So you want to drive a big rig, or maybe you just want to drive a school bus. In Illinois, you are required to have a CDL license to do those things. There are requirements to get an Illinois CDL as well as a three-part test you’ll have to take to ensure that you have all the knowledge you will need to safely drive a big rig or school bus.
The first set of requirements examines your safety record on your driver’s license. If you have an expired license, a DUI conviction during commercial driving on your record in the past two years or being excluded from certification in any other state, you will not be issued an Illinois CDL license. You cannot get a CDL if you’ve ever had a license revoked in any state.
Your CDL license offers you both regular driving and commercial driving privileges. If your CDL license is revoked, you may also lose your regular driver’s license as well. You can petition to get back your regular driver’s license but will be unable to get another CDL license in Illinois or most other states. If your regular driver’s license is revoked for any reason or if you are caught doing something illegal like leaving the scene of the accident, your CDL license will automatically be revoked as well. Once you have a revoked license, you will not be able to get another Illinois CDL license again.
The three-part test starts with an examination of the vehicle. This tests your ability to make sure everything is functioning correctly and therefore safely on the vehicle. After that there are two written tests to be taken to make sure you understand how to operate the vehicle and what the rules of the road are for your particular type of vehicle.
Learning to drive a big rig or a school bus is a rewarding experience. You may want to take advantage of schools that teach for people looking for CDL licenses. They will give you the behind the book training to pass the written portion of the test, as well as behind the wheel training to make you more comfortable when doing the driving portion of the test.