How to Get a Truck Driving License in the USA?

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2 mins read

You have always wanted to become a truck driver in the US, and now is the time to make it happen. There are various requirements that you have to be able to fulfill before you can take the truck driving license test. To get a truck driving license, one needs to have a valid passport and be at least 18 years of age. They need to be able to do a background check to see if they have any criminal history or a disqualifying factor.

How Does It Work in Practice?

After passing the test and obtaining a license to drive for the first time, a person can apply for a Class A, Class B, or Class C license for the given year, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The truck driving license examination is set up in three phases. The driver has three hours to pass the written test, followed by a driving test, lasting four hours, and then a 30-hour post-license medical exam. And this is where CDL School Sacramento will come to the rescue if you lack some practical knowledge or experience. Anyway, let’s check the key specs of different driving licenses and the process of obtaining the document.

Class A license

At least 2 years of experience in a truck driving position is needed to become a Class A driver. After passing the written test, the applicant will need to meet state requirements, then have a 30-hour driving exam, and finally a 12-month safety evaluation. Once that period has passed, the driver can then be issued a Class A license. The state of residence must issue the document. The applicant must have at least six months of experience before applying for the license and must not have been convicted of any traffic or criminal law violations in the past three years.

Class B License

Class B drivers are generally Class A drivers with an additional year of experience. Class B licenses are issued to students of colleges of trucking or those who have a previous Class A license and have been working for at least one year. After passing the written test and the four-hour driving test, the applicant is required to pass a 30-hour safety exam and a 12-month safety review.

Class C License

A Class C license is generally issued to Class B drivers who have worked at least three years in a truck driving position. A document can also be claimed by drivers with a previous Class A or Class B license and not been convicted of any traffic or criminal law violations in the past three years. The state of residence is allowed to issue the license, so long as the driver has met the local, state, and federal requirements. The Class C license can also be issued to students of colleges of trucking.

The Process of Obtaining a Truck Driving License

Before you can apply for a driving license, you need to be 18 years of age, pass a criminal background check, and have a valid U.S. passport. While there is not a specific state or Federal Test, there are multiple options available. To ensure a fair and accurate test, applicants may have to visit a testing center. Some of these test centers can charge an additional fee, so make sure to research your options.

While there is a test for commercial drivers, most states don’t allow you to take a test to obtain your first or second driver’s license in this case. However, you do have a choice in where you are issued a license. Some states only allow drivers to have the document issued in the state where the DMV is located, while others allow drivers to obtain a license in any state regardless of where they are living.

The FMCSA requires two things from the driver to receive their license:

  • First, they have to have completed a physical examination and a 12-month safety record with a licensed truck driving school;
  • Once this is complete, the driver will need to pass a written exam, a driving test, and a 10-hour behind-the-wheel test to obtain a Class A or Class B license.

The behind-the-wheel test is where the driver is behind the wheel for 10 hours at a truck driving school, while the examiner evaluates them for the safety of themselves, the other drivers, and the public.