FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

We understand that you may have some questions or concerns right off the bat regarding the steps towards obtaining your Commercial Driver's License. If you want an immediate answer, we suggest taking a look below at some of our frequently asked questions, instead of having to wait for a response from our staff. Of course, if you haven't found what you're looking for below, feel free to contact us at anytime by either calling us at 972-880-6002 or filling out the contact form on the right hand side of the page. Looking forward to speaking with you!

EXPLORE OUR MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a CDL?

A "CDL" is a Commercial Drivers License. It meets certain "standards" that are the same for every state. It differs from the Texas "operator's" or "chauffeur's" licenses. It is required if you drive certain kinds of commercial vehicles.

What is the COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY ACT OF 1986 (CMVSA/86)?

It is a law passed by the United States Congress which requires ALL the individual states to comply with certain standards in regards to the licensing of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. Texas driver licensing standards comply with the law, requiring CMV drivers to obtain a Texas Commercial Driver's License (CDL) when driving applicable vehicles. A CDL license can ONLY be issued in the driver's STATE OF LEGAL RESIDENCE, and if you have a CDL, you can have NO OTHER DRIVER'S LICENSE in ANY other state.

Where do i take my skills test?

Notice: October 2016, Federal Regulations will impact the Texas CDL program as noted below. Reminder, all CDL skills tests will be administered at the 25 designated locations within Texas.

When do I need a Texas CDL instead of my regular Texas Drivers License?

A Texas CDL is required if you operate any of the following CMV's . . .
1. A vehicle with a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 lbs.
2. A vehicle towing a unit with a manufacturer's GVWR of more than 10,000 lbs. when the GVWR exceeds 26,000 lbs.
3. A vehicle used to carry 16 or more passengers (including the driver).
4. A vehicle carrying hazardous materials in amounts requiring placarding.

What are the eligibility requirements to obtain a Texas CDL?

1. You must be 21 years old. (18 years if all commercial driving is done within Texas and if no hazardous materials requiring placarding are transported and if you do not drive double or triple trailer rigs).
2. You must be physically capable of obtaining a valid medical examiner's card (before taking any CDL skills test).
3. You must otherwise qualify for the license based on your driving record. Any of the following will disqualify you from obtaining a Texas CDL . . .
* If you possess a license from any state other than Texas.
* If you are currently subject to any disqualification of your commercial driving privilege from Texas or any other state.
* If your license is currently suspended, revoked, denied, or cancelled.
* If you have a conviction for operating a commercial motor vehicle while impaired in the 24 months immediately preceding application.
* other technical rules, and further restrictions that pertain only to Texas are covered in detail within the Course.

How do I obtain a Texas CDL?

1. Show your Texas driver license.
2. You must take and pass all Texas examinations that apply to your license class and endorsement requirements.
3. Show proof of social security number.
4. Meet Texas driver record eligibility requirements as determined by the State.
5. Fill out an application including certifications.
6. Pass the required knowledge and vision tests (BEFORE a CDL Temporary Instruction Permit will be issued).
7. Pay the Texas CDL fees.
8. Schedule, take, and pass your Texas CDL skills test.

What is a CDL "Skills Test" and how do I take it?

A "skills" test is the practical portion of the exam and includes . . .
1. A vehicle inspection test to measure your ability to perform a vehicle safety check.
2. A basic control skills test.
3. A driving test.

So let's say I get a Texas CDL. Can I use it Out-of-State?

Yes! It is good throughout the entire United States.

Can my Texas CDL be suspended or revoked?

Yes, there are MANY reasons that your Texas CDL can be suspended or revoked. Improper use of alcohol or drugs, traffic violations, and failure to notify top the list. The Course details ALL of the rules regarding suspension or revocation. The point to remember is that alcohol or drug use is not tolerated and your record WILL FOLLOW YOU THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES FOREVER!!!

So let's say that my Texas CDL is revoked. Can't I just apply for a CDL in another State? 
No!!! Those days are gone.

Are there any exemptions to being required to have Texas CDL?

Yes, a few . . .
1. Active Duty Military . . . with military licenses operating military vehicles.
2. Firefighters . . . meeting approved training standards and operating authorized emergency vehicles.
3. Farmers . . . in certain cases.
4. Individuals ....operating motor homes or other vehicles used exclusively to transport personal possessions or family members, for non business purposes.

What do the terms Class A, Class B, and Class C mean on my Texas CDL?

It refers to the type of vehicle that you may operate . . .
CLASS A . . . allows you to operate vehicles which tow trailers or other vehicles with a GVWR over 10,000 pounds. A Class "A" license also allows you to operate Class B and C vehicles.
CLASS B . . . allows you to operate single vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs or more OR a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 lbs. or more, towing trailers/vehicles rated at 10,000 pounds GVWR or less. A Class "B" license also allows you to operate Class C vehicles.
CLASS C . . .allows you to operate vehicles under 26,001 lbs. GVWR, that would normally not require a CDL; except when they are designed to transport 16 or more persons including the driver; or that carry 15 or less people (including the driver) transporting children to or from school and home regularly for compensation, or carry hazardous materials in amounts requiring placarding. Applicable endorsements are required.

What are Endorsement Codes and when do I need them on my Texas CDL?

Endorsements are necessary for certain commercial driving requirements as follows . . .
(T) DOUBLE or TRIPLE TRAILERS.
(P) PASSENGER. For vehicles which are designed to carry 16 or more people (including the driver); or those which carry 15 or less people (including the driver) transporting children to or from school and home regularly for compensation.
(N) TANK VEHICLES. For vehicles designed to haul liquids or liquefied gases in bulk in permanently mounted tanks or portable tanks rated at 1,000 gallons or more.
(H) HAZARDOUS MATERIALS. To carry hazardous materials in amounts requiring placards.
(X) Endorsement code designating a Tank (N) vehicle that carries Hazardous Materials (H).

I'm over 18 years old, but not 21 years old yet. Can I get a Texas CDL license?

Yes. With restrictions. You cannot drive a commercial vehicle out of Texas. You cannot drive a vehicle requiring HAZMAT placarding and cannot drive double or triple trailer rigs.

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Notice: October 2016, Federal Regulations will impact the Texas CDL program as noted below. Reminder, all CDL skills tests will be administered at the 25 designated locations within Texas.

1. Sequence of administered exams: The pre-trip and basic skills test must be completed prior to the execution of a road skills test.
2. Skills tests are now in three phases and applicants must pass the previous phase prior to moving to the next phase.

  • Pre-trip walk around --Chapter 11, CDL Manual
  • Backing skills maneuvers - Chapter 12, CDL Manual
  • Road test-- Chapter 13, CDL Manual

3. Pre-trip skills test: The current pre-trip written test will convert to a randomized pre-trip walk around test.
4. Revised scoring criteria: The scoring of the basic maneuvers and road-test will change. Points will be deducted for encroachments and excessive pull-ups during the execution of the basic skills test.
5. Basic skills testing area: The basic skills testing maneuver area must be marked utilizing cones to properly score the basic skills exam.
6. Additional basic skills test maneuver: In addition to the current straight-line backing and parallel parking maneuvers, an off-set backing maneuver is added.
7. Road Test change: Increase in the number of maneuvers performed during the road test.

Notice: December 2016, Federal Regulations will impact the Texas CDL program as noted below. Reminder, all CDL skills tests will be administered at the 25 designated locations within Texas.

1. A Commercial Learner Permit (CLP) will be issued to drivers who are applying to drive a commercial vehicle. A CLP must be held for a minimum of 14 days prior to being allowed to take a CDL skills test. This applies to original applicants, modifications in grade and adding endorsements which require a skills test.