Getting a Commercial Driver’s License

To become a truck driver you’ll need training and a special type of license. The requirements vary by country.

In the United States, for example, training may be obtained by successfully completing a qualified commercial driver’s license (CDL) training program through a truck driving school. There are a number of CDL training schools around the country, and many trucking companies also operate their own schools.

Although formal training is not mandatory to obtain a CDL, a driver must pass a written test on highway safety as well as a test with questions covering different parts of the truck. Drivers must also take and pass a driving skill test in a vehicle that the driver operates or is expected to operate.  A minimum test score of 80 percent is required. Employers, training facilities, individual states, governmental agencies, and private institutions may all be authorized to administer the test on behalf of the state in which the CDL is issued.

Some oil field jobs also require certain endorsements on the CDL, including T (semi-trailer), N (Tank Truck), H (Hazardous materials, X (Combination of Tank vehicle and hazardous materials), and W (Tow Truck). All these endorsements require the driver to first obtain a CDL and then pass a written test for the endorsement.

Additional Resource: Truck Driving Schools

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