What Goes into the Cost of Getting a CDL License?


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

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 [2], 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 [2], 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?

[1] https://www.dmv.org/cdl-endorsements.php[2] http://www.driverservicebureau.dps.ms.gov/Drivers/Driver_Service_Fees

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