How to Get a CDL License in Alabama

Obtaining a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in Alabama is a straightforward process that requires some preparation and adherence to certain guidelines. Whether you are looking to start a new career as a truck driver or want to expand your professional opportunities, here is a step-by-step guide on how to get a CDL license in Alabama.

Step 1: Learn Alabama CDL Requirements
Familiarize yourself with Alabama’s CDL requirements. You must be at least 18 years old to drive within the state and 21 years old for interstate driving. Additionally, you should have a clean driving record and meet specific medical and vision requirements.

Step 2: Obtain a CDL Manual
Acquire a copy of Alabama’s CDL manual, which is available online or at your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office. This manual covers the essential knowledge and skills necessary to pass the CDL written exam.

Step 3: Study and Prepare
Thoroughly study the CDL manual to familiarize yourself with the required knowledge. Topics include general trucking knowledge, traffic laws, and vehicle inspection. Consider taking practice exams to evaluate your understanding and identify areas that need improvement.

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Step 4: Schedule a CDL Written Test
Visit your local DMV office to schedule a CDL written test. Bring necessary identification documents, such as your driver’s license, proof of residency, and Social Security card.

Step 5: Pass the Written Test
Arrive at the DMV office on your scheduled test date and pass the CDL written test. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions based on the knowledge covered in the CDL manual.

Step 6: Obtain a Learner’s Permit
After passing the written exam, you will receive a CDL learner’s permit. This permit allows you to practice driving a commercial vehicle under the supervision of a licensed CDL holder.

Step 7: Complete a CDL Skills Test
Schedule and pass a CDL skills test, which consists of a pre-trip vehicle inspection, basic control skills, and an on-road driving test. You may choose to take the skills test through a third-party tester or at the DMV.


1. How much does it cost to get a CDL license in Alabama?
The CDL license fee in Alabama is $25.

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2. Can I get a CDL license in Alabama with a DUI conviction?
Having a DUI conviction may disqualify you from obtaining a CDL license in Alabama.

3. How long is the CDL learner’s permit valid for?
The CDL learner’s permit is valid for 180 days.

4. Can I use my own vehicle for the CDL skills test?
Yes, you can use your own vehicle for the CDL skills test, provided it meets the requirements outlined in the CDL manual.

5. Do I need to take a CDL training course in Alabama?
While not mandatory, taking a CDL training course can greatly enhance your chances of passing the CDL skills test.

6. How many times can I take the CDL skills test if I fail?
You have three attempts to pass the CDL skills test. After three failed attempts, you will need to wait 30 days before retaking the test.

7. How long does it take to get a CDL license in Alabama?
The time it takes to obtain a CDL license in Alabama varies. It depends on factors such as your preparation, scheduling availability, and passing the required exams.

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In conclusion, obtaining a CDL license in Alabama requires careful preparation, studying the CDL manual, passing written and skills tests, and meeting specific requirements. By following these steps and familiarizing yourself with the FAQs, you’ll be well on your way to acquiring your CDL license and pursuing a rewarding career in the trucking industry.