How to Get Your CDL and Become a Truck Driver

If you’re looking for new and exciting career opportunities, it’s time to consider becoming a licensed truck driver. The first step to becoming a commercial truck driver is passing the commercial driver’s license exam (otherwise known as the CDL test).

Getting your start as a truck driver isn’t as hard as you think. Find out if you’re ready to take the necessary steps:

What is the CDL Test?

The CDL test is an examination that is required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for all commercial truck drivers within the United States. There are several components including a written exam, road test and physical examination. Also, you must be at least 21 years of age to cross state lines.

Your physical examination needs to be administered by a certified medical professional. Students will also be required to bring an original birth certificate or social security card, as well as two documents to prove domicile in the state they will be testing in.

While there may be some criminal offenses that prevent you from obtaining a Class A CDL license, each state has different regulations so check beforehand.

Written Test

The best way to pass the written portion of the CDL test is to be prepared. The test consists of 30-50 questions. Some question topics include how to properly maintain logbooks, basic mechanical knowledge, weight scales, cargo claims and more. Students are also questioned on proper logging routes, trip planning, map reading, hazardous materials regulation and accident prevention.


Road Test

Once you’ve passed the written portion of the CDL test you’ll move on to the road test. The CDL road test will involve properly completing a pre-trip inspection of your truck, successfully backing up, driving in a straight line and offset backing. It’s also important you’re able to drive in a variety of traffic types, from light traffic situations to more congested areas.

Where Can I Take My CDL Test?

Neither the written or driving portion of the test can be taken online and must be completed at your state’s DMV, or at the site of a third party CDL Examiner.

However, you may be able to find mock test questions online which may help you study for the written test. Just be sure you’re reviewing up-to-date and accurate information.

How Much Does the CDL Cost?

The cost of a CDL test will vary by state; typically, the cost of the test will be between $30-60 depending on the DMV fees. Once you have obtained your initial CDL there are fees for renewing your license, modifying it, upgrading it or duplicating it.

The Takeaway for a Future Truck Driver

Qualified truck drivers are in high demand, so if you’re looking for a stable job, a career in truck driving could be the one for you. ATC Driveaway is always looking for new experienced drivers to join their team, with your CDL license you’re one step closer.