How Long Does it Take to Get a CDL – (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 4-7 weeks

Getting a commercial driver’s license or CDL takes a short period. However, there are a few aspects that affect the time taken to get a CDL. Having a commercial driver’s license is necessary when you want to venture into truck driving.

Usually, truck driving programs and courses will help you have the knowledge you require before obtaining a CDL. In this article, we shall discuss how long does it take to get a CDL and why.

How Long Does it Take to Get a CDL
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How long does it take to get a CDL?

CDL TypeTime
Class A7 weeks
Class B4 weeks
Class C4 Weeks 
H Endorsement6 weeks
N Endorsement6 weeks
P Endorsement7 weeks
S Endorsement6 weeks
T Endorsement4 weeks
X Endorsement4 weeks
Driver's License

As previously stated, the time taken before obtaining a CDL relies on various aspects. Some of these aspects include;

The type of CDL

There are various classifications of CDL which will allow you to drive trucks with different weight ratings. The primary classification for Schneider drivers is Class A.

This will require you to drive trucks with various weight ratings from (GVWR) 26 001 pounds and above. This weight includes towed vehicles that weigh more than 10,000 pounds. You will require seven weeks of training before obtaining a Class A CDL.

The Class B and C classifications accommodate for hazardous materials and different GVWR. These classifications will take you approximately four weeks to obtain a CDL.

Programs

Learning about CDL features two programs which are full-time programs and part-time programs. These programs will depend on your preference or how you can be available.

For full-time classes, you will attend classes from Monday to Friday for three weeks before obtaining a CDL. When it comes to part-time programs, you will attend classes on Saturday and Sunday for a minimum of five weeks before receiving a CDL.

Why does it take long to obtain a CDL?

There are plenty of aspects that affect the duration of obtaining a CDL. Usually, getting a CDL will take you a maximum of eight weeks and a minimum of three weeks. These durations are profoundly affected by your learning program.

However, the learning duration is extended for you to learn how to control big machines. CDL is meant for individuals who drive heavy-duty machinery; therefore, taking ample time in learning the process is very critical.

What vehicles are authorized to operate with CDL?

A commercial driver’s license is a valuable document for an individual who love or who drive trucks and big machines. Some of the vehicle you are authorized to drive with CDL include;

  • Heavy truck: These are vehicles with a personal or gross cargo weight of above 26,001 pounds.
  • Hazmat vehicles: These are vehicles designed to ferry hazardous materials such as liquid petroleum gas.
  • Tractor-trailers: CDL is essential for driver operating vehicles that are pulling one or more trailers with a weight of more than 26.001 pounds.
  • Human transports: These are vehicles such as buses which transport passenger within the transportation route: For individuals operating Schools buses as well are required to have CDL or special endorsements.
Man Wearing Black Denim Jacket in Driver's Seat

Conclusion

You should note that different classes of CDL are licensed to operate different trucks. This differs in terms of weight. If you want to venture into truck driving, you should consider having a CDL since it and essential document.

Last Updated : 23 February, 2024

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26 thoughts on “How Long Does it Take to Get a CDL – (And Why)?”

  1. The extensive learning period for CDL reflects the significant responsibility associated with operating such heavy vehicles on the road.

    1. Absolutely, ensuring drivers are fully prepared for the weight and hazards associated with large trucks is crucial.

    2. Yes, the safety of all road users is directly impacted by the level of training and knowledge possessed by CDL holders.

  2. The requirements for obtaining a CDL highlight the immense responsibility and skill necessary for those operating heavy vehicles.

    1. Absolutely, the thorough training process underscores the critical role of CDL holders in ensuring road safety.

  3. The diverse endorsements and vehicle types that can be operated with a CDL underscore the multifaceted skills and knowledge necessary for this profession.

    1. Absolutely, CDL holders play a critical role in ensuring the safe operation of various heavy vehicles, and their training reflects the breadth of expertise required.

  4. The ability to operate different types of vehicles with a CDL showcases the diverse skills and knowledge possessed by those in the truck driving industry.

    1. Absolutely, the multi-faceted training required for CDL holders is impressive and showcases their dedication to safety and expertise.

    2. Indeed, CDL holders must have a reliable understanding of multiple vehicle types to safely navigate different transportation scenarios.

  5. The extensive training duration for obtaining a CDL is a testament to the significant responsibility and expertise required for this career path.

    1. Absolutely, the thorough training period reflects the critical role of CDL holders in upholding road safety and efficient transportation.

  6. Obtaining a CDL seems like quite a process, but it’s understandable given the importance of safe and knowledgeable truck drivers on the road.

    1. Yes, it’s crucial for the safety of everyone on the road that drivers receive comprehensive training.

    2. It’s definitely necessary to ensure that drivers are well-prepared and fully understand how to operate large vehicles.

  7. It’s impressive to see the thorough training periods required for different endorsements. Safety is clearly a top priority in this industry.

    1. Avatar of Thompson Matthew
      Thompson Matthew

      Absolutely, taking the time to train drivers of hazardous materials and heavy machinery is crucial for preventing accidents.

  8. Avatar of Cameron Chapman
    Cameron Chapman

    The duration of obtaining a CDL depends on the type of CDL and the learning program. It’s important to have this documented for aspiring drivers.

    1. Having clear information about the time required to obtain a CDL is essential for those considering this career path.

  9. The process of obtaining a CDL emphasizes the extensive training and preparation necessary for responsible and knowledgeable drivers.

    1. Absolutely, the commitment to learning and skill development for CDL holders is commendable and essential for road safety.

    2. Yes, prioritizing comprehensive training for CDL holders is crucial for preventing accidents and ensuring safe transportation.

  10. The various classifications of CDL and their associated training durations provide valuable insight into the commitment required for this career path.

    1. Absolutely, the extensive training periods for different CDL types reflect the level of skill and knowledge necessary for each classification.

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