A commercial driver’s license is a special type of driver’s license required for people operating large, heavy, commercial motor vehicles for work purposes. A CDL differs from a regular driver’s license because it permits drivers to operate vehicles with a higher weight rating. Additional skills and knowledge are required for a driver to obtain their CDL in order to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
You can use a commercial driver’s license to operate tractor-trailers, shuttle buses, city buses, charter buses, sightseeing buses, and tour buses. It is also necessary for transporting hazardous materials such as chemicals, gasses, and other dangerous substances.
Let’s Get You Started
To acquire a commercial driver’s license you have to follow several steps. Here’s how you can get started with the process.
First, you need to get a copy of your state’s commercial driver’s licensing manual. You can find this on the state’s website or at one of their offices.
Then, you’ll want to select which vehicle you believe you will be driving and getting a license for. This can include a semi-truck, bus, or other vehicles that require CDLs. You’ll have to pass a skills test and/or a written test to receive your CDL and endorsement. If you don’t pass all aspects of the tests you could have restrictions placed on your CDL.
Getting Your Commercial Learner’s Permit
A commercial learner’s permit allows drivers to practice on public roads with a CDL holder in the vehicle. The state will check your driving record for the past 10 years before issuing a commercial learner’s permit (CLP). You’ll also have to provide proof of medical qualification along with verifying your name and where you live.
Entry-Level Driving Training
If your CLP was issued on or after February 7, 2022, entry-level driver training must be completed before you can obtain a Class A or Class B commercial driver’s license. The ELDT requirements also apply if you are obtaining a Class A or Class B CDL for the first time, if you are upgrading from an existing Class B to a Class A, or if you are looking to get a school bus, passenger or hazardous material endorsement for the first time. Some states have additional requirements that go beyond federal requirements.
Obtaining Your Commercial Driver’s License
Once you’ve had the CLP for 14 days and complete the entry-level driver training, you’ll be eligible to perform the skills test. This consists of the vehicle inspection test, the basic controls test, and the road test.
If you pass the skills test, you should submit your documentation. Some states allow you to obtain your CDL the same day, others send it through the mail.
Protect Your Business the Right Way
Once you obtain your CDL, you’ll need insurance coverage for your vehicle. KF&B Insurance is your top choice for transportation insurance. We have a variety of passenger insurance solutions to protect your business and we’ll tailor your insurance coverage to fit your needs. Our coverage options include charter buses, sightseeing buses, tour buses, shuttle buses, luxury sedans, SUVs, limousines, and town cars.
Our other insurance options include garage keepers insurance, general liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, umbrella insurance, and more.