Your truck driving career doesn’t need an expensive degree, it needs hardcore know-how of the road, on feet thinking and a brilliant work ethic. You are spared from the banality of rote learning, take a deep breath! However, there is one exam that you need to clear in order to set yourself up as a bankable truck drive. That’s a CDL permit test for you, folks!

What does CDL mean?

Widely known as a commercial driver’s license (CDL) is a permit that drivers need to have in order to drive heavy, huge and at times, even hazardous commercial vehicles like trucks or tractor-trailers.

As the per the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 framed by the United States, CDL is considered to be one of the minimum requirements that individuals need to obtain to drive vehicles across Class A, Class B, Class C. To know more about these licenses, you could check out the differences between the three classes of CDL.

In order to avail any of the aforementioned licenses, a trucker needs to clear a CDL permit test.

What is the CDL Permit Test?

Basically, the commercial learner’s permit exam is divided across three sections.  You are asked questions across subjects like general knowledge, air brakes, combination vehicles. You must pass this CDL permit test in order to be eligible to drive a semi-truck bus or another category of vehicle that weighs more than 26,000 pounds.

For instance, if you want to get a Class C driver’s license, then you need to secure a learner’s permit. As per the federal government and the US Department of Transportation, since 1992, CDL is mandatory for bus drivers as well as truckers to operate heavy vehicles.

How many questions are on the CDL Permit test?

You will have to answer 100 questions for the written test of CDL. All the questions have multiple choices. They would majorly revolve around topics like commercial driving. You do not need to actually drive to clear this test.

What are prerequisites for CDL Permit Test?

Firstly, you need to meet various eligibility parameters that CDL applicants need to clear. These criteria are different for different states of America. However, there are general prerequisites that include:

– Holding a valid and current driver’s license

– Passing a physical medical exam

– Being at least 18 years old and 21 years old to operate vehicles across the state lines

How to Prep for the CDL Permit Test?

We are not kidding, CDL permit test does require serious studying and focussed preparation if you wish to pass it with flying colours. Basically, don’t take this test lightly if you are serious about starting your career as a trucker. Follow these easy tips to structure your prep for the same, and we bet you would clear the test:

Thoroughly read the CDL Handbook

The CDL handbook mostly contains everything that you need to know to clear the test. It is slightly customized as per different states, but it covers topics like taking CDL, air brakes, on-road driving exam, tank vehicles, combination vehicles, transporting cargo and passengers, towing trailers, tank vehicles et al.

Get the latest version of this handbook so that you do not miss any of these topics. Keep taking notes and never miss essential pointers from the same.

Keep Your Documentation Ready

You will have to go in person and apply for CDL at the local DMV. Keep in mind that you would take your CDL here. You will also have to submit the required documentation for your ID proof like passport, birth certificate, latest immigration documents. 

After your identity is verified, you will have to present a proof for your tax records, utility bills, W-2 form, lease agreements, mortgage documents, current weapons permit and more.

Most importantly, you need to have a regular driver’s license. If you haven’t had one in the recent past, then you cannot apply for the CDL permit test.

Stick to the Plan of Giving the Exam

After you have decided about giving CDL, do not go back on your word. Commit to it and make sure to know your test center, appointment time and other criticalities well in advance. Additionally, by fixing your exam date, you would be able to work backwards and be ready to crack the test by reading varied subjects from the guidebook.

Take a CDL Permit Practice Test and Course

Practice does make you perfect! Take our word for it and practice as much as you can for the test. Develop a knack for the language they use for the test and understand the drill of various subjects. Allot some of your time and take an online permit course, it will help you in understanding what you exactly need to know for the test. You could also regularly check the DMV’s website to check the latest study materials and updates. Oftentimes, local DMV also has additional resources and practice tests to offer, and you could take the same and test your prep.

Read Different Topics, Discuss and Organize Everything

You could study alone or with your group, but make sure that you keep taking notes to refer in the coming weeks. Consider making flashcards and pointers to quickly read your subjects again without wasting too much time. Reach out to your network and ask them how they prepared for CDL. Their strategies and insights could prove to be useful to you as well. 

Sleep Well, Have a Good Breakfast and Reach before Time

Worried about the D-day? Fret not. You have done everything you could do. You prepped well, followed the process and finished all the formalities to appear for the test. Now just give your best and wake up to win the day. Take adequate rest a day before your CDL permit test.  At the same time, have a healthy breakfast before you head out for the test but most importantly, reach your test center early and get settled to have a productive test through the day.

Prep Up for the Process After You get CDL Permit

Once you score more than 80% in your permit test, you are eligible to drive huge vehicles. After that, you need to wait for a minimum of 14 days to apply for the final CDL tests. The skills test would be judged across vehicle inspection, road test, basic controls exam.

A few states also need you to finish a CDL training course before you get an official license. 

Go and Win

Appearing for the CDL permit test may get on your nerves, but remember there are many truckers who would take the same test which you have studied for already!  Have faith in your abilities and preparation, you would work to score well on your CDL test.

We hope you must have got a clear roadmap for cracking your CDL permit test with this guide. If you are worried about getting trucking projects after your test, don’t be, feel free to check our website and get amazing job requests to accelerate your career. ATB for your CDL test till then, folks!