Everything you wanted to know about a CDL (Almost)
If you love to travel and wish to earn a comfortable salary, applying for your commercial driver’s license (CDL) can be a smart career move. The job market for truck drivers continues to grow at a rapid pace, with experts anticipating the addition of more than 111,000 jobs by 2014. In Iowa, the average wage for a commercial driver is approximately $35,000 per year. There are a few minimum requirements for becoming a licensed commercial driver in Iowa:
- You must be 18 years old or older.
- You will need to apply at an Iowa Department of Transportation driver’s license site and supply documents proving your date of birth, your full name, and your Social Security number.
- Fill out the Certification for Commercial Driver’s License form testifying that you are eligible for a CDL.
- You’ll be subjected to an interstate check of your driving record, which must be clear in all states.
- You must pass a vision screening.
- You must pass a written knowledge test: one for the commercial license and one for each endorsement you wish to add to it (see “Endorsements,” below).
- Finally, you’ll need to pass an on-road skills test in the class of vehicle you are being licensed for.
You will be asked to surrender any driver’s license you currently hold from Iowa or any other state. Essentially, your CDL replaces your other license, and it’s illegal to have more than one license.
We hope that this guide makes the federal CDL requirements for drivers easier for you to understand. Remember that your state also has its own guidelines that may be stricter than the federal ones. As a commercial driver, you must also be familiar with other federal regulations so you can comply with them. For more information, consult your employer, or visit the Web site of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.