How To Get Your Class A Commercial Driving License

Posted on: 25 September 2018

Want to be a commercial truck driver? That could be a wise move. The commercial transportation industry plays an important role in the national economy, and companies are always looking for responsible, qualified drivers. If you enjoy being on the road, interstate commercial driving could be the opportunity for you.

Before you can start looking for jobs, though, you'll need to get a class A commercial driving license. The class A license allows you to operate most tractor trailers. You can also get endorsements on your license that allow you pull up to three trailers. While the process varies by state, below are three of the most important steps that all new drivers must complete:

Get a physical. Nearly every state requires new drivers to undergo a medical exam before they can proceed with a commercial license application. The physical will likely include a vision and hearing test, along with other basic information, such as blood pressure. Assuming you don't have any major health issues, you'll likely pass the medical exam. Even if you have vision issues, you can address that by obtaining glasses or contacts. Your doctor will have to sign and submit a medical certification on your behalf before you can take the next step.

Pass a written exam. Once you've submitted your medical certification, you'll need to pass a written exam. Each state offers a study manual and practice tests for free on its website. There are also many services that offer paid study services. These services may provide you with tips and hints on how to pass the most difficult parts of the tests. If you're not confident in your ability to study for the exam on your own, you may want to pay for a test prep service.

Pass the driving test. The next step is a driving test in a class A vehicle. Some states provide a vehicle for the test, but in other states you have to bring your own vehicle. You also may opt for optional endorsements on your license, such as the ability to pull multiple trailers. Again, there are schools that will help you prepare for the driving test. However, you are not required to pay for training. If you have access to a class A vehicle and the ability to practice with supervision, you can prepare in that manner. Otherwise, it may be wise to go to driving school before the test.

Practice with an experienced driver. Once you pass the test, you'll be issued a temporary license or learner's permit. In most states, you have to complete a certain number of driving hours with a licensed driver present before you get a full license. If you go to a driving school, they will likely provide you with a driver and vehicle to complete this requirement. If not, you'll have to find a driver willing to help. The sooner you complete your permit hours, the sooner you can get your full license and get on the road.

Ready to get started on your driving career? Talk to some trucking companies or driving schools today. They can help you start the process.