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Date of publish: 07/03/2024
Author: Vitaliy Avramenko
An American commercial truck drives down the highway at sunset.

Considering a career in truck driving? At Commercial Driving Academy, LLC, we prioritize equipping our students with the knowledge and training to meet these industry standards through our comprehensive CDL training courses and programs. Before considering a career in truck driving, it is crucial to understand the key truck driver requirements set by both federal regulations and potential employers. These prerequisites ensure that all drivers are equipped with the necessary skills and are physically and legally prepared for the demands of the road.

Age and Legal Eligibility

To drive a commercial truck across state lines, you must be at least 21 years old. However, individuals as young as 18 can obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) for intrastate transport (within the same state) in many locations. It is essential to verify the age requirements specific to the state where you plan to work, as these can influence your eligibility for certain driving jobs.

Valid Driver’s License and Driving History

A clean driving record is imperative for aspiring truck drivers. You must hold a valid non-commercial driver’s license before you can apply for a CDL. Most trucking companies and training schools will request a 10-year driving history to assess any traffic violations or accidents. A history free of serious offenses, such as DUIs, is often required to progress in your truck driving career.

Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Acquisition

Obtaining a CDL is perhaps the most critical step in becoming a truck driver. This involves passing both written and practical driving tests that assess your knowledge and skills in operating a commercial vehicle. At Commercial Driving Academy, LLC, we offer both Class A CDL courses and Class B CDL courses, tailored to prepare you for these tests, and also Third-Party testing to streamline the process.

Physical Fitness and Medical Requirements

Truck drivers must be physically fit to handle the long hours and the physical nature of the job. This includes passing a Department of Transportation (DOT) physical exam every two years, which tests vision, hearing, and overall physical health. Certain medical conditions may disqualify you from driving commercially, so it is important to understand these restrictions.

Background Checks and Substance Testing

Given the responsibility of transporting goods, often across long distances, truck drivers must undergo thorough background checks. These checks include scrutinizing your criminal record and previous employment history. Additionally, ongoing drug and alcohol testing is a standard requirement, aimed at ensuring safety on the roads.

Educational Requirements

While a high school diploma is not a federal requirement for obtaining a CDL, many employers prefer or require it. Education can play a critical role in your ability to understand the training material and comply with the regulatory aspects of truck driving.

Endorsements for Specialized Loads

Depending on the type of cargo you plan to haul, additional endorsements may be required. These can include HazMat (hazardous materials), Tanker, Doubles/Triples, and Passenger endorsements. Each endorsement involves passing additional tests, signifying your capability to safely handle different types of loads.

Continuous Learning and Skill Enhancement

The truck driving industry is continually evolving, with new laws and technological developments. Successful drivers commit to lifelong learning, regularly updating their skills through refresher courses and staying informed about industry changes. This not only enhances safety but also increases job stability and growth opportunities.

Meeting the truck driver requirements is the first step towards a successful career in the trucking industry. At Commercial Driving Academy, LLC, we are dedicated to helping aspiring drivers meet these requirements through detailed training and support. By understanding and fulfilling these essential criteria, you can embark on a rewarding career path that offers not just financial benefits but also the freedom and adventure of life on the open road.


Professional truck driver training in South Carolina, Oklahoma, Georgia and Illinois