Here’s an overview of what’s required:
- You must be at least 21 years of age for interstate driving.
- You must be at least 18 years of age for intrastate driving (driving in your home state).
- You must be able to read and speak the English language to a level high enough to hold a conversation with the general public, to be able to read traffic signs and signals.
- You must be able to safely operate a commercial motor vehicle.
- You must be physically qualified to drive a CMV by having completed relevant physical and medical examinations.
- You must have a current drivers license.
- You must not be disqualified from driving a motor vehicle.
- You must have successfully completed an on road test and written examinations corresponding to the class of vehicle you want to drive.
So where do you start?
First you need to identify what Class of CDL you want to obtain, this largely depends on the type of vehicle you want to drive, you can find out more about different CDL Classes here:
Once you know which class of license you require, you also need to decide on the additional CDL endorsements you’ll need. These depend on factors such as how many passengers you’ll be carrying and what type of load you’ll be transporting.
Once you’ve got a basic understanding of the class of CDL required and the CDL endorsements required, you should contact your local Department of Transportation or Department of Motor Vehicles.
Here’s a list of governmental agencies broken down State by State:
Alabama – http://www.dps.state.al.us/
Alaska – http://www.state.ak.us/local/akpages/ADMIN/dmv/akol/cdl.htm
Arizona – http://www.azdot.gov/mvd/faqs/scripts/faqs.asp?section=cdl
Arkansas – http://www.arkansas.gov/dfa/driver_services/ds_license.html
California – http://www.dmv.ca.gov/commercial/commercial.htm
Colorado - http://www.revenue.state.co.us/mcs_dir/wrap.asp?incl=CDL_index
Connecticut - http://www.ct.gov/dmv/taxonomy/ct_taxonomy.asp?DLN=41638&dmvNav=|41638|
Delaware - http://www.dmv.de.gov/services/driver_services/drivers_license/dr_lic_cdl.shtml
Florida - http://www.hsmv.state.fl.us/ddl/dlclass.html
Georgia - http://www.dds.ga.gov/Commercial/index.aspx
Hawaii - http://www.hawaii.gov/dot/highways/hwy-v/mvso.htm
Idaho - http://www.itd.idaho.gov/dmv/DriverServices/CDL.htm
Illinois - http://www.sos.state.il.us/departments/drivers/cdl/home.html
Indiana - http://www.in.gov/bmv/driverlicense/CDL.html
Iowa - http://www.dot.state.ia.us/mvd/ods/cdl.htm
Kansas - http://www.ksrevenue.org/dmvdrlic.htm
Kentucky - http://drlic.kytc.ky.gov/
Louisiana - http://web01.dps.louisiana.gov/OMV1.nsf/1b2fc6edb63de9b1862564800069f248/f49e283fc26019e8862564ae00546c22?OpenDocument
Maine - http://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/licenses/index.html
Maryland - http://mva.state.md.us/DriverServ/Apply/CDL/commercial.htm
Massachusetts - http://www.mass.gov/rmv/license/8cdl.htm
Michigan - http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127-1627_8666_9060—,00.html
Minnesota - http://www.dps.state.mn.us/dvs/DriverLicense/DL%20Info/DL%20frame.htm
Mississippi - http://www.dps.state.ms.us/dps/dps.nsf/divpages/hp2ds-info-comm2?OpenDocument
Missouri - http://www.dor.mo.gov/mvdl/drivers/commercial/
Montana - http://doj.mt.gov/driving/driverlicensingcommercial.asp
Nebraska - http://www.dmv.state.ne.us/examining/licpermits.html#top
Nevada - http://www.dmvnv.com/nvdl.htm#Commercial
New Hampshire - http://www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/dmv/driverlic/index.html
New Jersey - http://www.state.nj.us/mvc/Commercial/CommercialDriver.htm
New Mexico - http://www.state.nm.us/tax/mvd/mvd_home.htm
New York – http://www.nydmv.state.ny.us/cdl.htm
North Carolina – http://www.ncdot.org/dmv/driver_services/commercialtrucking/requirements.html
North Dakota - http://www.dot.nd.gov/dlclass.html
Ohio – http://www.bmv.ohio.gov/driver_license/cdl.htm
Oklahoma - http://www.dps.state.ok.us/dls/
Oregon - http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/DMV/driverid/cdlget.shtml
Pennsylvania - http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/commercial_licensing/index.shtml
Rhode Island - http://www.dmv.state.ri.us/licenses/comm_chauff.php
South Carolina - http://www.scdmvonline.com/DMVNew/default.aspx?n=commercial_driver_licenses
South Dakota - http://www.state.sd.us/dps/dl/Commercial/Commercial.htm
Tennessee - http://state.tn.us/safety/driverlicense/cdlalt.htm
Texas - http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/administration/driver_licensing_control/dlindex.htm
Utah - http://publicsafety.utah.gov/dld/CDL.html
Vermont - http://www.aot.state.vt.us/dmv/LICENSES/Commercial/CDLLICENSESPERMITS.htm
Virginia - http://www.dmv.state.va.us/webdoc/citizen/drivers/applyingcdl.asp
Washington - http://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/cdl.html
Washington DC - http://dmv.washingtondc.gov/serv/dlicense/commercial_howto.shtm
West Virginia - http://www.wvdot.com/6_motorists/dmv/6g0_cdl.htm
Wisconsin - http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/drivers/drivers/apply/types/cdl.htm
Wyoming - http://www.dot.state.wy.us/wydot/site/wydot/license_commercial