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 Requirements for CDL Drivers

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The FMCSA requires in its regulations that all commercial motor vehicle operators must adhere to: minimum age, U.S. residency status, and English language proficiency requirements.

Federal Regulations set "21" as the age which drivers can legally drive commercial motor vehicles (CMV's) across state lines. Always check with your individual state DMV for specifics on your state's requirements.

Intrastate Driving only requires an applicant be 18-20 years old, depending on the state regulations.

Each State, in addition, may have their own specific length-of-residency or licensing minimums. Most companies will have a minimum hiring age, as well, that may be higher than the minimum of 21 years old.

Do I Need To Speak English To Become A Truck Driver?

Yes, according to F M C S A - You Must Read, & Speak English to Drive Trucks in the U.S.

All CMV drivers must be able to, "In English":


  • Converse with the general public,

  • Understand highway & traffic signs,

  • Respond to official inquiries,

  • Make entries on reports & records.

Do I need to be a U.S. Citizen to get my CDL? 

No, but potential drivers must be in the U.S. and on record as lawful permanent residents, and will be required to produce a valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card.


U.S. Citizens will be required to produce a birth certificate, Certificate of Naturalization, or other acceptable proof of citizenship.

While there is no minimum time that a non-citizen must have been in the U.S. to apply for a CDL, some states require having a year of permanent residency and/or drivers license before a driver is allowed to get a CDL.

Education Requirements For Truck Drivers.

The FMCSA doesn't set out any minimum education requirements for getting your CDL, but many, if not most, trucking companies and schools will require an applicant to have a high school diploma or GED.

Do I really need a GED to go to trucking school?

Most schools and companies do not want to spend money or waste time on students and employees that may not finish school. With a GED or High School Diploma their is at least some history that you have the basic language, writing and math skills.

Site Map


  Government Websites:


  A Guide to Getting Started


  Truck Driving Schools

  Truck Driving Jobs

  Get In the Game


  Surviving The First Year


  A Few Tips For Owner Operators


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