Obtaining your commercial driver’s license (CDL) is the first step in moving forward with the goal of becoming a trucker. To get your commercial driver’s license, the minimum age requirement is 18 and if you decide to travel interstate, the minimum age requirement is 21. There is a knowledge and skills test associated with obtaining your license.
Another thing to consider is what class of CDL license you will need.
Any combination of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) 26,001 pounds or more provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR.
Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that meets neither the definition of Group A or B, but that either is designed to transport 16 or more passengers transporting different commodity types. Depending on the commodity you will haul, you may need a HAZMAT certification.
A few items you’ll need to apply for a CDL:
- Proof of Insurance
- Social Security Card
- Valid USDOT medical certificate
- Proof of residency
- Proof of Age and Identity
Once you have received your CDL, you will likely want to get an authority to operate. You will need to obtain your USDOT number and if possibly an MC number. Usually this process can take 4-5 weeks on average, so partnering with a company like DAT Freight & Analytics that can expedite this process this for you.