A commercial driver’s license, also referred to as a CDL license, is required documentation for working in the trucking industry. Truck drivers must hold a valid CDL license in order to drive routes.
There are three main steps to become a truck driver, and each requires a fee. Read on to learn how to prepare for a career in truck driving.
Step #1 to Get a CDL License: Truck Driver Training
When it comes to the trucking industry, it’s important to note that there are three types of CDL licenses: Class A, Class B, and Class C.
Holding a CDL Class A license allows a driver, with the proper endorsements , to operate any combination of vehicles totaling a weight of 26,001 lbs. or more, which includes Class B and Class C vehicles. Class A vehicles can include the following:
- Truck/trailer combinations
- Large flatbed trucks
- Commercial livestock carriers
Future truck drivers have a few options for training for the Class A license tests. Delta Technical College (Delta Tech) offers two helpful programs for individuals interested in pursuing a truck driving career.
Delta Tech’s CDL Training Course is just 20 days long and is streamlined to prepare students for Mississippi’s licensing exam. This program is designed for students who already have trucking experience under their belts and are familiar with the industry. The Delta Tech CDL Training Course is available at the Horn Lake, MS and Ridgeland, MS campuses.
Developed for individuals searching for in-depth knowledge about the trucking industry, the Delta Tech Professional Truck Driving Program spans 20 weeks and is offered at the Horn Lake, MS and Ridgeland, MS campuses. Students should contact their local campus for pricing and availability.
The Delta Tech Admissions Team may be able to assist in identifying potential scholarship opportunities to help cover some education costs for the Professional Truck Driving Program.*
If you’re interested in learning more about the education needed to become a truck driver, read “How Much Training Does It Take to Become a Truck Driver?”
*Financial aid and scholarship opportunities are available for the Professional Truck Driving Program to those who qualify. Financial aid and scholarships are not available for the CDL Training Course.
Step #2 to Get a CDL License: Obtaining a CLP
Before you can acquire your CDL license, you’ll need to obtain your commercial learner’s permit (CLP). Fees for the CLP vary by state and type of permit. In Mississippi , the CLP fee is $16 for a six-month time period.
There are additional steps to earn your CLP, including:
- Background check for which identification will be required. Students may present a social security card, Medicare ID card, current state license or ID, military ID, or passport.
- Proof of residency, in the form of a utility bill, bank statement, or similar document.
- Physical health exams, including both a vision test and medical exam.
- Permit fee, which as noted above, may vary by state and type.
- 14-day waiting period before taking road skills test, during which student must hold a valid CLP.
Step #3 to Get a CDL License: Completing the CDL Testing & Requirements
Getting your CDL will require some fees, which vary by state and type of license. In Mississippi , drivers will need to pay a $25 CDL application fee and a $55 CDL license fee.
Drivers may be required to complete the following steps in order to obtain their CDL licenses:
- Pass a CDL knowledge test of safety, skills, and regulations.
- Complete a vehicle inspection for safety and functionality.
- Submit a 10-year driving history, including licenses from other jurisdictions.
- Complete the road skills test, which involves a variety of traffic situations, during which applicants must wear safety belts, obey all traffic signs, signals, and laws, and provide a vehicle (of the right class) to use.
- Pay license fee, which varies by state and type of license.
The above steps, with the exception of the road skills test, can be completed during the 14-day waiting period after getting your CLP.
If you’d like to learn more about the amount of time needed to become a CDL driver, read “How Long Does It Take to Get a CDL License?”
What Are the Down-the-Road Fees for Truck Drivers?
There may be some down-the-road fees — pun intended — for drivers, so it’s important to recognize where additional costs may come into play:
- Depending on the needed endorsements for your truck and route, you may need to pay additional fees, which will vary by state and endorsement needed.
- Vehicle registration fees. If a driver owns his own truck, he’ll need to maintain the truck’s registration, which may include vehicle registration fees.
- License renewals. Drivers are responsible for keeping licenses current, which may involve paying for license renewals.
- Additional fees. Extra costs may arise in insurance, gas, and tolls.
Is Truck Driving Right for You?
Click here to read about truck driver training classes offered at Delta Technical College. If you’re interested in learning more about the trucking industry, take a look at “4 Reasons to Consider Truck Driving in 2018.”
Contact the Delta Tech Admissions Team to learn how you can enroll.