Hawaii drivers can explore the possibility of working as a commercial driver by studying to get a CDL license. The Hawaii Department of Transportation Highways Division issues commercial driver’s licenses in the state. Applicants must first pass a written knowledge test at one of only four driver licensing stations. After passing that test, an applicant can then get a permit for supervised CDL training. Finally, the applicant can receive a Hawaii CDL upon passing the hands-on CDL skills test at one of the driver licensing stations.
Access the Hawaii CDL manual at the Hawaii Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Safety Office’s web page. You can access this page at Hawaii.gov/dot/highways/hwy-v/. You will see a section to access a PDF file for the CDL manual and any necessary supplements. Make sure you study the latest manual plus any supplements.
Supplement your study of the official Hawaii commercial driver’s license manual with online CDL study guides and practice tests. For example, you can take practice tests at CristCDL.com. You may also run a search in a search engine for “CDL study guide” or “CDL practice test” to find additional information for studying.
Download the “How to Apply for a Commercial Driver’s License” document at Hawaii’s website. You can access this document at Hawaii.gov/dot/highways/hwy-v/cdl_apply.pdf. Look to the bottom of the document for driver licensing station locations. As of 2010, there are only four stations that allow you to take the Hawaii CDL test. Visit one of those driver’s license offices and take your knowledge test. You will receive a Hawaii CDL permit if you pass the written exam.
While there, ask about other CDL requirements. For example, you will need to pass a medical exam and might need to submit to a background check (checks are generally only for drivers hauling hazardous materials). Complete all other requirements before scheduling your skills test (see below).
Find CDL training in Hawaii. The Professional Truck Driver Institute has not yet certified any truck driving training programs in Hawaii. However, you should refer to the PTDI’s checklist when checking out any CDL training programs in Hawaii. Access the checklist at Ptdi.org/errata/Checklist.pdf. in some cases, you may have an employer that can provide training for you.
Schedule your CDL skills test at one of the Hawaii DMV licensing stations. Work with your training program to get a commercial vehicle for your testing. In other cases, your employer may provide a truck for this purpose. School districts also usually make arrangements for the CDL skills test on school buses.
Complete your testing and then receive your Hawaii CDL license from the driver licensing station. You have six months from the time you get a permit to take your test and get your license.
Hawaii Motor Vehicle Safety Office and CDL Manual Resources
Checklist for Truck Driver and CDL Training Schools