If you’re looking for a steady, rewarding job, truck driving is a good one (although we may be biased.) But you can’t just decide to hop in a truck and start hauling. First, you need a CDL and there are a few steps to take to get that license. Here’s what you need to know about getting your CDL to become a truck driver.
Note that each state has their own rule for what it takes to get a CDL. We’ll be specific to Georgia in this post.
To apply for your Commercial Driver’s License, you must be at least 18 years old and have a valid regular driver’s license. For Georgia, drivers under 21 years old will be required to stick to the interstate and only drive in the state.
In Georgia, you’ll apply for your Commercial Driver’s Permit first. To do this, you’ll need to agree to let your driving record be inspected. They’ll check the last ten years and in all states. You’ll also be asked to take a written test, a vision exam, and submit the application for the license you want.
When applying, be sure that you have your current license, proof of identity, the application fee, and your medical certificate. It’s federally mandated for commercial drivers to have a physical and be certified by a doctor to operate such a vehicle.
Once you’ve gotten your permit, you can apply for the license after 14 days, although it’s good for 6 months. With the permit, you can drive on public roads with a CDL holder in the vehicle.
Once you feel comfortable in your commercial vehicle, you can set up an appointment for a road skills test. There are only a handful of facilities in Georgia that perform this sort of test so be sure to find the nearest one to you. For this test, also bring with you your permit, regular driver’s license, and a testing fee.
There are 3 types of CDLs and your tests will likely vary depending on the one you’re applying for. The first, Class A, covers a variety of vehicles over a certain weight while Class B only covers a single vehicle of a certain weight. Class C encompasses all vehicles that don’t fit into A or B.
Many companies offer on-the-job training so even if you’ve just got your permit or license and not quite sure what to do with it, consider talking to someone like us.