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Commercial Driver Education in Indiana

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CDL Education

Indiana has no formal schooling requirements for getting a CDL. There are private commercial driving schools (sometimes called trucking schools) who can help you get a CDL. This is where you will learn how to drive large commercial vehicles and get practice behind the wheel.

The other alternative is to learn on the job, if your employer is willing to teach you.

You will also need to pass the written test, which requires studying of the CDL Handbook and taking practice tests. Indiana has a test booklet to help you study. You can also buy practice tests.

Written/Knowledge Test

This exam will test your knowledge on vehicle safety and driving procedures under a variety of circumstances.

You may take these tests at any license agency. You don't need to make an appointment to do so.

Skills Test

The skills test consists of: the pre-trip inspection, the basic control skills test, and the road trip test.

Pre-trip Inspection

This exam will test your knowledge and skill level concerning your vehicle's safety, and your ability to inspect it properly.

You will need to demonstrate to the examiner that you know how to check for safety, and that you know the names and functions of various vehicle parts.

Basic Control Skills Test

As the name implies, this test will check your ability to safely control your vehicle.

You will be performing different maneuvers―such as alley docking and forward stop/straight line backing―within a confined area marked by traffic cones and boundary lines.

Road Trip Test

This exam will test your overall ability to operate your vehicle safely through various traffic situations that you'd encounter as a licensed driver. You'll be driving on a route that's been approved by the state. Expect to come across intersections, railroad crossings, rural roads, city streets, highways, curves and up and down grades.

The examiner will be monitoring your ability to merge safely, change lanes, make turns, look for danger, signal, and control your speed.

You'll need to supply the vehicle to test on. You must drive the type of vehicle that's applicable to the type of license that you're seeking.

Grounds for Immediate Failure

These may seem obvious, but if you're guilty of any of the following during the skills test, you'll automatically flunk:

  • Committing a traffic violation
  • Disobeying traffic signs or signals
  • Having an avoidable accident
  • Any dangerous action or unsafe behavior
  • Driving over curbs or sidewalks
  • Any other serious infractions

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