CDL Cost – CDL Training Costs Explained…

CDL CostThe cost of acquiring a commercial drivers license varies depending on the type of CDL training you go through. Below we provide rough estimates of CDL costs based on a number of different scenarios:

Scenario 1: You want to be a commercial truck driver and want to work for a large trucking company.

In this case you’ll no doubt be able to get your CDL completely free of charge by doing your training through an established trucking company. Many trucking companies have arrangements with CDL training schools and provided you agree to work for the trucking company for a period of time after completing your training, they’ll cover all the expenses involved with getting a commercial license and even pay you while you train.

Another benefit of doing your CDL training with an established trucking company is that they’ll often provide the trucks from you to train in and perform your on road test in.


Scenario 2: You don’t want to do your CDL training with a trucking company.

In this scenario the CDL cost will vary a little from state to state. As a general rule you can expect to pay the following:

  1. Medical Examination Fee – varies a lot from practitioner to practitioner.
  2. Application Fee – around $15 – $25
  3. Skills Test Fee – around $60 – $70 if you provide the vehicle
  4. License Fee – around $50
  5. Additional Endorsements – around $10 each

A CDL usually needs to be renewed every few years (varies from state to state). A typical renewal period is around 4-6 years and the renewal cost is around $50 – $100.


CDL Training schools that provide intensive training can cost upwards of several thousand dollar.

13 Responses to “CDL Cost – CDL Training Costs Explained…”

  1. Art Morgan says:

    I just finished trucker training school and having trouble finding a job driving locally. Any suggestions?

    • Aidan says:

      Well, my first suggestion is, if your circumstances will let you, is to apply for some OTR driving. Many local jobs want a year or two of OTR driving as a prerequisite for hiring.

  2. Dan says:

    Great site, thanks for the details on how to get a CDL.

  3. Julia Alvarado says:

    My husband and I are considering becoming team drivers, but we’re both over 50. Do you think it will be hard for us to find a company that will hire us?

  4. Jermaine Padilla says:

    If the trucking company pays for your training, how long do you have to work for them?

  5. Austin Garamond says:

    If I decide to go to an independent truck driving school, do I have to pay the whole amount up front?

    • Aidan says:

      Hi Austin, whether you have to pay upfront is determined by each school, so it’s hard for me to say. I know that some schools offer financing, so be sure to ask to see if they’re able to work with you on that.

  6. Terry M. says:

    What if you get your training from one company but then another company offers you more money? Are you stuck with the first company?

    • Aidan says:

      Terry, that may depend on whether you signed a contract with the first company, and if they paid for your training. It’s best to really check out all your options so you can be fairly certain you’ll stay with whoever you choose, at least for the first year.

  7. Arturo Hernandez says:

    I do not want to do training with trucking company. How I get my truck driver licens?

    • Aidan says:

      You don’t have to go through a trucking company, that’s just one option you have. You can find an independent truck driving school and apply directly to them.

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