Applicants may apply for a CDL beginning at age 18. However, Federal Regulations state that a license holder, including CDL holders, must be 21 years of age to drive a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce. Therefore, CDL holders in Massachusetts under the age of 21 will be issued a K restriction (Intrastate Operation Only). Commercial vehicles are divided into 3 classes based on size, weight, and functionality. In addition to classes, you may also get endorsements, which permit you to drive specifically kinds of vehicles. For example, you’ll need a special endorsement to drive a school bus.
You will have to take one or more Knowledge Tests to obtain your CDL permit, depending on what class of license and what endorsements you need.The CDL knowledge tests include:
• the General Knowledge Test, taken by all applicants (One hour – 50 questions)
• the Passenger Transport ((P) Test, taken by all bus driver applicants (20 minutes – 20 questions)
• the Air Brakes Test (L), which you must take if your vehicle has air brakes (25 minutes – 25 questions)
• the Combination Vehicles Test, which is required if you want to drive combination vehicles (20 minutes – 20 questions)
• the Hazardous Materials Test (X), required if you want to haul hazardous material or waste (30 minutes – 30 questions)
• the Tanker Test (N), required if you want to haul liquids in bulk (20 minutes – 20 questions)
• the Doubles/Triples Test (T), required if you want to pull double or triple trailers (20 minutes – 20 questions)
• the School Bus Test, required if you want to transport pre-primary, primary, and secondary school students in a full sized “School Bus” (i.e., Big Yellow Bus)
Class A CDL training consists of 40 hours of classroom instruction and a minimum of 80 hours of road and field maneuvers (combined). Class B CDL training with bus driver endorsements consists of 20 hours of classroom instruction and 40 hours of road and field instruction.
These classes will prepare you to take the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) knowledge tests. Participants will engage in classroom instruction, hands-on demonstrations of a pre-trip safety inspection, video presentations, and practice tests. Deadlines and timelines regarding CDL testing will be explained.
This class will help you achieve Step 1: Get the Commercial Learners Permit (CLP)
A Commercial Learners Permit (CLP) is a permit that only authorizes you to practice on public roads with a qualified CDL holder sitting next to you. Getting the permit involves more than just passing all the knowledge tests for the type of driving you want to do. To make sure that you are eligible your driving record is checked for the last 10 years in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. You need to bring in the proof that your state accepts to show that you are medically qualified. Most types of commercial driving require a DOT medical card, requiring a DOT physical. Your state may require specific documents it wants to see to prove your name and proof of residency. There are fees for getting the CLP. Reading and following the instructions in your state’s CDL Manual streamlines the process.
Work with experienced instructor, Kathy Everett, to understand the process of obtaining a CDL license, get your commercial learners permit and get assistance to obtain your commercial license.