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How Do I Become a Local Truck Driver?

By Alicia Sparks
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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The process to become a local truck driver depends on the kind of truck you want to drive, your area’s laws, and your potential employer’s requirements. Specific information is available at the agency that handles motor vehicle and licensing matters, as well as directly from the employer. Keep in mind that you’ll have to meet additional job requirements aside from those immediately related to truck driving.

Before determining your process to become a local truck driver, decide which kind of truck you want to drive. Knowing this will help you determine the kind of license and truck driving training you might need. For example, if you want to be a truck driver who operates commercial vehicles in the United States, you must obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Depending on the kind of commercial vehicle, you’ll also have to obtain a certain class of CDL. Once you know which kind of license, and possibly class, you need to become a local truck driver, you can begin looking at trucking schools or other types of training.

Of course, not all truck drivers operate commercial vehicles. Generally, you’ll need only a regular driver’s license if you want to drive pickup-style trucks that aren’t designed to transport passengers. When this is the case, your truck driving education might need to extend only as far as your area’s driver education requirements for a regular license.

If you’re not sure about the kind of license and training you’ll need to become a local truck driver with the company you’re interested in, talk with your potential employer. You can check with the agency that handles motor vehicle licensing, too, as these agencies usually provide handbooks full of information regarding local and federal licensing requirements. In the United States, these agencies most often are referred to as the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Office of Motor Vehicles, or a similar name.

Depending on the employer and job description, you might need to meet other requirements unrelated to the licensing process to become a local truck driver. For example, the job might require you to be a certain age, have completed a particular level of education, and be able to lift a specified amount of weight. Many companies require their employees to pass random drug screenings, and this is especially true for drivers of company vehicles. Your potential employer will provide you with company-specific details. Many also provide on-the-job training for otherwise qualified applicants.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By Vincenzo — On Aug 22, 2014

@Terrificli -- And those are often desirable jobs for truckers, too. Think about it. Had you rather spend weeks at a time away from home hauling freight all over the country or deal with local deliveries and be home every night?

Intermodal is very popular with some truckers because it allows them to have normal family lives.

By Terrificli — On Aug 21, 2014

Becoming a local truck driver has become a much more viable career since the advent of intermodal freight transport. What is that? Local trucks are used to haul special trailers to railroad depots, those trailers are loaded on trains and then hauled to destination depots. The loads are then picked up and delivered to their destinations.

Intermodal was designed as a cost efficient substitute for long haul trucking, see, and local truckers are needed to transport freight to and from railroad yards. As that shipping method has become more popular, more local truckers have been necessary and those jobs generally pay pretty well.

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