because many trucking companies would prefer to have their drivers approved by a licensed truck driving school to prove they went through the necessary training and they are equipped with the right skills. Whether you attend a driving school is a determining factor in your ability to land a truck driving job with large companies.
Steps To Getting Your CDL Without Going To
For whatever reason that you have decided to skip a CDL training school, you can be sure that with your commitment, time, and preparations you will get your CDL license. Here are the essential steps you may have to take to get your CDL without enrolling in a truck driving school
Review CDL Requirements
If you’re just getting started on obtaining a CDL, you may want to check out the eligibility criteria if you are eligible for a CDL or not. You have to check according to the Department of Transportation in the Federal level requirements and also ensure you are fit in the Department of Motor Vehicle for your state where you are writing the CDL.
Generally, these requirements often include, minimum age requirement, health and physical requirements, alcohol, and drug tests, personal information like social security card, passport, work permit, also be ready to go through a background check for a record of felonies, individuals with a criminal record within a certain period of focus may not be eligible, also your driving record, to determine if you have received speeding tickets, DUI, or involved in accidents, and you also have to provide a history of work experience that can be verified.
Get A CDL Permit
Following the procedures of a traditional driver’s license, you would need to first get a permit before you can get your CDL. To get your CDL permit for any license Class, be it Class A, Class B, or Class C, you need to pass a series of exams. These exams are in written form and require a lot of study time of the CDL manual obtained from the state’s CDL licensing website, which can be downloaded or gotten in print at the Department of Motor Vehicle in person. From the manual, there are practice tests to prepare you for the written CDL exam.
Take the CDL Endorsements Test
Although optional, if you wish to be endorsed to drive certain vehicles like hazardous materials hauling vehicles, passengers buses, you would need to study for and pass the endorsement test. This may require that you also meet the eligibility criteria for getting endorsed so you need to do proper research and get the right information from the endorsement section of your CDL manual.
Take A CDL Skills Test
The CDL skills test is to measure your truck driving abilities, unlike the general knowledge test which is written it is more practical and complex.
You can be confident that you will pass this test after you have taken the minimum required time to practice with an instructor for on-the-road driving training. Your instructor doesn’t have to be from a CDL school, you can practice with a driver friend with experience in truck driving, or you can pay someone who is a licensed truck driver to teach you all that you need to know to pass this test.
Basically, for the skills test, you need to complete a three-tier exam, namely; pre-trip inspection, basic control, and driving skills test which takes place at a CDL designated test site or other DMV approved CDL test facility. After you have succeeded in passing your written CDL test which comprises the general knowledge test, combination vehicles and air brakes test, and the skills test which is your on the road driving test, your state will then issue you the actual CDL.