Everything you need to know about getting your CDL License

To guarantee highway safety, The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act was created to develop qualifications for drivers operating vehicles weighing over 26,000 lbs.  The outcome-the Commercial Driver’s License or commonly known as CDL with endorsements.

How to acquire a Commercial Driver’s License

Any DMV office will carry a Commercial Driver’s Manual.  It will cover all the requirements, procedures, and testing information on the basics necessary to obtain a CDL License.  Delaware is one of many states within the U.S. that have exceptions to requiring this license, and they are operating any farm or firefighting equipment, or recreational or military vehicles.

The manual gives a clear understanding of the rules and laws and how to apply using the application form.  Perform a written test based on the information from the manual but be aware that several other tests and documentation may be necessary to complete. There may be age restrictions, fingerprinting, and security threat assessments required, depending on class and endorsements applied for.

Once a Learner’s Permit is received, practice for the road skills test with trained professionals.  Focus on areas like vehicle inspection, coupling, and driving in different conditions.  Continue practicing braking, parking, turning and backing up.

Three CDL Classes and Endorsements
There are three classes of the CDL License:

A-Vehicle has a gross vehicle weight GVWR of over 26,000 lbs. and will be towing another vehicle with a GVWR of over 10,000 lbs.

B- Vehicles’ GVWR is over 26,000 lbs. and is not towing another vehicle.

C-Vehicle is less than 26,000 lbs. but will be transporting more than 16 people or carrying hazardous materials.

There are also a number of CDL endorsements and they include hazardous materials/tank and hazmat, tank vehicles, double and triple trailers, passenger and school buses.

When transporting hazardous materials, the diamond-shaped warning signs called placards must be present and a hazardous materials endorsement obtained.  For tank and/or hazmat, a different endorsement is required. Plus, it depends on how many trailers, doubles or triples, you intend to transport.

Two separate endorsements are required for driving a school bus or a passenger vehicle with more than 16 passengers.  A school bus endorsement requires extra qualifications that include completing some formal training with the Department of Education.  Your driving record will also be considered.

Smith & Solomon Training Solutions offers the professional training needed to obtain CDL licenses and endorsements.  Visit their website Smithsolomon.com for more information on training programs, job placement and locations in the U.S.

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