If you’re considering becoming a truck driver, it’s important to be aware of what disqualifies you from getting a CDL. You must meet a variety of CDL requirements in order to receive the license. Find out if you’re qualified to receive your CDL and learn what it takes to prepare for the exam and avoid license suspension!
Obtaining Your CDL
In order to obtain your CDL you need to attend truck driving school for training. At the end of that process, you will take an exam. If you’re looking for CDL practice tests, start here!
Choose a Truck Driving School
Receiving quality CDL training is key to obtaining your license. Before jumping in blindly, research truck driving schools. Also, consider the factors that will affect your education such as the price, location, and quality of your driving school.
Prepare for the CDL Exam
In addition to undergoing CDL training, you’ll also have to spend some time studying for the exam independently. Complete practice tests, ask questions and do what it takes to feel fully prepared for the exam.
What Disqualifies You from Getting a CDL?
The Department of Transportation (DOT) and more specifically the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) set the standards for the trucking industry. Those standards determine what disqualifies you from getting a CDL. To receive your CDL, you must meet those standards and follow the regulations. In addition to these requirements, it’s important to note that employers have their own criteria for selecting individuals to fill their truck driving positions. Luckily, the industry trends are in your favor. With recent driving shortages, trucking companies are forced to be more flexible with their selection process so that open positions can be filled.
Physical and Medical Standards in the Trucking Industry
The government requires individuals to meet physical standards to ensure they can drive trucks safely. Excellent vision is a must. To receive your CDL, you must meet the vision and hearing requirements to ensure you’re fit to drive a truck according to the government’s regulations. Vision requirements include range and color. Other physical conditions, including epilepsy and narcolepsy, may also prevent you from receiving your CDL. Recent changes in law patterns have reduced restrictions against CDL applicants with sleep apnea and hearing impairments. This is great news to job candidates affected by these conditions and to employers who want to hire them. That being said, discrimination against individuals in these categories may still occur throughout the hiring process.
Clean Criminal Record
If you’ve been involved in certain types of criminal activity, you may not be eligible for a CDL. If your license is suspended for driving violations or other criminal activity, you will not be able to receive your CDL. Even if your criminal history doesn’t prevent you from obtaining your CDL, you may still have trouble getting hired by trucking companies.
You can receive your CDL at the age of 18, but you will not be able to cross state lines until the age of 21.
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CDL Suspensions and Reinstatements
In addition to knowing what disqualifies you from getting a CDL, learn about suspensions and reinstatements. Be aware of behaviors that may lead to the suspension of your CDL. Reasons for suspension include your driving record, traffic violations, health changes, or DUIs. So, how do you reinstate your CDL? You may need to complete a driver safety course, pay a reinstatement fee, and/or avoid driving throughout the duration of your suspension. Severe driving regulations may result in a permanent suspension of your CDL. CDL suspensions and reinstatements vary by state, so be sure to check out the regulations that may affect you.
Ready to take the next steps to receive your CDL? Search through our truck driving schools and find the best fit for you and your truck driving ambitions.Already have your CDL? Find trucking jobs here!