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How Old Do You Have to Be to Get a Commercial Driver License?

How Old Do You Have to Be to Get a Commercial Driver License?

Those interested in getting a commercial driver’s license (CDL) may be surprised to know there is a CDL age requirement. Drivers need to be at least 18 years old to get a CDL, but that comes with some restrictions.

Driving Academy, based in Linden, New Jersey, offers CDL training to students from throughout the U.S. Here, we talk about the age requirements for earning a CDL.

CDL Age Requirements

A person needs to be at least 21 years old to drive a commercial vehicle across state lines, but if you want to operate a vehicle that requires a CDL license in just your own state, you only need to be 18. The age restrictions apply whether you seek a Class A CDL or Class B CDL.

High Demand for Professional Drivers

Since the coronavirus pandemic, there has been an increased need for professional truck drivers. Some surveys say at least 80,000 new CDL drivers are needed across the United States to keep up with the trucking demand.

To help meet this demand, there is a three-year Safe Driver Apprentice Pilot Program to allow people who are 18 years old, already have a state-issued CDL, and maintain a clean driving record to drive interstate routes under the direction of an experienced driver. The experienced driver must:

  • Be at least 26 years old
  • Have at least five years of CDL driving experience
  • Have two years of incident-free driving, meaning no crashes or tickets during that time frame

The program includes safety precautions put into place by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Tractor-trailers used in the Safe Driver Apprentice Pilot Program must have extra safety technology, including:

  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Forward-facing video cameras
  • Top speed limited to 65 miles per hour

Apprentice drivers are limited to hauling only one trailer and they will not be able to haul hazardous material.

The Need for Professional Drivers is Increasing

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the need for heavy-duty truck drivers and tractor-trailer drivers will increase by 4% over the next few years and the need for delivery drivers will increase by 10% over the same time.

Companies all over the United States are looking for qualified drivers to take their routes. Because of the lack of professional drivers, some trucking companies are offering retention bonuses of 20% or more to keep drivers in their trucks.

Programs Offered at Driving Academy

Driving Academy offers three different CDL programs for people interested in pursuing one of the most in-demand jobs across the country.

Class A CDL

A Class A CDL is needed for those who want to drive tractor-trailers or vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 pounds and have a trailer that weighs more than 10,000 pounds. Once a Class A CDL has been earned, you can also drive a Class B vehicle.

Class B CDL

A Class B CDL is for box trucks and delivery trucks. A Class B vehicle is described as any vehicle weighing over 26,000 pounds and has no trailer, or if there is a trailer, it weighs less than 10,000 pounds. Examples of Class B vehicles include box trucks, cement trucks, garbage trucks, and delivery trucks.

Class B+P CDL

The Class B+P CDL is for vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 pounds and have a carrier with 16 or more passengers, including the driver. Passenger buses and school buses are examples of Class B vehicles. Once someone has earned a CDL Class B+P license, they can also drive any other Class B vehicle. The “P” is an endorsement that allows drivers to carry passengers.

Choose Driving Academy to Earn a CDL

For people interested in earning a CDL from a trucking school, Driving Academy offers students the opportunity to pursue an in-demand career. Driving Academy provides students with advanced CDL driver training and the necessary knowledge and skills needed to earn their Class A, Class B, or Class B+P CDL.

Driving Academy offers its students guaranteed CDL truck and bus training without the fear of failure. Our programs offer:

  • Affordable payment plans that start at just $500 down
  • Certified third-party testing site available
  • Flexible training schedules
  • Lifetime job placement for graduates
  • State-of-the-art simulator training

Driving Academy has locations in New Jersey and serves students nationwide. If you’re ready to hit the road and earn a CDL, contact us today to learn more about our CDL truck driver training programs.