Step by step, how to obtain a commercial driver’s license in California

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In the state of California, as in other states, the application process for a commercial driver鈥檚 license (CDL) differs from the usual process for a standard license due to associated privileges: commercial licenses allow their holder to operate large vehicles, vehicles specific for a certain task and vehicles that transport people, heavy cargo or hazardous materials.

In that sense, the corresponding tests can be much more complex as well as the requirementswhich are set by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT), a federal office that is responsible for monitoring this type of credential also associated with crossing state lines.

How do I get a business license (CDL) in California?

In the state of California, Some conditions related to the application for business licenses changed on February 7, 2022 by mandate of the federal government. Generally, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will require applicants to complete an Basic Level Driver Training (ELDT) program. through one of the DOT approved providers. This condition will also apply to those who wish to upgrade their commercial license from one class to another or obtain guarantees or endorsements. In addition to this program, the DMV will require:

1. Once completed, report to a local office.

2. Have at least 15 hours of training with the vehicle you will be required to drive. This period of time will allow you to hone your skills and gain a commercial driver training certification.

3. During your visit to a DMV office, apply for a Commercial Learner鈥檚 Permit (CLP). To do so, the applicant must have a valid standard license in the state of California.

4. Have a 10-year history record check.

5. Provide a medical examination report or medical examiner鈥檚 certificate.

6. Provide proof of Social Security Number (SSN) for verification by DMV.

7. Provide a document that serves as proof of identity (must show full current name). Also submit documents that serve as proof of your place of residence in the state. For both requirements, the California DMV has a list of acceptable documents for both to prove identity as for prove residency.

8. Allow the DMV to take a photo and take fingerprint samples.

9. Pass an eye exam.

10. Pay a corresponding fee.

eleven. Pass a knowledge test for which the applicant will have only 3 attempts. If you fail in all of them, you must start the process from step 1.

Once this process is completed, if everything agrees and the requirements are in orderthe applicant obtains a commercial learner鈥檚 permit (CLP) that you must maintain for at least 14 days without committing any type of infraction. During that time, you must use your CLP in the company of a valid standard driver鈥檚 license in the state.

At the same time, holders of a CLP must drive accompanied by a person with a commercial license (CDL) that will serve as a guide during the 14 days that the permit will last before continuing with the process towards your commercial license. When this period ends, the applicant must:

1. Schedule an appointment to take a practical exam or skills test. This quote can be schedule online or by calling 1-800-777-0133 during business hours.

2. For this type of testing, the DMV does not provide a vehicle. In that sense, the applicant must have a vehicle the same as the one you intend to drive when you get your commercial license.

3. Attend the day of the appointment. The commercial skills test is made up, broadly speaking, of three levels:

鈥 A vehicle inspection in which the applicant must show that he knows how to check the controls and all the systems of the vehicle to ensure its safety before operating it.
鈥 A basic control testduring which the applicant must demonstrate that they can perform simple maneuvers such as starting the vehicle, turning, going backwards or moving between obstacles.
鈥 A Driving test that is done in real circumstances, under the guidance of the DMV evaluator, through a route that may include streets, highways and other environments.

Once you demonstrate your skills, the applicant receives a provisional CDL that is valid for 60 days. This document is for temporary use and will serve you while you wait for the official document that should arrive at your postal address in a maximum of 45 days.

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