Commercial Driver Education in Idaho

Read the Manuals

Although the state does not require you to dedicate a set number of training hours of studying to obtain a CDL, it does require you to pass various written and skills exams. In order to pass, you must buckle down and study the Commercial Driver's License Manual as well as the Idaho Driver's Manual.

You can download these, or you can pick up copies of both manuals at your county driver's license office.

The material within the CDL manual is extensive, and you should count on spending lots of time studying to properly prepare for the written exams.

Federal Regulations

You are required you to have knowledge of the following:

  • Safe operations regulations
  • Commercial motor vehicle safety control systems
  • Safety vehicle control, which includes:
    • Control systems
    • Basic control
    • Shifting
    • Backing
    • Visual search
    • Communication
    • Speed management
    • Space management
    • Night operation
    • Extreme driving conditions
    • Hazard perceptions
    • Emergency maneuvers
    • Skid control and recovery
  • Relationship of cargo to vehicle control
  • Vehicle inspections
  • Hazardous materials knowledge
  • Air brake knowledge
  • Coupling and uncoupling
  • Vehicle inspection for combination vehicles

You are also required to know the following skills for the driving portion of the test:

  • Basic vehicle control skills
  • Safe driving skills
  • Air brake skills
  • Pre-trip inspection skills

The State of Idaho does not require you to obtain any sort of formal training prior to taking your skills test. Ask whether the third-party testing center that will administer your test offers any sort of additional CDL driver education programs.

Some testing centers rent vehicles. Your county driver's license office can also provide you with a list of third-party skills testers.

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