What Should I Know Before Trying to Get My CDL License?


Are you interested in starting a career as a truck driver? Do you have questions about getting your CDL license, like how old you have to be to get your CDL license?

A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is the necessary documentation for working in the trucking industry. Obtaining a CDL license involves training and state regulated requirements.

Read “How Long Does It Take to Get a CDL License?” to learn more about education length.

Requirements for Obtaining Your CDL

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the trucking industry to minimize any commercial truck-related accidents. The FMCSA requirements apply to all states and state that drivers may only hold a CDL license in one state. Other requirements may vary by state and are as follows:

  • Non-commercial driver’s license. Every driver must hold a regular driver’s license.
  • Age requirement. All drivers must be 21 years and older to drive across state lines.
  • Driving record. Every driver must have 1-2 years of driving experience with no suspensions. Suspensions include acquiring too many driving points, traffic violations, speeding tickets, DUI/DWI, and failing to pay child support.
  • No criminal record. All drivers must successfully pass background tests.
  • Proof of citizenship. Drivers must be able to show valid social security card, birth certificate, or passport as proof of citizenship.
  • English speaker. Drivers must be able to read and speak English.
  • Physical and medical standards. Every driver must pass a medical examination given by an authorized medical examiner on the National Medical Registry and must have valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate. These exams test medical qualifications for drivers to handle trucker life, which may include long periods of driving, irregular sleep schedules, family/social challenges, job-related stress, and heavy lifting. These exams require the following:
    • Vision of 20/40 or better, with or without correction
    • Free of diabetes conditions that required insulin via needle injection (some exceptions)
    • Standard hearing, with or without hearing aid
    • Does not suffer from clinically diagnosed high blood pressure likely to interfere with ability to operate truck safely
    • Does not suffer from sleep apnea or other conditions that lead to disqualification

Drivers will need to pass a written test for knowledge and skills and a road test for driving in a commercial vehicle to obtain their state CDL license.

What Does Missouri Require to Get a CDL?

The state of Missouri requires drivers to be at least 18 years of age to apply for a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) or CDL. Drivers must be 21 or older to drive outside of Missouri.To obtain a CLP, drivers must:

  • Possess valid Missouri non-CDL license
  • Provide proof of legal presence
  • Pay $7.50 fee
  • Hold valid CLP for 180 days
  • Self-certify intrastate or interstate medical driving status
  • Pass a number of written tests, based on license class and vehicle being driven

Drivers need to possess a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) for at least 14 days before they are allowed to take a road skills test and earn their CDL. The road skills and driving test for a CDL license requires a $22.50 fee, which is valid for three years, or $45, which is valid for six years. Contact us to learn more about requirements to obtain a CDL, including vehicles requiring CDL, drivers exempt from obtaining CDL, classes of CDLs, endorsements, restrictions, testing, fees, and medical requirements.

CDL Training At MTI

The MTI CDL Training Course,* which is streamlined for individuals with prior truck driving experience, offers prospective drivers a quick education time period of just 20 days, totaling 168 clock hours, with day and evening classes available. We offer this program at our Springfield, MO campus.The CDL training coursework is split into classroom training for the first week and range, road, and remedial training for the following weeks.Read “How Long Will It Take to Get a CDL License?” to learn more about the length of CDL training programs. The MTI Professional Truck Driving Program* is a more in-depth program that spans across 20 weeks, totaling 600 clock hours, with day and evening classes available.During the first month of this program, students will learn about CDL permit test and endorsement. Following the first four weeks, lessons will cover vehicle inspection, safe practices and a general understanding of the vehicles. During the last months, students will also learn about resume building and professionalism in addition to on-the-road and range truck driver training.MTI truck driver training programs prepare students for CDL Class A license exams, which allows students to drive most trucks and vehicles, though some additional endorsements may be necessary for specific vehicles.To learn more about becoming a truck driver, read “How Much Training Does It Take to Become a Truck Driver?

If you’re considering becoming a truck driver, read “4 Reasons to Consider Truck Driving in 2018” to learn more.

Contact MTI Admissions Team to learn more about 20-day CDL Training Course or 20-week Professional Truck Driving Program.