How to Get an Illinois CDL License

As you can imagine, getting a commercial driver’s license is trickier than simply getting a regular driver’s license. If you want to drive any type of commercial vehicle, you need to get more training, provide extra paperwork, take additional tests, and pay more fees. Here is how you can get a CDL license in Illinois without major difficulties.

CDL License Requirements
Before pursuing an Illinois CDL license, you should familiarize yourself with the many various requirements first. If you only want to drive in Illinois, you need to be 18 years old in order to get a commercial driver’s license. However, if you want to operate a commercial vehicle outside of Illinois, you need to be 21 years old.

If you want to be eligible for a CDL, you need to have a completely clean driving record. You also need to pass a physical exam every two years and you need to read and understand English well enough to comprehend road signs, create reports, and communicate with law enforcement as well as the public.

You might be unsure whether you truly need a Illinois CDL license. You need a commercial driver’s license if you want to drive a vehicle designed to hold at least 16 people, the driver included. If federal regulations require that the vehicle you want to drive be placarded while carrying hazardous materials, you need a commercial vehicle’s license. If you want to operate a vehicle or a combination of vehicles that has or have a GCWR of 26,0001 pounds or more, you will need a CDL.

CDL License Cost
Anyone who wants an Illinois commercial driver’s license should be prepared to pay a hefty amount of fees. Therefore, you should keep your wallet or checkbook handy to deal with the Illinois CDL license cost. Driver service facilities tend to not accept payment via credit cards or debit cards, so you’ll probably have better luck sticking to cash and checks.

There are basic fees that you have to pay, and then you also have to pay for the additional endorsements that come with getting a commercial driver’s license.

If you don’t already have a regular Illinois driver’s license, then you will be expected to pay $60 for your Illinois CDL. On the other hand, if you already have a regular Illinois driver’s license, you will only be expected to pay $50. Those applying for a limited school bus commercial driver’s license pay a relatively measly $20.

All other additional endorsements will cost you $5 each. Also, if you’re renewing your license, you should still keep your wallet handy because you will probably have to pay most of these fees again.

CDL License Training
As of now, there are no federal standards when it comes to Illinois CDL license training. The only thing you need to do is pass the CDL knowledge test, which is written, and the CDL driving tests, which test your skills on the road.

If you want to drive a longer-combination-vehicle, then you are required to have training in driver qualifications, whistle blower protection, driver wellness, and hours of service.

While the Illinois commercial driver’s manual is a great place to start for basic information, you will eventually need to be professionally trained. Typically, motor carriers will train their employees for free, while other commercial drivers have taken courses at community colleges, private driving schools, and vocational or technical schools.

CDL License Process
The very first thing you should do is study the Illinois Commercial Driver License Manual in preparation for the CDL knowledge test. You should mostly focus on the sections that pertain to the type of vehicle you want to operate once you get your CDL. For example, if you want to be a truck driver, you would study the truck driving portion of the manual.

The next thing you should do is take the CDL knowledge test until you pass. You will then get a CDL learner’s permit. Now that you have your learner’s permit, you should focus on getting professional training. After you’ve been adequately trained, you will need to take a skills test, which will involve you driving on the road. Typically, you will need to provide a vehicle for the test, so you may have to borrow or rent one.

However, before you can get take the CDL skills test, you will need to take a medical exam to prove you’re in good enough health to operate a commercial vehicle. Also, you will need to have a background check done if you want to transport hazardous materials.

Getting an Illinois commercial driver’s license will definitely take you more time and effort than if you were simply getting a regular driver’s license. However, once you get your license, it will definitely open up doors for you when it comes to employment.