How to Obtain a CDL License in California

  • How to Obtain a CDL License in California

    How to Obtain a CDL License in California

    If you’re ready to make a career change and become a truck driver, here’s what you need to do to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in California.

    How to Obtain a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP)

    Before you can apply for a CDL, you must attend a truck driving school and obtain a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP). 

    CLP applicants must have a standard California noncommercial Class C driver license in order to begin the process. Once you’ve completed the online CDL application, you’ll need to visit a DMV office in order to:

    • Submit a 10 Year History Record Check
    • Submit a completed Medical Examination Report Form and Medical Examiner’s Certificate
    • Provide proof of your social security number (SSN)
    • Verify your identity with an acceptable identity document
    • Present acceptable residency documents
    • Pay the nonrefundable application fee
    • Submit fingerprints
    • Pass a vision exam
    • Have your photo taken
    • Pass the knowledge test(s)

    View DMV requirements for applying for a CLP here.

    How to Apply for a Commercial Driver’s License (CLD)

    Once you’ve held a CLP for 14 days, you can apply to take the skills test by scheduling an appointment online. According to the DMV website, you may also call 1-800-777-0133 during the regular business hours (8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon., Tues., Thurs., and Fri., and between 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Wed., excluding holidays) to make an appointment.

    You are required to bring the type of vehicle you want to drive (in this case, a long-haul truck). During the skills test, you’ll have to demonstrate knowledge of a vehicle inspection, basic control skills and driving. Once you pass the skills test, you will receive an interim CDL valid for 60 days.

    DMV Availability During COVID-19

    The 169 DMV field offices that were closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic are scheduled to reopen on June 12th. Though behind-the-wheel driving tests are not yet available due to physical distancing rules, America Truck Driving School is still facilitating driving tests through a third party examiner. If you’re in need of any assistance or have questions about the process, feel free to contact us directly at (714) 542-8660!

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