How to get a CDL in Texas: Comprehensive Guide for CDL Drivers
There are more than 1.3 million CDL holders in the U.S., and over 150,000 of them are based in Texas. If you are looking to join the lucrative person, the first thing you need to do is own a CDL. This article is going to answer the question of How to get a CDL in Texas and give you a complete guide to achieving one!
1. Who is required to get a CDL in Texas?
To operate a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) on public roadways in the United States, you must get a professional driver’s license known as a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
There are several different types of CDL, based on the vehicle you want to operate. Besides, there’re also 6 endorsements to advance your career with a specialized cargo to haul.
2. Which CDL is right for you?
2.1. Class A CDL in Texas
You need to get a CDL Class A to operate the combination of vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more, in which the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the vehicle towed exceeds 10,000 pounds. CDL Class A in Texas is considered the most powerful commercial license because if you own CDL class A, you can operate Class B and C vehicles.
CDL Class A drivers in Texas can drive tractor-trailers, tractor-trailers buses, flatbeds, livestock carriers, double and triple trailers (only with a T endorsement), and tank vehicles (only with N or X endorsement)
2.2. Class B CDL in Texas
CDL Class B allows driver to operate:
- Single vehicle having a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more
- Combination of vehicles with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less
- Vehicle designed to transport 24 or more people including the driver (only with a P endorsement)
If you have a Class B CDL, you can also drive Class C vehicles.
Straight trucks, huge buses (such as school buses, city buses, or tour buses), segmented buses, dump trucks with tiny trailers, box trucks (such as couriers, delivery drivers, and furniture/appliance delivery), and mobile homes are examples
2.3. Class C CDL in Texas
Obtaining a CDL Class C allow drivers to drive:
- vehicles that do not fulfill the Class A or B standards and are meant to transport 16 to 23 people (only with a P endorsement)
- Hazardous compounds that necessitate placarding the vehicle (only with an H endorsement)
Examples include passenger vans and small, non-tanker HAZMAT vehicles.
People sometimes get confused between CDL class C and the Class C driver’s license. In Texas, A class C driver’s license is a non-commercial license.
3. What are the requirements to get a CDL in Texas?
Before applying the CDL in Texas, you must meet a few conditions. We already summarized all the needed information here to help you get them easily. If you still want to dive further into details, you can visit the Texas Department of Public Safety to get the answer you want to know. Here are the requirements of getting the CDL in Texas:
- Minimum age of 18
- Driving across state boundaries and across the country requires a minimum age of 21
- You must have a valid Texas driver’s license
- You must have a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) 14 days before taking the CDL exam.
- Complete an Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) curriculum certified by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration). The FMCSA has approved ACE Driving Academy as a supplier
- Pass a three-part driving exam in the commercial vehicle you want to drive
- Provide identification documentation
- Have your fingerprints taken
- Pass a vision exam
4. How to get a CDL in Texas?
To get a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in Texas, you will need to follow these steps:
4.1. Meet the eligibility requirements
We already mentioned the requirements that you need to get a CDL in Texas above. You must be at least 18 years of age to get a CDL in Texas, although you can apply for a permit at the age of 17.
You will also need to have a valid Texas driver’s license and be able to pass a physical exam. On the physical exam, there are some criterial that you need to meet:
- Vision in both eyes as well as each eye separately must be 20/40, with visual enhancement equipment such as glasses or contacts permitted.
- It is vital to be able to discern between colors.
- Should be able to detect a forced whisper from at least 5 feet away
- The maximum permissible blood pressure is 160/100. Prescription medicine may be used to meet this need.
- A candidate may have diabetes that is managed with diet or medication. Diabetes that is managed with insulin injections is not approved.
- Blood sugar levels should not exceed 200.
- It is not permissible to take a Schedule 1 drug, amphetamine, narcotic, or other habit-forming substance.
4.2. Study for the CDL test
In order to get a CDL in Texas, you will need to study the Texas Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver’s Handbook, which covers the rules and regulations of operating commercial vehicles in the state. You can download a copy of the handbook from the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) website.
>> Read more: CDL general knowledge study guide
These days, practicing online is quite popular because of the cost-saving and flexibility for learners. If you don’t want to go to driving school and spend huge money on the training process, you can choose the CDL practice test online. With a copious number of practice questions, you totally can practice and enhance your score.
4.3. Take the written test
Once you feel prepared, you can schedule an appointment to take the written test at a Texas DPS office. You will need to bring your valid Texas driver’s license and pay a fee to take the test.
4.4. Get a CDL permit
If you pass the written test, you will be issued a CDL permit. With this permit, you will be able to practice driving a commercial vehicle with a licensed CDL driver in the vehicle with you.
4.5. Take the driving test
Once you have practiced driving a commercial vehicle, you can schedule an appointment to take the driving test at a Texas DPS office. You will need to bring the vehicle you will be driving for the test and pay a fee to take the test.
4.6. Get your CDL
If you pass the driving test, you will be issued a CDL.
5. How much does it cost to get CDL in Texas?
In Texas, the detailed fees for getting your CDL in Texas are:
5.1. Standard CDL
- From 18 to 84 (new or renewal): $61 (Valid for 5 years)
- From 85 and older (new or renewal): $26 (expires after 2 years (on your birthday)
- Replacement CDL or CLP: $11
- Commercial Learner’s Permit (new or renewal): $25 (expires 180 days from issuance, renewals must be renewed before expiration date)
5.2. Non-domiciled CDL
- New or renewal: $121
- Temporary: $21
- Motorcycle with CDL: $15 to CDL Fee (expires when CDL expires)
- Motorcycle with CDL renewal: $8 to CDL Fee (expires when CDL expires)
- Add a motorcycle to existing CDL: $16 (expires when CDL expires)
>> See more: How to get CDL in Illinois
6. What are the disqualifications of CDL in Texas
If you are having one of the disqualifications of CDL in Texas below, you can not drive within the restriction times as well as can not obtain a new driver’s license. Be careful while driving your vehicle!
- One year minimum: alcohol, leaving the scene of an accident, or committing a crime.
- At least 3 years for the first offense and a lifetime for the second offense: Alcohol, leaving the scene of an accident, or committing a felony while driving a commercial motor vehicle with a hazardous materials placard
- 60 days: Two significant traffic infractions within three years (excessive speeding, reckless driving, inappropriate or unpredictable lane changes, following too closely, etc.)
- 120 days: Three significant traffic infractions within three years (excessive speeding, reckless driving, inappropriate or irregular lane changes, following too closely, etc.)
- 60 days for the first offense; 120 days for a second offense within three years; at least one year for a third offense within three years: Violations of railroad-highway grade crossings
- Lifetime: Using a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony
In summary, the needed information for getting CDL in Texas is provided to you to answer the question of How to get a CDL in Texas. It’s important to note that different types of commercial vehicles have different requirements in terms of age, training, and testing. Make sure you understand the requirements for the type of CDL you are seeking. Good luck with your test! If you want to find a website to increase your CDL test score, start your journey today with our Over 1000 questions are provided and daily updates. Start today to help you conquer the CDL test successfully!