Commercial truck drivers in the state of Georgia are not permitted to operate any commercial vehicle until they obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The Georgia Department of Driver Services (DDS) is responsible for the overseeing and distributing CDL licenses.
It is important to note, however, that simply obtaining a CDL license does not indicate that the driver is experienced or trained in operating a truck, bus, or any other type of commercial vehicle.
The Federal Highway Administration notes that those who obtain a CDL license simply demonstrate that they are able to pass both the knowledge and skills tests on a basic level. Proper training and experience is essential for those who maintain a CDL license. Therefore, employers are held with the responsibility to properly train their employees prior to allowing the operation of a commercial vehicle, including training on travel safety and freight regulations.
Georgia’s DDS provides a detailed set of commercial driver’s licensing requirements and those CDL license hopefuls must adhere to each portion of these requirements in order to fulfill the application and qualification process. In doing so, the state of Georgia hopes to reduce the number of commercial vehicle accidents occurring throughout the state.
CDL License Requirements and Application Process
The Georgia Department of Driver Services plays an essential role in keeping the roads and highways of Georgia as safe as possible. As a part of this effort, the DDS continually evaluates the licensing requirements to ensure that truckers are trained and qualified to operate commercial vehicles. In fact, amendments are regularly made to reflect changes in driving habits and additional measures to increase safety.
In order to obtain a CDL license in Georgia, drivers must be at least 18 years old age. However, those persons 18 to 21 with a CDL license driver with a restriction to drive only in the state of Georgia. Though, on or after the day of the driver’s 21st birthday they are entitled to visit an examination station and the restriction will be lifted.
The following vehicles fall under the need for a CDL license to legally operate:
- Single vehicle, gross weight of 26,001 pounds or greater
- Combination of vehicles which weigh 26,001 pounds or greater
- A single vehicle which is structured to carry more than 15 people (including driver)
- A vehicle of any size which carries hazardous material placards
When a Georgia resident plans on operator any type of vehicle fulfilling any of the above requirements, they must obtain a CDL license. The CDL application is rather simple and is administered by the Customer Service Centers. Drivers will take a knowledge exam to ensure that they are aware of the rules and regulations relating to commercial vehicle ownership, operation, and safe use.
CDL License Examination Stations
Scheduling a CDL license examination is the most important step to obtaining legal rights to operate a commercial vehicle in Georgia. Examination stations, also known as Customer Service Centers, are open Tuesday through Saturday, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Be sure to call prior to the day in which you plan to take the test in order to schedule an appointment. All road tests and written examinations must be made by appointment.
The following examination station locations are the only ones which administer CDL licenses in Georgia: