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How Do I Become a Commercial Truck Driver?

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  • Written By: Alicia Sparks
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 07 December 2016
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You’ll most likely have to meet local, federal, and employer truck driving requirements to become a commercial truck driver. In addition to the application and testing standards, which include truck classes and endorsements, these requirements can focus on age, physical health, and education. Given the variety of regulations within the commercial truck driving industry, it’s best to contact the agency in your area that handles motor vehicle and licensing services before beginning the application process to become a commercial truck driver.

Normally, each locality sets its own requirements for each applicant to become a commercial truck driver. Such requirements, like those set forth by each state in America, usually focus on age, the application, and testing requirements. Digging deeper, requirements related to age, application, and testing often depend on the kind of commercial truck you want to drive. Most localities also require truck drivers to meet certain educational requirements. Typically, these include having a high school diploma or the equivalent, but they can include the completion of an approved trucking school, too.

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Generally, national laws don’t handle the actual issuing of licenses to commercial truck drivers. Even so, some countries still have a hand in the process to become a commercial truck driver. For example, per its Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in America set forth certain commercial truck driving standards regarding the different classes of trucks and the minimum licensing standards for those classes. Within those standards are requirements related to license endorsements, physical exams, and medical certificates. Similarly, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand have certain comparable national standards.

Most often, each locality must design its own licensing requirements around those standards set forth by the nation. Therefore, you can usually find out your specific requirements to become a commercial truck driver by contacting the government agency that handles driver licensing and motor vehicle matters. Some agencies might offer a handbook for commercial truck driver applicants, similar to a driver licensing handbook, or provide information on their websites.

In addition to local and federal regulations for truck drivers, you must consider the requirements of your potential employer. To become a commercial truck driver with a particular company, you might have to meet certain requirements not already set forth by your local or national laws. These requirements won’t negate any local or federal requirements, but they might add to them. For example, your potential employer might require all truck drivers to undergo regular drug screening or successfully complete training at a specific truck driving academy. Be sure to ask about such requirements when applying to become a commercial truck driver with a company.

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