CDL Training

How to get a CDL in Michigan


There are numerous truck driving opportunities in Michigan. Whether you want to drive locally or across the country in a commercial vehicle, you first need to get a commercial driver’s license. Follow these steps outlined below to get a CDL in Michigan. 

Michigan CDL Requirements

First, we recommend reviewing Michigan state CDL requirements. You can read more about getting a CDL in Michigan on the Michigan Department of State website.

Let’s take a look at the requirements to get a CDL in Michigan:

  • Age 21 or older to drive across state lines or 18 years of age or older to drive intrastate.
  • Have a valid Michigan driver’s license.
  • Obtain a Michigan Commercial Learner’s Permit (CDL permit) a minimum of 14 days before taking the CDL test. (A CLP is not required to enroll in CDL school. We will help you get your permit as part of the training.) 
  • Complete an Entry Level Driver Training Course (our CDL School in Michigan is a FMCSA registered provider)
  • Proof of Legal Presence in the United States
  • Proof of your Social Security number
  • Pass the required skills test

In addition, you should understand what may disqualify you from obtaining a CDL in Michigan. These include:

  • Having multiple Driver’s Licenses (Licenses from More than One State)
  • Suspension, Revocation, Denial, Or Cancellation of Your License, Previous 36 Months.
  • Conviction of Any Six-point Violation in the 24 Months Immediately Preceding Application.
  • Conviction of an OUI/DUI in the Previous 2 Years

Get a DOT Physical

Now that you understand the requirements, the next step in getting a CDL is the DOT Physical. You must get a DOT physical from a licensed medical examiner. A DOT physical is not required to start ELDT training. However, it will make the first week of training less stressful and ensure that you meet the physical requirements to operate a commercial vehicle. Getting a DOT physical is required to get your Commercial Learner’s Permit. The DOT physical must be performed by a licensed medical examiner. A passing score means that you are medically certified to operate a commercial motor vehicle. This certification is valid for two years. 

Get a Michigan Commercial Learner’s Permit

Before you get a Michigan CDL, you must first obtain a Commercial Learner’s Permit. In addition, The CLP must be obtained at least 14 days before taking the CDL test. Enrollment in an ELDT program does not require a permit. We will help you get your permit as part of the training. Getting your CLP requires you to:

  • Pass the written knowledge test.
  • Show documentation of proof of Legal Presence in the United States
  • Submit a driving record check.
  • Have a valid Medical Examiner’s certificate.
  • Pass a vision test
  • Have a valid Michigan driver’s license 
  • 18 years of age or older

Complete Entry Level Driver Training Program

Completing an Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) course is now required to get a Class A CDL in Michigan. As a result 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.

To show proficiency, students must score a minimum of 80 percent on the theory assessment. To qualify for the CDL test, students must complete the specified behind-the-wheel training and receive an endorsement from their instructor.

It is important to ensure the CDL truck driver training program you plan to attend is on the FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry. Our CDL school in Michigan is listed on the Training Provider Registry and meets all ELDT requirements.  

Our Michigan CDL training course is 160 hours and combines classroom, road, and range training. Generally, it takes three to four weeks to complete CDL training when attending full time.

Pass the Michigan CDL Exam

Once you show proficiency in all aspects of ELDT, you are ready to take the CDL exam. The Michigan CDL exam includes three parts: 1. Pre-trip inspection test 2. Basic control skills test and driving test. Your CDL school will make an appointment for you to take the CDL test. Next, you will be issued a Commercial Driver’s License by the state of Michigan upon successful completion.

Getting a CDL is a big decision. It is vital to understand the Michigan state CDL requirements. Our Michigan CDL school can help you navigate these requirements and ensure you are fully prepared to pass your CDL exam.

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