How to get your commercial driver’s license in California

Aug 15, 20 by Ticket Snipers

How to get your commercial driver’s license in California

Are you considering making truck driving your career? Well, the first steps in achieving this dream may feel overwhelming as there are some requirements that you must meet. Whether you are thinking of being a short-term truck driver or making it a full-fledged career, you will be required to get a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

The actual process requires you to start by looking for a truck driving school to take you through the training. After training, you will be required to sit for tests and then apply for a CDL after passing them. With a commercial driver’s license, you are allowed to drive commercial trucks anywhere, including the highways.

Getting a commercial driver’s license may seem like a huge challenge, but with enough knowledge, it is something that you can easily manage. Here is what you need to know about how to get your commercial driver’s license in California.

What is a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)?

A CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) is a license that is issued to an individual in accordance with Federal Regulations to operate a commercial vehicle. To apply for a CDL in California, you should meet the following federal regulations, which include:

Should have been issued with a CLP (Commercial Learner’s Permit)

  1. To apply for a CDL to operate commercial vehicles within California, you should be 18 years or older.
  2. To apply for a CDL to operate commercial trucks outside California (interstate license), you should be 21 years or older.

Moreover, the state demands that you also complete a 10-year history record form while making your application if you are new in California and had been issued a license in another state. This is a relatively easy process since the federal government requires truck drivers to keep their records in electronic logging devices. ELD violations affect your CSA and also lead to being place out-of-service for 10 hours. The best resource we have found to research ELDs is BestELDDevices.com.

Types of CDLs

Commercial driver’s licenses are categorized into three different classes, which include:

1. Class A CDL

This license is required to drive any combination of motor vehicles with a GVWR (gross combination weight rating) of up to 26,001 pounds or more on condition that the towed vehicle weighs more than 10,000 pounds. With a Class A CDL, you will be allowed to operate the following vehicles:

  • Tractor-trailers
  • Tanker vehicles
  • Trailer or truck combinations
  • Triple/double trailers
  • Flatbeds
  • Tractor-trailer buses, and
  • Livestock carriers

Drivers with a Class A CDL are also allowed to operate certain vehicles in the other classes, but with proper endorsements.

2. Class B CDL

A Class B CDL is required to drive any single vehicle with an attached cab and cargo area with a gross weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more. This also includes any similar vehicle with a detached towed cargo with a gross vehicle weight rating that is not in excess of 10,000 pounds.

With proper endorsements, individuals with Class B CDL may also operate vehicles categorized as Class C CDL.

3. Class C CDL

This Class is required to drive a single vehicle with a gross weight rating that is below 26,001 pounds or any similar vehicle towing a vehicle that has less than 10,000 pounds gross weight rating. This includes all other vehicles that do not fit into the other classes.

What are the requirements to get my CDL in California?

To get your CDL in California, you will be required to provide the following documents:

· Identification Documents

First, you will need to prove your identity to ascertain that you have met the federal regulations. As mentioned above, you must be 18 years or older to apply for a CDL to operate vehicles within the state. To get an interstate CDL, drivers must be 21 years or older.

· Medical Examination Report

You may also be required to present a medical report for consideration. However, this will depend on the last time you had one.

· Social Security Card

The law requires you to also prove your social security number before getting a CDL in California. This should be done by presenting an original copy of your social security card.

· CDL Test Results

Finally, you will be required to prove that you have successfully completed and passed your CDL test.


Now that we have looked at the requirements, you will go through all the steps that you will have to go through to complete the actual process.

How to get a CDL in California

Step 1: Apply for Your Learner’s Permit

First, you need to get a learner’s permit, just like when applying for a regular driver’s license.

To get your learners permit, you must:

· Be at least 18 years old

· Provide you Social Security Card

· Allow them to take your photo and thumbprint

· Submit a CDL application

· Submit a10-year history record form if you have been issued a license in another state to operate a vehicle.

· Submit a self-certification form that provides information about the type of commercial driving you have an interest in.

· Pass a written and a vision test

· Paying a fee for your license.

Step 2: Learn at a Driving School

Train at a driving school how to operate trucks and also how to maintain and inspect them for any mechanical issues. A truck driving school will teach you how to drive vehicles on highways and other roads as a way to prepare you for a road test.

Step 3: Pass a Road Test and Apply for your CDL

After acing the driving test and the skills, you will need to apply for a full commercial driver’s license. However, you will also get an interim CDL after passing the skills test that expires after 90 days within which your CDL will have arrived through your email. To apply for a CDL, you will have to make an appointment with your local CDL office.

Unlike some states, California allow individuals between the ages of 18 to 20 to apply for a CDL to operate within the state. However, to apply for an interstate license, you should be 21 years or older. The actual process might seem quite like a challenge, but we believe that the discussion above will help you stay ahead of the game.

Conclusion

Unlike some states, California allow individuals between the ages of 18 to 20 to apply for a CDL to operate within the state. However, to apply for an interstate license, you should be 21 years or older. The actual process might seem quite like a challenge, but we believe that the discussion above will help you stay ahead of the game.