CDL License Requirements & Training in Texas ::

CDL License Requirements in Texas

Starting on your path to a commercial driving career 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 Texas CDL requirements won’t happen overnight, but the sooner you start the better. Firstly, 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 Texas 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 Training Schools in Texas

Finding a formal training program to earn your CDL is a great way to ensure you haven’t overlooked any of the necessary requirements or vital information pertaining to your career as a commercial driver. Considering that the current driver shortage is characterized as an issue of the quality of candidates rather than quantity, setting yourself apart with a solid education can show employers you’re serious about becoming a leading professional in the trucking industry. 

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. You’ll also have the opportunity to learn from instructors who are very familiar with the ins and outs of commercial driving having spent years on the road. Search for CDL schools in Texas and start your road to education today!

CDL Training Costs in Texas

The costs of Texas CDL training programs average around $2,696, 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 help lighten the load 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 viable option for new commercial drivers. In this scenario, trucking companies will actually pay for you to go through CDL training in Texas, 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 Texas CDL. It is important to stress that this is a strict financial agreement, so as long as you’re dedicated to becoming a commercial driver, this is a great option to consider.

CDL Prep in Texas

After you’ve spent the time needed to gain the right knowledge and have clocked a considerable amount of hours on the road, what else is there to do? Studying hard and reviewing all of your materials won’t hurt, but when it comes to taking your actual written test you may want to get a feel for what you can expect with our practice CDL test! This resource can be used as many times as is necessary to feel confident for when the real test comes. 

Beyond the written test, it’s advised that you’ll want to practice your driving portion in the same vehicle that you’ll use to complete your final road test. Consider a rental option to guarantee you’re getting the right class of vehicle for the job. Ask around and try to see what other people experienced during their tests to really be prepared as possible. With these considerations in mind, earning your Texas CDL can be a breeze!

Texas CDL Endorsement & Waivers

In Texas 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 Texas, 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 Texas

So now the time has finally come and you’re ready to schedule your final written and road tests to meet all of your CDL requirements in Texas. You’ve spent many hours behind the wheel and hitting the books, and you’ll soon be able to prove what you’ve learned. But as with any test, it’s important to know what you can expect. Below is a preview of most of what you’ll encounter before the final steps to becoming a commercial driver are completed!

CDL Knowledge Tests in Texas

Similar to a personal driver’s license test, you’ll answer around 50 questions that cover 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 basics. Earning an 80% or above is a passing grade, allowing you to move on to your road test where you’ll really display your newly learned skills as an upcoming commercial driver.

CDL Skills Test in Texas

The Texas CDL skills test is designed to ensure that you have the proper knowledge and ability to operate a commercial vehicle. The test will be broken down into three portions, which are designed to cover all of the aspects of commercial driving. 

Separate from the written knowledge test, instructors will test your familiarity with your class of vehicle, as well as how well you know the proper procedures for handling cargo, utilizing your braking 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, 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 Texas, 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 Texas

With thousands of drivers needed each year to remedy the current driver shortage, getting your Texas CDL is one way to enter a field of work that is 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 there has never been a better time to go through CDL training in Texas than right now!

Texas Truck Driver Salary

Based on the most recent data, the average annual salary for a trucking job in Texas is currently $42,830. 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 Texas Commercial Driving jobs today and keep your future moving forward with!