To drive at Melton Truck Lines, drivers must obtain a Class A Commercial Drivers License (CDL). For those of you who don’t even know where to start with getting a CDL, here are four steps to receiving that nice and new CDL card.
- Know and Meet the Requirements
There are a few rules and regulations involved with getting a CDL. First and foremost, you may only drive commercial vehicles within your state if you are 18 years of age. In order to drive commercial vehicles over the road (from one state to another), you must be over 21 years of age. Also, to obtain your CDL, it is NOT a requirement to attend a truck driving school. Neither do you have to pay for your state’s CDL manual, or for practice tests. However, as helpful these might be, they are not part of the actual process to get a CDL.
- Gather Required Personal Documents and Forms
Depending on the state in which you apply, you will need to bring with you three to five personal documents to your local driving customer service center: either a passport or birth certificate, as well as, your driver’s license and social security number. Some states will also require one to two items displaying proof of residence in that state, such as: a lease or rental contract, utility bills, bank statements within the last two months or pay stubs with your name and address printed. Here you can find out the identification requirements for your state.
MER and MEC Forms
Also when you visit your local DDS, you will want to bring with two completed forms. The Medical Examination Report (MER) is a form that displays your past medical history. You will have to fill out your medical history portion of this form. You can download this here. The Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC) can be obtained by scheduling an appointment with your physical. This is a type of physical which determines if you are qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle. The form for this is here.
- Get a Commercial Learner’s Permit
After you’ve gathered your identification documents and medical forms, schedule an appointment with your local driving customer service center to take a written exam and obtain a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP). Depending on the state, this could be called the Department of Public Safety (DPS), Department of Driver Services (DDS), Department of Licensing (DOL), etc. If you follow this link, you can find the closest driving customer service center to you.
The fee for an application is $35. For the written exam and CLP combined, the fee could be between $10 and $40 depending your state. Note that veterans may have their fees waived if proper documentation is presented.
Once you’ve passed the written exam, you should receive your CLP either that day or have it mailed to you. Once you have it, you are clear to practice driving with another valid CDL holder who has 2 years of experience driving commercial class A vehicles. Usually, it is required that you drive with your permit for at least two weeks before taking the Driving Skills Test for a CDL.
- Getting your License
Now that you’ve been driving with your CLP for two weeks and you feel ready to take the final test, call or schedule a CDL driving skills test online with your local driving customer service center. It’s good to schedule ahead of time, as it may be a few months before there are available appointments. You will have to pay for the exam fee when you make the appointment.
Just like the CLP, you’ll want to bring some documents and forms with you to the driving skills test. Check what you need to bring with your local driving customer service. One thing you will have to bring with you to any CDL testing site is the Class A vehicle in which you plan to take the test with, along with the vehicle’s proof of insurance (or, permission letter from the vehicle’s owner). The test itself will consist of a pre-trip inspection, a basic controls test, and a driving test at either the state CDL test site or approved 3rd party test site in the testing state.
Melton Makes it Easier
It will be noted that Melton has an offer for aspiring commercial drivers which pays for travel, hotel and tuition to a CDL school. For more information, please either apply online or call the number 866-715-8563.