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HOW TO GUIDE: How to Get Your CDL with the New ELDT Certification

Updated: Apr 23


ELDT Certification

Obtaining a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) is an exciting venture that can open doors to a rewarding career in the transportation industry. With the implementation of the Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) certification, the process has become more streamlined and standardized. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of acquiring your CDL with the new ELDT certification, ensuring you have all the information you need to succeed.


  1. Online Entry Level Driver Training: The first step towards obtaining your CDL is to complete the mandatory Online Entry Level Driver Training. ELDT requires aspiring commercial drivers to complete an approved online course that covers essential topics such as driver qualifications, hours of service, safe operating procedures, and more. This training provides a solid foundation of knowledge that will be beneficial throughout your CDL journey.

  2. Schedule and Complete the DOT Medical Exam: Next, schedule and complete a mandatory medical exam conducted by the Department of Transportation (DOT). The exam ensures that you meet the medical requirements necessary to safely operate commercial vehicles. Qualified medical professionals will assess your overall health, vision, hearing, and other factors that may impact your ability to drive. Passing this exam is crucial for progressing further in the CDL acquisition process.

  3. Schedule Your Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP) Exam: After successfully passing the DOT medical exam, you need to schedule your Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP) exam at your state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Check your state's DMV website to learn about the specific requirements and documents you need to bring with you. Generally, you will need to provide proof of identity, residency, and Social Security number. Additionally, some states may require additional documents, so be sure to research the specific requirements beforehand.

  4. Study for the CLP Exam: To increase your chances of success, thoroughly study your state's CDL handbook, which can be obtained either online or from your local DMV office. The handbook covers essential information about commercial driving regulations, traffic laws, vehicle inspection procedures, and more. Dedicate ample time to review and understand the material, as it will be instrumental in helping you pass the CLP exam.

  5. Pass the CLP Exam: On the scheduled date, arrive at the DMV fully prepared to take your CLP exam. The exam typically consists of a written section, testing your knowledge of commercial driving rules and regulations. Some states may also include a vision screening. Stay focused, apply the knowledge you gained from studying the CDL handbook, and answer the questions to the best of your ability. Once you pass the CLP exam, you will receive your Commercial Learner's Permit.

  6. Take Behind-the-Wheel Training at a Certified CDL School: With your CLP in hand, enroll in a certified CDL school to receive behind-the-wheel training. These schools provide comprehensive training programs designed to develop your driving skills, vehicle control techniques, and safety awareness. The instructors will guide you through various maneuvers, road situations, and industry-specific knowledge to ensure you are well-prepared for the next step.

  7. Pass Your Behind-the-Wheel Exam: After completing the behind-the-wheel training program, you will need to pass a practical exam. This exam typically involves demonstrating your ability to perform pre-trip inspections, control the vehicle safely, execute maneuvers like backing, parking, and turning, and adhere to all traffic laws. Pay close attention to the instructions given by the examiner, stay calm, and showcase the skills you have acquired during your training.

  8. Get on the Road and Start Driving: Once you have successfully passed the behind-the-wheel exam, congratulations! You are now a licensed CDL

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