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How to Become a Truck Driver in the USA

If you are considering of shifting to a new career, being a driver in the USA is a good option. There is big potential to earn thousands of dollars and land a stable and fulfilling job. It can be rewarding but it’s not that simple. The US laws have a very strict guideline and standard when qualifying someone to become a driver.

Obtain a CDL

CDL stands for Commercial Driver License. Each state in the USA has its own rules and requirements. For example in California, the applicant must be at least 18 years old. If there is intent to cross state lines then you must be at least 21 years old. These are the just basic requirement. Almost all states also require a drug test and a commercial instruction permit.

Enrol in a driving school

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In order to obtain a CDL, you have to look for a professional driving school and study driving. The benefits of attending a driving school are aplenty. Your driving skills will improve significantly. This is not just for your own safety but also for public and state safety as well.
A good driving school will teach you not just how to drive but also how to have a deeper understanding of the road regulations. You’ll learn the rules of driving and understand the purposes of those rules. Another benefit of studying in a driving school is that you will get a certificate which is useful in your license application.

A Clean History of Driving

If you have a non-professional drivers license and you want to upgrade it to a professional driver’s license, it’s necessary to have a clean record. They are going to check that. If you have issues such as driving under influence or if you have a record of being involved in an accident, it might be more difficult to pass the driving license screening test.

Driving schools also require aspiring drivers to have a solid work history. Learn more about this by calling the school or institution where you want to take a driving course. They have varying requirements with regard to this aspect.

Decide if you really want to be a truck driver

Investing in a driving course and spending time to learn the ins and outs of this career is not simple. You have to focus and go through a lot of tedious processes. The legalities involved can also intimidate you. So before you invest your time and money, it’s best to discern first if this job is really for you. Truck drivers drive vehicles weighing over 26,000 pounds. You will also be transporting hazardous materials. Do you think being a truck driver is something you want to pursue?

Undergo a physical exam

Truck drivers are required to undergo a physical test. A doctor or physician will conduct the test. They will decide whether you are physically fit to drive a truck. It is recommended to be healthy and fit before going through the physical examination.

Pass the drug and alcohol test

The USA law requires all truck drivers to pass a drug and alcohol test. This is usually done through a hair test. Illegal substances remain in the hair follicle for a long time. Why is a drug test necessary? The obvious answer is that drug users are a threat to public road safety. They could be the cause of major road accidents and it is the job of the government to avoid such scenarios. The most effective way of avoiding road accidents related to drug use is to disqualify anyone who is found to be using drugs.

How to prepare for a drug test?

It is necessary to prepare for your drug test. The last thing you want is to have a false positive result on your tests. That would be really inconvenient.
First, never use drugs. The government has many ways of finding out if you’ve ever used drugs. Second, if you’re taking prescription drugs, take the doctor’s prescription and your health records with you. Show it to the drug test facilitator and explain your situation. They know what to do. You might also be asked to submit more proofs or they might re-schedule your drug test appointment.


Obtaining a truck driver’s license in the USA is a meticulous process. There are many requirements to meet and you have to pass the tests involved. However, it is a rewarding career and you can expect a lot of benefits in terms of money and other perks, Truckzeal good resource for learning driving and to find best companies for work as truck driver.

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