December 7, 2023

4 Steps to Getting Your CDL-A License!

So, you want to be a CDL-A truck driver? Great idea! A career in trucking can provide the pay, flexibility, and fulfillment that you’re looking for.

Carter Orientation

So, you want to be a CDL-A truck driver? Great idea! A career in trucking can provide the pay, flexibility, and fulfillment that you’re looking for.

Here are the steps you’ll need to take to get there:

Meet the requirements!

  • Be 21 years of age or older: You can get a CDL license     at 18, but according to the federal requirement, you are not allowed to     drive across state lines or haul hazardous materials until you are 21.
  • Have a clean driving history: Certain criminal     offenses or driving violations can disqualify you from being eligible to     get your CDL. Reach out to a Carter Express recruiter to find out if     you’re eligible!
  • Have a strong work ethic: Truck driving is often an     extremely fulfilling and lucrative career, but it’s not for everybody.     Truck drivers are heroes, and they work like it!

Start training!

  • Go to driver’s school: You could study or finance     schooling on your own, but plenty of carriers (including Carter Express)     offer paid training, scholarships, or sponsorship for truck driving     school.
  • Get pre-hired: Companies will often foot the bill for     a driver to get their CDL if they agree to work for them once licensed.     Carter Express can sponsor you, covering 100% of tuition costs. Or,     we have a tuition reimbursement program.
  • Obtain a commercial learner’s permit (CLP): To     practice driving, you’ll need to pass a written test and get your permit.     To apply for your CDL, you need to have had your CLP for 14 days.

Pass your tests!

  • Pass the CDL skills exam: After completing truck     driver training and practicing driving, you need to take a CDL test.     Different states have different CDL manuals that are tested on, so make     sure you’re studying your state’s manual!
  • Pass the DOT medical exam: The U.S. Department of     Transportation requires drivers to pass a physical exam by a certified     doctor before being issued a CDL.
  • Pass pre-employment screenings: Most carriers will do     an employment history search, criminal history search and drug test before     hiring a CDL-A driver.

Start driving!

  • Gather your documents: Keep your driver’s license,     social security card, birth certificate or U.S. passport (or a green card     if necessary) handy while applying for CDL-A truck driving jobs.
  • Find a job: Find a carrier that meets your needs. Our     supportive culture, low turnover and safety focus make Carter Express a     great option for new drivers – Let us prove it to you!
  • Start driving: After you’ve got your CDL, Carter     Express has a six-week paid training program to prepare you for your new     career.

Carter Express offers a variety of CDL-A truck driving opportunities with competitive pay, support for drivers and a family focus! Visit to learn more about our driver training or call (833)934-2103 to speak to a recruiter!



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