CDL Training

How to Get a CDL in Illinois


If you’re an Illinois resident who’s looking to get a Commercial Driver’s License, read on. There are several steps you need to take in order to obtain a CDL. We’ve outlined the steps below and our CDL schools in Illinois are here to help you every step of the way.

State of Illinois CDL Requirements

The first step in getting an Illinois CDL is to know the state requirements. You can learn more on the Illinois Secretary of State website.

  • You must be at least 21 years old to drive across state lines or 18 years of age or older to drive intrastate.
  • You must have a valid Illinois driver’s license
  • In order to take the CDL test, you must obtain an Illinois Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) at least 14 days before the test. (Requirements to get a CLP listed below.)
  • You must complete an Entry Level Driver Training Course from a FMCSA registered provider
  • You must be a legal United States resident with a Social Security number
  • You must pass the required skills test

If you meet all the requirements, then you’re on your way to becoming a commercial truck driver in Illinois! Good luck.

Medical Certification

First, you must pass a DOT physical from a licensed medical examiner in order to get a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) and ultimately at CDL license. The DOT physical makes sure you meet the physical requirements to operate a commercial vehicle. Keep in mind that your DOT physical certification is only valid for two years.

State of Illinois Commercial Learner’s Permit

Having a CLP is not required to begin CDL school. We will help you get your permit as part of the training. Getting your CLP is an important step in getting your CDL. Follow the above steps and you’ll be on your way to getting your CLP in no time.

  • To get a Illinois Commercial Learner’s Permit, you must first pass the written knowledge test.
  • You will also need to show documentation of proof of Legal Presence in the United States.
  • In addition, you must submit a driving record check and have a valid Medical Examiner’s certificate.
  • Finally, you must pass a vision test and have a valid Illinois driver’s license.
  • Note that you must be 18 years of age or older to get a CLP.

How to Pass the Written CLP?

Like taking any test, studying is key. You do not need your CLP before enrolling in CDL school. However, you will need a valid CLP before beginning behind-the-wheel training. During the classroom portion of CDL school we will help you prepare to take the three-part written CLP exam. This exam is broken into three parts. In order receive your CLP you must pass each section with a score of 80% or better. Practicing the type of quesitons you will encounter on the test is key. That’s why we’ve put together Free Illinois CDL Practice tests. Take them as many times as you need to.

Complete an Entry Level Driver Training Program

Completing an Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) course is now required to get a Class A CDL in Illinois. The ELDT provides a minimum set of standards for new commercial drivers regardless of the state in which they receive training. The goal is to ensure all drivers learn the same basic safety skills. The entry-level driver training final rule went into effect on February 7th, 2022.

In order to qualify to take the state of Illinois CDL exam, students must score a minimum of 80 percent on the ELDT theory assessment. In addition, students must complete the specified behind-the-wheel training and receive an endorsement from their instructor.

It is important to ensure the school you plan to attend is on the FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry. Premier CDL Training in Granite City, IL and Joliet, IL are both listed on the Training Provider Registry and meets all ELDT requirements. 

Pass the State of Illinois CDL Exam

Before you take the exam, it’s important to understand the Illinois state CDL requirements. Our Illinois CDL schools can help you with this so that you are fully prepared when it comes time to take your test. With their guidance, you will be on your way to passing the CDL exam.

There are three parts to the CDL exam in Illinois: the pre-trip inspection test, the basic control skills test, and the driving test. Your CDL school will help you schedule an appointment to take the exam. If you pass all three parts, you will be issued a Commercial Driver’s License from the state of Illinois.

Frequently Asked Questions

Read to get started?

So, if you’re ready to take the next step and get your CDL, be sure to contact one of our Premier CDL Training schools. They can help you navigate the state requirements and make sure you are fully prepared for the exam. With a little preparation and some hard work, earning your CDL is within reach!


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