Georgia has a plethora of opportunities for work as a commercial driver. Residents seeking to operate a commercial vehicle for a living need to get a Georgia CDL license. Applicants must first take a written knowledge test. After passing that test, they receive a CDL permit that allows them to train on actual vehicles. After completing a CDL training course, applicants goes back to the Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) to take a skills test. They can finally receive their CDL license after passing both parts of the commercial driver’s license test.
Obtain a copy or access the “Georgia Commercial Driver’s Manual.” This Georgia CDL manual contains the testable material on the Georgia CDL test (knowledge test). You may access the manual on the Georgia Department of Driver Service’s website at Dds.ga.gov/docs/forms/CDL_Drivers_Manual_4_17_09.pdf.
Read through and study the CDL manual. Supplement your study of the official handbook with free or paid CDL study guides and other resources. CristCDL.com has practice questions for the various parts of the commercial driver’s license exam. Other resources can be found online by using a search engine to find “CDL study guides” and “CDL practice test.”
Note that you may or may not have to study the entire CDL manual. This depends on what kind of vehicle you intend to operate after getting your Georgia CDL license. For example, haulers of hazardous materials must take the HAZMAT endorsement test. Similarly, drivers of passenger buses must take the endorsement test for passenger vehicles.
Go to the local Georgia DDS to take your knowledge test. The DDS is like the DMV in other states. It is essentially the driver’s license office. Take your test to receive your Georgia CDL permit. The state issues a permit that allows you to get CDL training on commercial motor vehicles. Just remember that you must always have a licensed CDL driver while you are training with a permit.
Find a way to get Georgia CDL training. There are various opportunities to get training in Georgia and surrounding states. For example, you can find certified truck driving schools in South Carolina and other states. The Professional Truck Driver Institute has a list of schools with CDL training programs that it certifies. Visit Ptdi.org/schools/schools.aspx to see the up=to-date list of driver training programs for trucking.
If you are intending on driving a bus, then you should get information from your employer. For example, you can contact the local Georgia school district if you want to drive a school bus. Similarly, you can contact Greyhound or other passenger companies and apply for Georgia commercial driver training programs.
Complete your CDL training so you can take your CDL skills test. When you are confident that you are ready for the hands-on test, schedule an appointment with the local Georgia DDS. You will need to provide your own vehicle. Schools or employers who provide training typically provide a vehicle for this purpose. Otherwise, you can find a local trucker or rental agency and rent a truck for license testing. Make sure you take along a licensed driver to get to the DDS office.
Receive your Georgia CDL license after passing the skills test. In addition to the actual CDL knowledge and skills tests, you must pass a physical and a background check in some cases. Talk to your local DDS to get the applicable forms and procedures for these other CDL requirements.
Georgia Commercial Driver’s Manual
Certified CDL Training Courses in the Georgia Area