CDL License Requirements & Training in Montana ::

CDL License Requirements in Montana

Before you set out on your journey to enroll in any one of the many CDL Schools in Montana, you’ll need to learn all there is to know about the state’s requirements for professional drivers. 

Firstly, you must be at least 18 years old, pass a vision test along with a physical examination, and already possess a valid Montana driver’s license. Considering that The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) oversees interstate cargo transportation, the age to drive across state lines is 21 years old. Once you’ve met these very basic requirements in order to apply, the next steps will be working towards passing both the written exams and road test. 

These tests cover all of the essentials of commercial driving – everything from pre-trip vehicle inspections, a basic understanding of the mechanics of your rig, road rules and regulations and, of course, an actual driving test. Notably, you will be required to complete your driving test in a vehicle that matches the class of the license you’ll be earning. Your test will also allow you to earn additional endorsements that serve to expand your professional capabilities for different types of vehicles and situations.

Find CDL Training Schools in Montana

Finding a formal training program to earning your Montana CDL is a great way to ensure you haven’t overlooked any of the necessary requirements or missed vital information. Considering that the current driver shortage is characterized as an issue of quality rather than quantity, setting yourself apart with a solid education can show you’re serious about a career in commercial driving. Whether you take courses through a public, private, or community college, you’ll be sure to gain all of the necessary skill sets – everything from how to properly inspect your vehicle to the fine details of life on the road and operating your vehicle with precision. Search for CDL schools in Montana and start on your road to CDL education today!

CDL Training Costs in Montana

The costs of CDL training programs vary on a state-by-state basis, ranging anywhere from $2,000-$8,300 on the national scale. These costs include experience in both the classroom and behind the wheel, in addition to any course materials and even additional credits for receiving endorsements once you complete your exams. And like most colleges, CDL students can apply for FAFSA student aid in order to take the edge off your initial costs of tuition. Other sources of income like a federal Pell Grant can be awarded through participating institutions to be used toward earning your CDL. 

Another option is attending a company-sponsored training program. In this scenario, trucking companies will actually pay for you to go through CDL training in Montana, in exchange for your employment. Drivers work to pay off their debt to these companies by working for a period of time until the costs have been matched, allowing a smooth transition into a regular salary from that point on. Just keep in mind that this is a strict financial agreement so as long as you’re absolutely serious about becoming a commercial driver, this is a great option to consider.

CDL Prep in Montana

After you’ve spent the time required in school and clocked some hours on the road, what else is there to do? Studying hard and reviewing all of your materials is never a bad idea, but when it comes to taking your actual written test you may want to get a feel for the experience with our practice CDL test! Feel free to take it as many times as possible in order to feel confident for the real deal. 

Beyond the written test, you’ll also want to practice your driving portion in the same vehicle that you’ll use to complete your final road test. Consider a rental option in order to guarantee you’re getting the right type of vehicle for the job.

Montana CDL Endorsement & Waivers

While working toward meeting all of the Montana CDL requirements, you’ll also need to consider whether you will be required to have any specialized knowledge that would also you do handle certain types of cargo. These are referred to as endorsements and require additional testing to ensure you have met state and federal standards. The following endorsement types are common throughout Montana and the rest of the United States:

  • School Bus
  • Passenger
  • Tank Vehicles
  • Double/Triple
  • Hazardous Materials

Waivers are also referred to as restrictions and are used to designate certain limitations to what a CDL holder can and cannot do. Using a similar coding system to the way endorsements are displayed on one’s license, restrictions allow employers and road officials to quickly and accurately determine a driver’s ability to be operating certain vehicles or hauling specific loads. These can include medical exemptions, as well as indicators as to the extent of your ability to use specific braking systems or even certain types of equipment like a pintle hook or other trailer variations.

CDL Tests in Montana

Now the time has finally come and you’re ready to take your final written and road tests to meet all of your CDL requirements in Montana. You’ve spent many hours behind the wheel and hitting the books, and you’ll finally be able to prove what you’ve learned. As with any test, it’s important to know what you’re getting into – below is a preview of what you’re likely to find before your life as a commercial driver can begin!

CDL Knowledge Tests in Montana

Generally, the knowledge portion of the written exam is around 50 questions and will cover a wide range of information pertaining to trucking regulations, road safety, handling equipment, and other important things to know. In order to pass your Montana CDL knowledge test, you’ll need to earn an 80% or above. After that, it’s on to the road test to really display your abilities as a commercial driver.

CDL Skills Test in Montana

Different from the written test, instructors will test your knowledge and familiarity with your vehicle, as well as how well you know the proper procedures for handling cargo, utilizing your breaking system, and other important mechanical processes. This also includes going over your pre-trip inspection tests and being able to determine whether your vehicle is safe to operate.

Finally, you’ll be onto the road test where you’ll be asked to perform turns, backing up, changing lanes, and identify traffic signs in order to respond safely and effectively. Doing well in this portion is essential to your success because it really demonstrates your aptitude and allows instructors to be confident in your abilities, especially if they are the ones sponsoring your education in the first place.

Job Outlook in Montana

It’s no mystery that the trucking industry needs more drivers to alleviate the current shortage. With your education, you’ll be sure to start earning a great salary and move on to better positions in no time at all. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of trucking jobs is expected to rise 5% by the year 2024. This is just below the predicted increase of 7% for all occupations. Meeting all of the Montana CDL requirements and earning your license means you’ll be part of this growing labor force for a very solid future.

Montana Truck Driver Salary

Based on the most recent data, the average annual salary for a trucking job in Montana is currently $44,700. Although pay rates can vary across the state, gaining more experience on the road will make you a much more valuable hire as you continue your career as a commercial driver. The longer you drive, the more you’ll eventually earn! Start looking for Montana Commercial Driving jobs today and keep your future moving forward with!