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How to get a CDL - a step-by-step guide to CDL training

How do I get my CDL?

Use this 6 step-by-step guide with instructions to get better-than-free CDL training.

Roehl's paid Get Your CDL Program™ is the most sought after CDL training and truck driving job in the industry. We’ve developed a step-by-step learning process to prepare you before applying.

Please read all the steps carefully. Each has specific requirements you need to understand before proceeding.

Six Steps To Getting a CDL

Step 1: Is this the career for me?

How to Get a CDL - Step 1

The role of Heavy Duty truck driver is regulated by the Department of Transportation and other government agencies, and these are some of the basic requirements of our truck driving job with paid cdl training. You must:
  • be at least 21 years old.
  • be able to read, write & speak English.
  • have held a US or Canadian driver’s license for at least two years.
  • be able to pass a Department of Transportation physical & drug testing.
  • have a good driving record while driving a personal vehicle.
  • have verifiable work history.
  • have the ability to be away from home for extended periods of time.
  • be able to manage your time and work independently.
  • have communications and problem-solving skills.

This paid truck driving job with cdl training is available in many areas, and you must live in our hiring area to qualify for the job.

Step 2: Start studying for your CLP & complete your application

How to Get a CDL - Step 2

Just as you needed get to a learner's permit before you got your regular driver’s license, you'll need to get a commercial learner's permit (CLP) before you can get your Class A CDL.

Obtaining your CLP requires you to study and then pass three written tests at your local driver licensing center. We've created a CLP Instructions page to help you access your state's training and testing materials.

In most cases, you will get your CLP after your DOT physical (in Step 4). However, we stress that you study for the CLP test now because not being ready for the CLP will impact our ability to hire you in to the program.

You need to be ready to discuss the progress of your CLP test preparation during your Interview (Step 3), which we will schedule after you complete the Get Started form, the Selection and Education Process and Application.

Here is what you'll need to know about the application process. Once you complete the Get Started form, you will watch several videos, read some statements and answer questions to ensure that you have a good understanding of the program as well as the basic qualifications and the characteristics of a truck driving job with Roehl. This will help you complete a thoughtful and informed application.

When you complete your application, you'll need some additional information including:

  • Social Security Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Address History
  • Employment History
    • You will need the month/year and city/state of the jobs you've held in the three years.
  • Accident History
  • Motor Vehicle Record
  • Personal References

Here's an important tip: getting this job requires that you hold a valid license only in the state that you live in. If you have a license in another state, please cancel that other license.

Step 3: Interview

How to Get a CDL - Step 3

After you complete your application, we will contact you to set up an interview with a Driver Employment Specialist.

Please use these tips to be prepared for your interview:

  • Ensure that your 30 minutes is not interrupted by distractions such as other people, the TV, your job, driving, etc.
  • If you are using your mobile phone, ensure your phone is charged and you have a strong/reliable cellular signal.
  • Please review the program agreement you signed when you submitted the application prior to the interview. This will help us know that you are committed to working for Roehl Transport and will expedite your spot in line for hire.
  • Review the Get Your CDL information on our website and be ready to discuss your CLP studying progress so you can demonstrate that you are knowledgeable about the program and are ready to take your CLP test.
  • Have a pen and paper ready to take notes or record your questions.

After we complete the interview, the next step is to schedule your DOT physical (pre-employment medical exam) and drug tests.

Step 4: DOT physical & Drug test

How to Get a CDL - Step 4

Our industry is regulated by the federal government and requires drivers to be physically certified by a DOT approved physician.

Your DOT physical (pre-employment medical exam) and drug tests will be scheduled at a location near you.

It's important to note that the drug testing includes both urine and hair follicle tests.

Use these tips for your physical and drug tests:

  • Disclose prior conditions, injuries, surgeries, etc. on the medical form. Read and follow instructions carefully.
  • Disclose any prescription medications you are currently taking and the condition they were prescribed for. Certain questions will require you to also disclose past conditions and medications taken.
  • The information you provide on the medical form must be complete and accurate.
  • You must be able to provide samples for the urine and hair follicle tests.

After you complete and pass the DOT physical, you'll progress to get your CLP.

Step 5: Take your Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP) test

How to Get a CDL - Step 5

By this point, you're ready to test for your commercial learner's permit (CLP), which you will need to be hired as a CDL-A truck driver in the Get Your CDL Program.

While the overall process is basically the same in every state, the specific details may not be. For example, the fees for testing vary by state. However, in all cases the CLP tests that you will complete are:

  • General knowledge
  • Combination vehicle
  • Air brakes

In most cases, you will need the results of your DOT physical to get your CLP.

We've created a separate resource to help you with the CLP. Use the CLP Instructions page for additional guidance.

Step 6: Get Hired & Start Training

How to Get a CDL - Step 6

Once you have your CLP, we will schedule you for a start date. You are hired on your first day. Remember, getting your CDL is part of the job, and your training will begin right away. Over the next three weeks, you'll learn the skills you'll need to test for a commercial driver's license. Once you have that, your job training will continue with a certified road instructor (for about two weeks). From there, you will get your own truck and in about nine months, you'll be on your way to $70k+.

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We make it easy for you. Simply fill out this form and we'll connect & match your with the driving job that best fits your needs.