To ensure the safety and security in highways, the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 was implemented. This requires a series of tests and requirements to be accomplished by a motorist to be granted the privilege to drive large vehicles such as trucks or buses. A CDL, allows the driver to operate commercial vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 11,793 kg or more, or will be able to transport hazardous materials (HAZMAT) with HME (Hazardous Materials Endorsement) on their CDL, or drive vehicles that can accommodate 16 or more passengers such as buses. A CDL can give you an average truck driver salary of $35,000 annually.
In obtaining a CDL, one must pass the national requirements by the state specifications. National requirements include a written exam and a skill test. The written exam is referred to as a knowledge test. One is given 30 questions involving highway safety and must be able to have 80% correct answers. Knowledge exams are offered in full-service DMV branch offices.
You must submit the following on the day of the knowledge test; your current driver’s license, social security card, proof of identity and residency, a medical examination form within 90 days and a complete application for a Commercial Driver’s License. Some states require vision screening. One must pay the knowledge test fee and the skill test fee on the knowledge examination day. Fees differ depending on the state. If you fail the examination you can retake it on the next business day but the fee must be paid again.
After the written exam is the skill test or road exam, to pass the road exam one must be able to perform basic and required driving skills and maneuvers. This test must be performed in vehicles that are expected to be driven by the CDL holders. To pass CDL exams, one must have truck driving experience, one must practice driving and handling large trucks and rigs. Also, potential drivers must have knowledge in the inspection of vehicles before driving in order to prevent accidents due to malfunction of equipment. One must also know how to drive or maneuver large trucks and rigs in various conditions, as well as handle turns, parking and backing properly.
For the skill test, you must submit your driver’s license, validated goldenrod of the Application for CDL, commercial driver’s instruction permit or CDIP, confirmation letter and examination to determine the physical condition of the driver. If you fail, the test fee must be paid again and schedule for another testing. A fourteen -day waiting period will be given to those who failed.
In attachment to one’s Commercial Driver’s License, there is an endorsement. Taking another set of exams will earn you endorsements for your CDL. These endorsements allow a holder of a CDL to drive specific commercial motor vehicles such as double or triple trailer by passing a written exam. Another example of endorsement is for passenger vehicles, they provide both written and driving examd for this endorsement. School Buses, tank trucks, hazardous materials, tow trucks are more examples of endorsements. There will be fees collected for the examinations. If you fail the endorsement test, you can take the test on the next business days and pay the endorsement test fee again.