Some people get around without a driver’s license at all, but others find that a regular Class C license doesn’t meet their needs. If you’re thinking about getting a commercial driver’s license, or CDL, in Georgia, you might be wondering about a few things. Here are some frequently asked questions about getting a CDL.
What type of vehicles require a commercial driver’s license?
If you want to drive a vehicle that is over 26,000 pounds, holds more than 15 people at a time, or needs hazardous material placards, you’re going to need a CDL.
Do I have to have specific training?
Georgia CDL license training isn’t required for applicants; however, instructional permits are. To get an unrestricted CDL, you have to pass both the written and road tests. This means that while training isn’t required, you’re still going to have to study in order to get your license.
Are there different classes of CDLs?
There are five different classifications for commercial licenses: A, AP, B, BP, and C. AP and BP licenses are permits for A and B licenses. Class A licenses are for truck trailers or tractor-semi trailers when the vehicle and towed unit have a combined weight of over 26,000 pounds and the towed unit is more than 10,000 pounds. A Class B license can only be used with towed units that are under 10,000 pounds, and Class C licenses are to be used for vehicles that transport more than 15 people or hazardous waste.
How much does it cost?
Well, it costs $35 to send in an application, $10 for the written test, and $50 for the road test. If you need any endorsements, that’ll be $5 each. This means that the Georgia CDL license cost is around $100. Of course, you’ll have to pay to take the written or road test again if you don’t pass the first time around. If you’re a veteran or school bus driver, you can waive the application fee with proper identification.
How old do I have to be?
To apply for a commercial driver’s license, you must be at least 18 years old, but you won’t be able to get an unrestricted license until you’re 21. You won’t be able to use your license out of the state of Georgia until your 21st birthday.
Where do I go for the tests?
All Georgia Department of Driver Services customer service centers offer written exams. You can take your examination any time that the center is opened, which is Tuesday through Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. If you’re planning on taking your test in the evening, plan on getting to your testing location by 5:15 p.m.
When you’re ready to take your road test, you’ll have to make an appointment. Only certain centers offer road tests, so check to make sure you go to one of the right centers. Examination stations can be found in Albany, Between, Brunswick, Dalton, Gainesville, Jackson, Milledgeville, and Thomson.
What kind of identification do I have to have?
You’ll need at least four documents to prove your identity: one to prove your primary identity, one to prove your Social Security number, and two to prove your residential address. If you’ve ever changed your name for any reason, you’ll need documentation of that, too.
Are there any laws about distracted driving made specifically for commercial truck drivers?
If you drive a truck commercially or are driving a vehicle that is holding at least eight passengers, it’s illegal to text. Most states ban everyone from texting and driving, but a few do not. If you’re caught texting while driving a commercial vehicle in any state, you could have to pay a fine of up to $2,750.
Is there anything that might disqualify me from transporting hazardous materials?
Only United States residents are allowed to transport hazardous materials, so if you are an illegal immigrant or renounce your citizenship, you can’t get an endorsement for it. If you are wanted or have been found guilty of certain felonies in either a military or civilian court, have ever been admitted into a mental institution, or are considered a security risk by the Transportation Security Administration, you won’t be able to transport hazardous materials, either.
How high can my blood alcohol concentration be?
If alcohol is affecting you in any way while you’re driving or your blood alcohol content is 0.04% or higher, you are considered to be driving under the influence.
Getting your commercial driver’s license is a big deal, but remember that driving a commercial vehicle can be dangerous. Be careful on the road to ensure that nobody gets hurt.