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How To Get A CDL In Texas

Get a CDL in Texas -
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You’ve probably heard about drivers with a commercial driver’s license (CDL), but not really understood what that means. A CDL is a category of driver’s licenses that allows you to drive a larger vehicle. A CDL in Texas falls into three classes: A, B, and C. 

The different classes are separated by the vehicle’s weight and towing capacity. With a CDL in Texas, a variety of different jobs open up for you. You can choose driving over the road (OTR) long-haul trucks or a school bus for your local school district. So what does it take to get a CDL?

Do You Need to Attend a Truck Driving School in Texas?

Learning to drive a truck for your CDL isn’t like learning to drive a car at 16. Your parents probably don’t have a CDL or a large truck for you to practice driving in. Before getting your CDL in Texas, you’ll get a commercial learner’s permit (CLP). The CLP allows you to drive large trucks on public roads with a driver who has a CDL accompanying you.

This means that your best bet is to attend a truck driving school. These schools have the instructors and equipment you need to successfully learn how to operate a large truck. They also have a safe space for practice driving before you move to the open road. An accredited truck driving school has a curriculum to help you learn the information you need to pass the test, and the instructors to help make you a good driver. 

How to Get Your CDL to Get Started?

Before you can drive a truck for the first time, you must get your CDL. There’s some information you’ll need to provide the Texas Department of Public Safety before receiving a permit. You also need to pass a couple of tests to ensure that you understand the basic laws for CDL drivers. Here’s the information you need to bring with you:

  • Provide evidence of American citizenship or evidence of a lawful presence
  • Proof of Texas residency
  • Proof of identity
  • Social Security number
  • Self-certification of medical status on forms CDL-4, CDL-5, or CDL-10
  • A medical examiner’s certificate
  • Proof of Texas Vehicle Registration for each vehicle that you own
  • Proof of insurance for all vehicles.

After getting your document together, you need to take them to your local driver license’s office and do the following:

  • Fill out a CDL application
  • Submit the information from above
  • Pay the application fee
  • Submit to a thumbprint scan
  • Have your photo taken
  • Take and pass a vision test
    • Pass knowledge tests, including those for any endorsements. These tests include: Texas Commercial Rules
    • General Knowledge
    • Combination (Class A Only)
    • Air Brake (If applicable)
    • Endorsements  

How to Get Your CDL in Texas?

Get a CDL in Texas -

After you learn to drive a large truck and have held your CLP for a minimum of 15 days, you may take your driving test to receive your CDL. You can actually schedule your test at the same time that you apply for your CLP. Here’s a look at the process for getting your CDL:

  1. Fill out CDL application
  2. Submit the same information about citizenship from your CDL application
  3. Pay the application fee
  4. Submit to a thumbprint scan
  5. Have your photo taken
  6. Take and pass a vision test
  7. Pass the various driving tests. These tests include:
    • Vehicle Inspection (Pre-trip) Test
    • Basic Vehicle Control Test
    • Road Test

When it comes time to apply for your CDL, you need to know which type of commerce that you’re going to carry freight for, interstate or intrastate. Interstate commerce means you’ll transport freight through multiple states while intrastate commerce only transports freight within Texas.

What Are CDL Endorsements?

You can add endorsements to your CDL. These endorsements grant you permission to perform specialized tasks or carry specialized loads. Each endorsement has a different test. In some cases, you may need a permit on your CDL to practice the endorsement before taking the test. The six endorsements are:

  • Double/Triple Trailer (T endorsement):  Allows you to carry double and even triple trailers. 
  • Passenger (P endorsement): You can operate a vehicle that carries a specified number of passengers, such as a limo. 
  • Tank Vehicle (N endorsement): Allows you to drive a tank vehicle. Tank trucks are constructed to carry liquids and liquefied gaseous materials safely. 
  • Hazardous Materials (H endorsement): If you need to carry hazardous materials, such as flammable or combustible liquids, gases, or explosives, you need this endorsement. This requires a comprehensive state and federal background check.
  • School Bus (S endorsement): This endorsement makes it possible for you to drive a school bus with young children.
  • Combination of N and H (X endorsement): If you need to drive a tanker truck filled with hazardous materials, you need this endorsement.

How Much Money Can You Make With a CDL?

If you’re thinking of getting a CDL in Texas, you’re probably planning a career as a truck driver. You probably want to know about the salary. Of course, many factors go into how much money you will make. This includes things, such as years of experience, the company you work for, and any endorsements you have with your CDL. 

You can also make more if you work for a private company than for the public sector. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for truck drivers is around $43,680 per year or $21.00 per hour.

Of course, you want to pursue a career that has a future. From 2018 to 2028, the field of truck driving should grow at a steady five percent rate. This means that you can find job security and make a good living with the right company. 

At Southern Careers Institute, we look for students who have a passion for change, and enrolling in our CDL program may fill that need for you. We can help you through the process of getting your CDL and passing the tests you need for the various endorsements. Contact Southern Careers Insitute today to learn more about our programs.




Blog Disclaimer: Information stated in this blog is for general information purposes only. does not assume or guarantee income earning potential or salary expectations based on the programs offered at Southern Careers Institute. Career and program information stated in this blog does not guarantee that programs and specifics are offered at Southern Careers Institute. 

This article was published on: 02/23/20 3:04 PM

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