How to get CDL without going to school?

CDL without going to school

 Is it possible to earn a CDL without going to school? ” The simple answer is “NO”. Prior to February 7, 2022, obtaining a CDL license without attending school was possible. As of February 7, 2022, the new federal ELDT requirements will be implemented, which will require new drivers to attend a registered school or training provider in order to obtain their CDL.

Even before ELDT, going to school would have been necessary to get a CDL. Choosing not to attend CDL school would’ve significantly hampered your chances of getting a trucking job from a reputable company and acquiring valuable knowledge and experience.

Regulations for ELDT:

As a result of FMCA’s new ELDT requirement, the Professional Truck Driver Institute will no longer certify CDL training programs. A CDL knowledge or skills examination is required for entry-level drivers under the ELDT standards before they may take a CDL knowledge or skills exam.

New drivers are required to complete ELDT training, which is governed by FMCSA rules. 

  • Learn how to get a Class A or Class B CDL for the first time.
  • You may upgrade your CDL for Class B to a CDL for Class A if you already have one.
  • If this is your first time clearing passengers, school buses, or hazardous materials, you will have to obtain a clearance.

The ELDT requirements cannot be applied retroactively to individuals who obtained a CDL or an S, P, or H endorsement before February 7, 2022.

The ELDT requirement doesn’t apply to applicants who acquired or renewed a Commercial Learner’s Permit before February 7, 2022.

Any person who is exempt from taking a skills exam under 49 CFR Part 383 is also exempt from the ELDT requirements.

The Benefits of Getting a CDL from a School:

It’s relatively easy to acquire your CDL permit. A basic understanding of commercial driving is all you need. On the other hand, if you coast through on basic knowledge, you’ll end up on the side of the road without any idea how to help yourself.

Due to this, many people ask, “Is it possible to get a CDL without going to school?” We recommend they attend a CDL training program that is reputable. CDL training schools teach you not only basic commercial driving skills, but also mechanical skills, situational training, and how the job actually works.

In CDL school, you’ll learn how to deal with any situation you may encounter on the road. In addition to practicing basic maneuvers like backing up and docking, you’ll learn how to diagnose malfunctions and explore environmental compliance issues throughout your career. Rather than only taking one test, it is better to be prepared for life.

You will gain knowledge in the following areas when you get a CDL through school:

  • Docking & Backing
  • System Controls
  • The process of coupling and uncoupling
  • Identifying malfunctions
  • Protocol for emergencies
  • Issues relating to environmental compliance
  • Driving in extreme conditions
  • Inspecting
  • Operation during the night
  • Transforming/operating transmissions
  • Management of space
  • The list goes on and on

Getting a CDL: Steps to Take:

The process of getting a commercial driver’s license (CDL) involves several steps. To qualify, you must be at least 21 years old, have no prior criminal record, and have a non-commercial driver’s license. 

To obtain your CDL, follow these steps:

  1. You must meet the federal CDL requirements for your state.
  2. Get a CDL manual from your state. For CDL written exams, this is crucial.
  3. Make a choice about what type of commercial vehicle you want to drive.
  4. Proof of residency should be provided.
  5. Pay the application fee and submit your application.
  6. Meet ELDT requirements by learning how to drive a truck.
  7. You should pass the CDL exam
  8. You must screen for criminal background and undergo a physical
  9. Update yourself on any additional requirements.

Also check out our blog post: Cost of acquiring CDL?

The benefits of attending a private CDL school?

CDL schools that are private offer many benefits. To become a successful truck driver, you need the training and experience provided by CDL schools.

  • Experienced instructors provide ELTD instruction to meet the new FMCSA regulations.
  • Work for the trucking company and job that’s right for you.
  • Grants from the federal and state governments that can be used to cover tuition costs
  • Getting your CDL will allow you to find a job as a truck driver.
  • A higher probability of finding a job with a large carrier that requires a minimum number of training hours. To hire top new drivers, carriers turn to industry-leading schools. 

Be sure to choose a truck driving school that is listed on the FMCSA Training Providers list. Taking a CDL training course will ensure that you are completing the required curriculum and that you are learning the skills needed to safely operate a commercial vehicle.

Will you get a CDL?

The process of getting a CDL doesn’t take long, but it does require a lot of practice and time. As with anything new, you may struggle at first. An instructor from the Driver Resource Center network will support you while you attend a school through their network, however. Getting your CDL requires practice. Be sure to attend class on time, study hard, and take advantage of any hands-on training offered. It usually takes 4 weeks for a student to graduate with a CDL. It’s not difficult to get your CDL if you have a positive attitude and a strong work ethic. Most students consider the Alley Dock Inspection and Pre-Trip Inspection the most difficult part of CDL training. Practice, however, will help you master them.


In conclusion, you cannot acquire a CDL license without going to school. You need to visit a proper institution to get your CDL license. However, just like anything else, you cannot get it without practice.

How do I get my CDL in Mississippi?

1. Take a commercial driver’s education course.
2. Get your Mississippi Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP). 
3. Take the required knowledge test.
4. Visit a local DPS office to schedule a Mississippi CDL skills test/road test.

Do you have to go to school to get a CDL in Louisiana?

Before taking this written test, you should take a CDL education prep course. You will have 60 days to use your Louisiana commercial learner’s permit. After 14 days of holding your CLP, you can apply for your full commercial driver’s license.

How much does it cost to get your CDL A in MS?

The CDL application fee is $25.00. The CDL license is valid for four years and costs $41.00. For each endorsement, there is a fee of $5.00. Hazardous Materials background checks cost $100.00.