How Can I Get My CDL In Illinois?

Have you been researching the Illinois CDL law changes in 2022? If so, you’re likely interested in earning your CDL – or Commercial Driver’s License.  Having a CDL is a requirement for all professional truckers, and as of February 2022 all aspiring CDL drivers must complete a training program from a registered provider before they take the skills test.

While the path to obtaining an Illinois CDL is relatively straight forward, it is important to understand all the required steps. MTI is recognized by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) as an approved ELDT (Entry Level Driver Training) provider, and we can help you learn how to get a CDL license in Illinois and answer some commonly asked questions. 

CDL License Illinois: What You Should Know

The demand for truck drivers has created increased incentives for those interested in obtaining a CDL in Illinois and throughout much of the country. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there are as many as 231,000 openings for heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers each year. According to the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), employment of Truck Drivers, Heavy & Tractor-Trailer is expected to have an average of 9,075 annual job openings. You can find this data in the Long-Term COVID-impacted Occupational Projections (2018-2028). In May 2022, IDES reported 2,818 job postings for Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers.

Much of the current demand for CDL drivers is attributed to the ongoing economic recovery efforts associated with COVID-19 that began in 2020. The American Trucking Association reported a shortage of 80,000 drivers as of October 2021—a historic high. That shortage could rise to 160,000 by 2030. 

Due in part to the growing demand for professional truck drivers, the industry is attracting new talent. For example, more women are considering CDL driving jobs than previously before, creating a shift in an industry that has historically been regarded as a male-dominated. 

Get Your CDL in Illinois: Step-by-Step Process

So, how do you get your CDL license in Illinois? This step-by-step guide explains the process in more detail. 

Meet the age requirements

Illinois allows drivers to obtain a CDL at 18 years of age. Keep in mind, CDL drivers must be 21 years of age to drive across state lines.

Attend an FMCSA Registered CDL School in Illinois

Midwest Technical Institute (MTI) is approved as an (Entry Level Driver Training) provider by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). This is in compliance with the Illinois CDL law changes that went into effect in February 2022. 

The CDL Training Course at MTI provides classroom, driving range, and on-the-road training from instructors with real-world experience. They will teach you essential skills and practical CDL knowledge over the course of 25 days (200 total clock hours) to prepare you for the CDL licensing exam in Illinois. 

Pass the Knowledge Exam & Skills Testing

MTI’s truck driving school in Illinois prepares students to pass the licensing exam and obtain a Class A CDL license in Illinois. At MTI, you will learn how to correctly and safely perform required skill standards. This CDL Training Course will prepare you to pass the state licensing exam and obtain a CDL in Illinois. 

The course includes classroom instruction related to knowledge of Illinois’ CDL, driving safely, air brakes, combination vehicles, log books, trip planning, along with public and employee relations. 

At MTI, you will be prepared to take the CDL permit exam the first week of class. The permit allows you to drive while accompanied by a CDL driver.

Complete a Background Check & Physical

As a matter of safety, Illinois law requires CDL applicants to pass a background check and routine physical to ensure they are fit to operate a commercial motor vehicle. With this final step completed, you will be eligible for a CDL in Illinois

Illinois CDL Requirements

  • CDL operators must be at least 18 years of age in Illinois. 
  • A valid, non-CDL license is required prior to obtaining your CDL in Illinois
  • You must be able to prove legal proof of residence within the United States. 
  • If you already possess a CDL license from another state, you’re still required to repeat the CDL Illinois test
  • In accordance with federal laws, you must self-certify that you are physically capable of operating a commercial vehicle prior to licensure. In addition, a physician is required to provide a current Medical Examination Report prior to licensure.
  • There is a processing fee associated with your original or renewal CDL license in Illinois – this generally ranges between $50 – 60. 

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Enrolling Now: CDL School in Illinois!

If you’re ready to earn your CDL license in Illinois, MTI is here to help! 

MTI’s hands-on CDL Training Course will teach you  the skills and knowledge you need to get behind-the-wheel and start your new career as a truck driver. At MTI, you’ll get prepared to pass the Illinois CDL driving test and get on the road to a new career. 

Take the next step and contact MTI today for more information.

CDL Training Springfield, IL

2731 Farmers Market Road

Springfield, IL 62707

(217) 527-8324

Satellite Location (Illinois CDL Range):

4600 Rodger St.

Springfield, IL 62703


American Trucking Associations, Inc. 

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Tricities Business News