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

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

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.


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


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

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