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How to Get a CDL in Georgia: A Step-by-Step Guide



Embarking on a career as a commercial driver in Georgia opens the door to numerous opportunities. Whether you’re looking to drive trucks, buses, or other commercial vehicles, obtaining a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is your first step. This guide will walk you through the process, from meeting eligibility requirements to completing your training and passing the necessary exams.


Step 1: Meet the Basic Requirements

Before you begin the process, make sure you meet the basic eligibility requirements:

  • Age: You must be at least 18 years old to drive intrastate (within Georgia) and 21 to drive interstate (across state lines) or transport hazardous materials.

  • License: Hold a valid Georgia driver’s license.

  • Medical: Obtain a DOT medical card by passing a physical exam from a certified medical examiner.


Step 2: Choose the Type of CDL and Endorsements

Determine which class of CDL you need:

  • Class A: For operating combination vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more.

  • Class B: For operating single vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more.

  • Class C: For operating vehicles designed to transport 16 or more passengers or hazardous materials.

Consider any additional endorsements you may need, such as:

  • Tanker (N)

  • Hazardous Materials (H)

  • Passenger (P)

  • School Bus (S)


Step 3: Complete the Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) Theory

Before taking the knowledge test, you must complete the Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) Theory. Our online course at CDL Expert offers a convenient way to fulfill this requirement. The course covers crucial topics such as:

  • Basic operation of a commercial vehicle

  • Safe operating practices

  • Advanced operating practices

  • Vehicle systems and reporting malfunctions


Step 4: Obtain a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP)

After completing the ELDT Theory, apply for a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP). To get your CLP, you need to:

  • Provide documentation: Proof of identity, Social Security number, and residency.

  • Pass the knowledge test: Visit a Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) location and take the written knowledge test.

  • Pay the fee: There is a fee for obtaining your CLP.

For more details, visit the Georgia DDS website.


Step 5: Complete Behind-the-Wheel Training

Once you have your CLP, you must complete behind-the-wheel training. This training includes:

  • Range training: Maneuvering the vehicle in a controlled environment.

  • Public road training: Driving on public roads with various traffic conditions.

Ensure you log the required number of training hours with a certified instructor.


Step 6: Schedule and Pass the CDL Skills Test

After completing your training, schedule your CDL skills test with the Georgia DDS. The test consists of three parts:

  • Vehicle Inspection Test: Demonstrate your ability to inspect the vehicle and identify potential issues.

  • Basic Control Skills Test: Show your ability to control the vehicle through various maneuvers.

  • Road Test: Drive the vehicle in various traffic situations to demonstrate your practical driving skills.


Step 7: Obtain Your CDL

If you pass the skills test, you’ll receive your CDL. Congratulations! You’re now ready to start your career as a commercial driver in Georgia.


Additional Resources

  • Georgia DDS Commercial License Information: Visit the Georgia DDS website for more information on CDL requirements, testing locations, and fees.

  • ELDT Theory Online Course: Complete your ELDT Theory conveniently online with CDL Expert.


Conclusion

Obtaining a CDL in Georgia is a structured process that requires dedication and proper training. By following these steps and utilizing the resources available, you can successfully navigate the path to becoming a commercial driver. Start your journey today and take the first step towards a rewarding career in the trucking industry.

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