CDL Requirements in New Mexico
Starting on your path to a commercial driving career in New Mexico can feel like an overwhelming task, so that’s why we’ve decided to break it down to help you begin! Meeting all of the necessary New Mexico CDL requirements won’t happen overnight, but the sooner you start, the better.
First off, you must be at least 18 years old, pass a vision test, provide a current physical examination, and have a valid driver’s license for personal use. For interstate trucking, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old according to the regulations set forth by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Earning your CDL license in New Mexico means you’ll need to pass a general knowledge exam, a skills test that includes pre-trip vehicle inspections and a basic understanding of your vehicle's class and procedures, followed by your official road test during which you’ll be operating a commercial vehicle. It is important to note that the vehicle used for your test will determine the class of license you’ll receive, either CDL class A, B, or C. You can also receive additional endorsements on your license indicating a specialized knowledge in transporting specific cargo types or the ability to transport passengers.
Find CDL Schools in New Mexico
To ensure you haven’t overlooked any critical information or part of the process of becoming a commercial driver in New Mexico, it’s important to find a trusted training program in your area. Considering that the current shortage of drivers is due to quality rather than quantity, an education or formal training course can really set you apart from the competition.
Whether you receive your training through a public, private, community college, or institution, you’ll be sure to gain all of the necessary skill sets for life on the road. This includes learning how to properly inspect your vehicle, ensuring safety standards during transport, and the best practices for life on the road. During your training you’ll learn from instructors who have spent years on the road themselves, providing their first-hand knowledge to really help you become familiar with a career as a commercial driver. Search for New Mexico CDL training schools and start your road to education today!
CDL Training Costs in New Mexico
The costs of New Mexico CDL training programs average around $2,000, yet these prices will also vary depending on the type of school and programs available in your area. Nationally, CDL training can cost anywhere from $2,000-$8,300 so it could be best to shop around for the best value and schedule that works for you.
These costs cover the materials you need for class, any additional endorsement courses you’ll be taking, as well as your main experience in the classroom and behind the wheel. As with most college programs, students looking to become commercial drivers can apply for FAFSA student aid to take the edge off of the starting costs of tuition. Other financial options can include loans or a federal Pell Grant, which can be awarded through participating institutions.
Attending a company-sponsored training program is another very popular option for new commercial drivers. In this scenario, trucking companies will actually pay for you to go through CDL training in New Mexico, allowing you to reimburse them during a period following your hiring. This allows a smooth transition into earning a regular salary and provides the peace of mind that a job is already lined up as soon as you earn your CDL. It is important to stress that this is a strict financial agreement, so as long as you’re absolutely committed to becoming a commercial driver, this is a great option that will open up a lot of opportunities.
CDL Prep in New Mexico
Once you’ve logged the time required to gain all the right knowledge for the job, spent time behind the wheel and taken the necessary courses, what is left to do? Studying hard and reviewing your materials will never hurt, but when it comes to taking your official written test you won’t want to be caught off-guard. Get a feel for what you can expect with our practice CDL test available for free here on AllTruckJobs.com! This resource can be used as many times as is necessary to feel confident for when it’s finally time to take your real test.
Beyond written exams, it’s highly recommended that you practice your road test in the exact same vehicle (or at least the same class of vehicle) you’ll use for the final driving portion of meeting your New Mexico CDL requirements. Many students utilize rental trucks if the program doesn’t already provide a test vehicle, however, it is increasingly common that they will. With these considerations and CDL prep tips in mind, be sure to ask around to learn what others have experienced during the process to really succeed!
New Mexico CDL Endorsement & Waivers
In New Mexico and the rest of the United States, special endorsements are required to haul certain types of cargo or to operate a specific class of vehicle effectively. Beyond earning your basic class A, B, or C CDL in New Mexico, common endorsements include:
- School Bus - S
- Passenger - P
- Tank Vehicles - N
- Double/Triple - T
- Hazardous Materials - H
- Combination Tank / Hazardous Materials - X
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.
CDL Tests in New Mexico
Once the time finally comes and you’re ready to schedule your final written and road tests, you’ll want to know what to expect. After spending many hours behind the wheel and hitting the books, you’ll soon be able to prove what you’ve learned. But as with any test, it’s important to be aware of the overall procedures. Below is a preview of most of what you’ll encounter before the final steps to becoming a New Mexico commercial driver are completed!
CDL Knowledge Tests in New Mexico
Similar to a personal driver’s license test, you’ll answer a standard 50 questions covering a wide range of information. This includes commercial vehicle regulations, road safety, and rules, how to handle equipment, proper loading and unloading procedures, and other basic knowledge required of commercial drivers. Earning an 80% or above is a passing grade, allowing you to move on to your skills and road tests where you’ll really display your newly learned abilities as an upcoming commercial driver.
CDL Skills Test in New Mexico
The New Mexico CDL skills test ensures that you have the proper knowledge and abilities required to operate a commercial vehicle in the state. The test will be broken down into three different sections, each designed to cover all of the aspects of commercial driving.
Separate from the written knowledge test, instructors will test your familiarity with the class of vehicle you’re using for your test, as well as how well you know the proper procedures for handling cargo, utilizing your breaking system, and other important mechanical processes involved before, during, and after transport. This also includes going over your pre-trip inspection tests and being able to determine whether your vehicle is safe to operate.
Finally, for your road test, you will need to perform various maneuvers like turning, backing up, and merging lanes that will be a common occurrence on the road. This is one of the most important aspects of your entire CDL training in New Mexico, so be sure to practice as much as possible to really nail it on the first time around! Here you can display just how confident you are behind the wheel – something that company-sponsored programs really like to see!
Job Outlook in New Mexico
Considering that thousands of new drivers are needed each year in order to remedy the current driver shortage, getting your New Mexico CDL is a sure-fire way to enter onto a career path where talented employees are in high demand! The issue is really one of quality rather than quantity, so setting yourself apart with an education means you’ll have a great shot at earning a consistent salary and moving on to better, higher paying positions quickly.
Given recent projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the commercial driving jobs are expected to increase 5% from now until 2024, so earning a CDL in New Mexico is something that will really allow you to earn a solid salary for years come.
New Mexico Truck Driver Salary
Based on the most recent data, the average annual salary for a trucking job in New Mexico is currently $42,610. 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 New Mexico Commercial Driving jobs today and keep your future moving forward with AllTruckJobs.com!