If you are interested in getting your CDL, then this article will help you take the first steps. We will discuss what is needed to get a CDL, how to prepare for the CDL test, and some tips on passing it!

What is a CDL, and what does it take to get one?

A CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) is required to operate commercial vehicles. It allows you to transport passengers, hazardous materials, and drive interstate commerce routes. To get this license, you must be at least 18 years old with a valid Texas driver’s license or out-of-state equivalent.

You will also need four documents proving your identity: either one primary document such as a birth certificate or passport, two secondary documents like social security cards, marriage licenses, etc. and additional proof of name change if applicable i.e.: divorce decree/marriage certificate).

Finally, applicants are required to pass the Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver’s Handbook Test, which covers federal rules on driving safely for those who have never driven before! If you are passing for Texas CDL test, this can be taken at the Texas Department of Public Safety. The same goes for other federal states!

How can I prepare for the exam?

Now you are armed with the information on what the CDL test requires. What about how to prepare for this important exam? All states require applicants to take a commercial driver’s license (CDL) knowledge test before they can be issued their first commercial learner’s permit or standard Class A, B, C, or E license. 

The Texas CDL written test consists of 35 multiple-choice questions and is available in English only at DPS testing centers throughout Texas. You must answer correctly 24 out of 35 questions to pass your Texas 2021 CDL test exam. If not you will have another chance but don’t delay! If you are using an official guidebook, then make sure it is valid in the state where you plan on testing. If tested through DPS in TX, then use a TX version. If tested through BMV in IN then use that IN version etc.

The steps of getting your CDL license

  • A valid Texas driver’s license or out-of-state equivalent.
  • An address, birthdate, and social security number.
  • At least 18 years old with one year of driving experience in most cases, unless you have military service being credited towards the requirement (see federal guidelines).
  • Passing a vision test at DPS center when applying for permit/license OR passing an approved DOT physical exam within two years before application AND renewing your commercial learner’s permit every five years after initial issuance.) 
  • Passing a federal rules and regulations test.
  • Passing the commercial driver’s license (CDL) written knowledge test at DPS testing center with 24 correct answers out of 35 questions. If not then you will have another chance but don’t delay! There is no limit to how many times this can be taken, as long as you do it within 90 days from your identification verification date mentioned above. The same goes for other states such as IN, SD, etc.)
  • The last step would be obtaining your CDL permit/license, which requires an appointment with the Texas Department of Public Safety or BMV in some cases depending on state requirements.

Common mistakes people make when applying for a CDL 

Not studying and not taking the test on time.

Taking a commercial knowledge exam at DPS before having all of your documents ready such as proof of ID, SSN, etc.) if you plan on testing in TX then use the official Texas version guide book that is valid for the state where you wish to be tested!)

Using an outdated study material or incorrect license type (i.e.: Class A when applying for B). Make sure it is the same license type/class to which you are planning to apply! If not, i.e: Class C) make sure this will cover any possible driving needs while getting experience driving bigger vehicles with more weight and passengers than smaller ones like cars or trucks.)

Some helpful tips and tricks to help you on your way

Find an online practice test to help you in your studies!

Take advantage of free time and study while riding in the passenger seat with someone who has a CDL license (even if it is for another type of vehicle). You can learn plenty about these vehicles this way.

Some helpful questions to ask yourself before applying are, “Do I have enough money saved up?” “Am I ready for any possible exams or road tests required by my state?” If answered yes, then go ahead and get started! Don’t waste any more time!


So you want to get a CDL and become an over-the-road truck driver? If so, congratulations! You’ve made one of the best decisions in your life. Truck driving is not only an excellent career option for many people, but it also offers some great benefits too, including financial stability, job security, flexible hours, and more.