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How Long Does It Take to Get a CDL in 2023?

Acquiring a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) is a significant step for those people who strive to continue a career in the trucking sphere. A CDL provides drivers with the ability to manage commercial vehicles, granting them a bunch of employment possibilities. Nevertheless, there is a necessity to highlight that the process of acquiring a CDL may vary depending on definite factors, for instance, the class of license, human commitment, state regulations, and others. Let's delve into the various stages required for receiving a CDL and grant information concerning the common timeline needed to become a licensed commercial driver.

What is CDL?

Before sorting out how much time it may require to obtain a CDL, it will be a good idea to comprehend what CDL means first. CDL indicates Commercial Driver's License. Nowadays, there are accessible several types of CDLs. One may distinguish three classes of CDLs that are divided into categories depending on the size and kind of vehicles they enable drivers to manage.
  • Class A CDL: This kind of license enables drivers to manage combination vehicles with a GVWR of more than 26,001 pounds, given that the towed vehicle weighs over 10,000 pounds.
  • Class B CDL: With this type of license, drivers have the possibility to manage single vehicles with a GVWR of more than 26,001 pounds, subject to towed vehicles weighing less than 10,000 pounds.
  • Class C CDL: This kind of license is for driving vehicles that are not subject to Class A or B, in particular, passenger vans, not big vehicles with dangerous substances, or vehicles that carry unsafe materials.
Keep in mind that it will take longer to receive the Class A license because it enables drivers to manage a broader range of cars and haul heavier cargo.

The Commercial Driver's License Application Process

The process of acquiring a commercial driver's license usually comprises a few stages, in particular, fulfillment of definite claims and completing a set of exams. These steps may vary a little from state to state, however, the general process stays similar.
  • The right to participate. Candidates should correspond to definite demands, particularly, being over 18 or 21 years old, availability of a valid driver's license, and being healthy.
  • Tuition and preparation. Potential drivers should familiarize themselves with the CDL manual, which involves significant insights into driving regulations, procedures, and security rules. A lot of people select to enroll in a CDL tuition program proposed by certified schools to obtain practical experience and enhance their chances of success in the exams.
  • Written test of lore. The initial examination implies passing a written test that is based on the CDL manual. It estimates the lore of applicants of driving laws, vehicle maintenance, and many other significant themes. As a rule, to go to the next stage, there is a need to have a passing score.
  • Commercial learner's permit. After applicants have passed the written test, they may apply for a commercial learner's permit, which provides these applicants with the ability to practice controlling commercial vehicles under the observation of a CDL holder.
Once a candidate obtains a commercial learner's permit, they should go through training to get the practical skills that are of decisive importance for controlling commercial vehicles.

CDL Tuition and Skills Test

As mentioned, once you become a holder of a commercial learner's permit (CLP), your task is to undergo tuition to gain significant practical skills. As a rule, this tuition involves:
  • Driving instruction. Candidates obtain practical tuition, studying how to handle the concrete kind of vehicle they desire to manage. They receive experience in different maneuvers, in particular, parking, turns, and reversing.
  • Traffic practice. Candidates practice driving on public roads, sharpening their skills in diverse traffic scenarios, mastering techniques of secure driving, and getting to know the control elements and functions of the concrete vehicle.
  • Pre-trip checkup. Part of the skills verification includes showing the ability to carry out a comprehensive pre-trip checkup to make sure that the vehicle is in proper working condition before every trip.
After the tuition is finished, candidates should pass a skills test to receive their commercial driver's license. This test usually comprises three components such as a pre-trip checkup, basic vehicle management, and driving on roads. Candidates show their lore and ability to carry out a detailed checkup of the vehicle, defining and explaining the key components and security functions. Also, applicants demonstrate their maneuvering skills by performing certain maneuvers, in particular, reversing movement in a straight line, parallel parking, etc. Finally, candidates drive on public roads, demonstrating their ability to manage the vehicle securely and effectively. Candidates are evaluated on their compliance with traffic rules, communication with other drivers, and general driving skills.

Final Thoughts: How Long Does It Take to Get a CDL License

The time needed to acquire a commercial driver's license may vary depending on a few factors, for instance, the class of the requested license, the person's dedication, and the demands of a certain state. On average, the whole process may take approximately from several weeks to a few months. It is of decisive importance to give enough time on exploring the CDL manual, passing tuition, and practicing driving skills to boost the chances of success. It is advisable to research and choose an authoritative commercial driver's license tuition program such as Start CDL Training to acquire exhaustive instruction and recommendations throughout the process. The tuition program will assist candidates in getting confidence, enhancing their driving skills, and preparing them properly for the written and skills examinations. If you decide to become a licensed commercial driver, this will propose lots of career opportunities in the trucking sphere. By comprehending the necessary steps and passing the needed tuition, novice CDL holders may start a useful path as expert truck drivers.
Written by Max Smith

An experienced driver with a wealth of knowledge in the field of truck driving. With years of expertise behind the wheel and a deep understanding of the intricacies of trucking, Max is uniquely qualified to provide valuable insights and guidance on the topic of truck driver training. As an avid advocate for safe and efficient trucking practices, Max is dedicated to sharing valuable information and helping aspiring truck drivers excel in their careers.


Frequently Asked Questions

Get fast answers to your most pressing questions about Start CDL.

How to get a CDL?

To start training, you will need the following documents:

You will need confirmation of your legal status. This may be citizenship, green card, or a work permit in the United States (work authorization, work visa). The following documents have to be valid and not expired.
Valid driver’s license (class C)
Medical card (Physical DOT card).
Truck Driving Permit (Learner’s Permit)

You can start training with a driver’s license and permit out of any state. After passing the exam in DMV, we will enter your data into a single federal system, and within 10-14 working days, you will receive your CDL by mail. In some states, you must come in person to get a CDL.

How long does the training take?

The preparation for the exam will take you about a month.
We want to make sure that every student gets the necessary time that he needs before he/she is ready for the final exam (DMV), so even if you are not confident in your abilities at any of the stages of training, you will continue your training until you ready.
Our students can study and improve their skills and confidence as much as they need. There is no time limit for the course or deadlines.
Our training center is different from the rest. We are responsible for your skills. Therefore we are ready to provide you with the maximum opportunities for their improvement.

We offer a flexible schedule that will allow you to keep working at your current job and continue training to get your CDL. With us, you are guaranteed to get the necessary knowledge, skills, and gain confidence before the exam.
Students from other states.
For all students from other states, we offer inexpensive hostel just a three-minute walk from our training center.

How to find a job after getting a CDL?

Our main goal is to get students to start working immediately after passing the exam and getting your CDL.

Start CDL Training stuff is always welcoming new students and gladly work with you until you graduate to a professional CDL driver! With us, you can easily get the necessary knowledge and skills to get your CDL and start your way to a high paying commercial driver career!

What to expect from this training program?

In accordance with the program, your training will be divided into seven stages. So what exactly will you learn at Start CDL Training?

Pre-trip inspection – preparation before departure, an inspection of truck and trailer, air brake system inspection, and air brake test.

1. Backing

2. Parallel parking to both sides(left to right and right to left)

3. Alley dock parking

4. City driving

5. Pre-test (Passing an internal exam)

6. Examination at the DMV (final exam)

In what language ​​the exam and training usually conducted?

In 90% of the states, the exam is in English. In California, Washington, and Pennsylvania, you can take the PERMIT test in other languages, including Spanish, Russian, and Polish. In our center, classes are mainly in English and Russian.

There are also PRI TRIP studying material in Ukrainian, Georgian, Uzbek, Polish, Spanish, Hindi, Punjabi, Turkish.

What training programs do we offer?

Our training center offers three training programs to choose from:
CDL automatic gearbox (restricted to operating auto ONLY).
CDL manual gearbox (no restriction auto and manual).
Hourly course for professional drivers to upgrade from auto to manual or renew their CDL.

Important! After completing the auto transmission course and exam, your driver’s license will be restricted to driving a commercial vehicle with an automatic transmission ONLY!

After completing a manual course can drive a commercial vehicle with any gearbox. How to sign up for training? You will need to fill out a form. After filling out the form, our manager will contact you to confirm the information and set the date of the first lesson. Make sure to double-check the information you entered.

Fill the form and start career

You can get consultation or start training after filling the form. Or just call as: +1 844 227 2162. We could discuss in English, Ukrainian, Russian or Spanish.

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