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A Step By Step Guide to Getting Your CDL

In order to become a professional driver, the first thing you need to do is get your CDL.

The problem is, a lot of people want to get their CDL, but they don’t know where to start.

In this article, we’re going to cover exactly how you can get your CDL license in Illinois. Other states will follow a similar protocol, so all of these steps can be expected wherever you are looking to apply.

Once you get your CDL, you’re on your way to becoming a professional truck driver!

Here is your step-by-step guide to getting your CDL!

1. Be at least 21

In order to get your CDL in Illinois, you have to be at least 21 years old. However, if you’re only looking to drive intrastate (within the state), you can get away with being 18.

2. Submit your state’s CDL application and pay the fee

In Illinois, the CDL fee is $50. Check your state government’s website to determine how much you’ll have to pay for your CDL.

3. Provide proof of identity (social security, driver’s license, etc)

Just like with anything you do in your life, you have to be able to prove that you are you. Passport, driver’s license, social security, and all other relevant information are required.

4. Provide proof of residency (state and national)

For this, you’ll need either your driver’s license, a passport, a voter registration card, copies of your utility or rent bills, or a copy of your lease or mortgage.

5. Submit a completed medical exam

This exam is completed alongside a doctor or qualified medical professional, and they will evaluate your medical history records, your immunization records, and any other relevant information for your medical health. Contact your local health professional for all of the required paperwork.

6. Pass a vision test

This exam will be completed alongside a licensed optometrist. To drive well, you have to see well, so this is very important! Contact your local eye doctor for all of the required paperwork.

7. Pass a CDL knowledge exam

In the same way that you have to take a written test in Illinois to get your learner’s permit, you have to do this to get your CDL learner’s permit.

8. Get your CLP (Commerical Learner’s Permit)

Once you get your CLP, you then have 180 days to practice driving and to get ready for your CDL exam.

9. You also have to wait a minimum of 14 days to schedule your CDL road skills exam

Once you schedule your exam, all there is to do is master CDL driving in preparation for your exam!

10. Pass pre-trip inspection, the road skills, and the driving exam (you need to bring your own vehicle)

In order to get your own vehicle, you can either rent one, buy one, or, some trucking companies and trucking schools will help you get a vehicle so that you can get the tests done.

11. Pay the fees to your new CDL

The final fee is $60. Pay this, and you’re done. You’ve already come this far!

12. Congrats, you’re now a licensed CDL driver!

I know it might seem like a lot of steps and a lot of work to get your CDL, but if you want to drive, these are just the rules right now. If you have questions about getting your CDL or if you want to join our team, send us a message here.

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