Certain careers have special requirements in order for applicants to be qualified for them. Jobs such as tractor trailer drivers, bus drivers, drivers of hazardous materials and drivers of any commercial vehicles must have a special license in order to operate those vehicles; it is what is known as a Commercial Driver’s License, or CDL. The requirements to obtain a CDL license in Nebraska are different than what is needed to obtain a regular driver’s license, as the equipment that is used is more complex and can be much more dangerous, especially when not properly trained. There are several steps that need to be taken to order to be qualified for a CDL license. Before any steps are taken, however, ensure that you are eligible to even begin the process. Keep in mind:
In order to be eligible for a restriction free CDL license, you must be at least 21 years old.
To be eligible for a CDL license with restrictions, you must be at least 18 years old. These restrictions are that all driving must be done within the state of Nebraska, no hazardous materials can be transported, and you cannot drive double or triple trailers.
You must currently have a valid driver’s license issued by the state of Nebraska. If your driver’s license has been issued by another state, if it is currently suspended or revoked, if you have previously been convicted of operating a commercial vehicle while under the influence or other impaired within the past 24 months, or if you have been found to be disqualified to operate a commercial vehicle by the state of Nebraska or any other state, you are not eligible to obtain your CDL license.
Take these steps to obtain an CDL license:
1. There is a written test you must take to show how knowledgeable you are in the field. In order to study for the test, you can download a copy of the manual at Dmv.ne.gov/examining/pdf/cdlmanual.pdf or simply stop by your local DMV and pick up a copy.
2. Study the portions of the manual that pertain to the type of license you are trying to obtain. For instance, if you are trying to obtain a CDL license to be a bus driver, you must study the “special endorsement” sections in addition to studying the general part of the manual. The manual itself will indicate which sections you need to study for your intended career, so read carefully.
3. You must make an appointment with your doctor to have a physical exam, which is also a requirement to obtain a CDL license. There is a form that you must bring with you to have your doctor complete. You can obtain that by stopping at your local DMV or you can download it and print it from Fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/forms/649f.pdf.
4. Take a trip down to your local DMV with the completed medical form to take the written knowledge exam. Once you complete the exam and pass, the DMV will present you with a CDL permit. This is what you will use in your actual Nebraska CDL license training.
5. With your CDL permit, you can now find training programs to assist you in obtaining your actual license. For instance, if you are trying to obtain your CDL to drive tractor trailers or trucks, there are schools and training programs that are specifically geared towards those professions. In order to apply for those programs, however, you will need to already have your permit, so ensure that you have already successfully completed the previous steps. The Nebraska CDL license cost is $57.50 for five years, but that cost does not include the cost of your schooling.
6. Once you have completed the courses in the school or training program you have enrolled in, you will need to take the driving/skill exam, which is taken through your local DMV. Unlike the written exam, this needs to be scheduled beforehand. In addition, you will need to provide your own vehicle to use for the test; the DMV does not do this for you. Your school or training program can be of assistance in this area, so make sure you speak with them. Once you pass the driving exam, you will be awarded with a Nebraska CDL license.