Commercial Driver Education in Michigan

Third Party Education

While the State of Michigan continues to administer all the written tests needed to apply for a commercial driver license (CDL), all other functions―road skills testing and driver training―are now offered only by third parties.

If you're interested in earning your CDL, you'll have to start at a commercial driving school. There are, literally, dozens of schools to choose from, both public and private. You can find most commercial schools in the phone book, or you can look them up on the Internet.

Increasingly, CDL training is being offered by community colleges and even some local government job agencies.

What to Look For

Remember to shop around. You'll want to know what each program includes. Is all the driving done in a closed facility, or are there over-the-road driving opportunities as well? How much actual time will you spend behind the wheel? (Michigan sets no requirements for actual behind-the-wheel driving, but obviously more is generally better.)

How much classroom time is included? What about study guides? Michigan's CDL written tests cover a lot of ground, and you'll want to be sure you're ready to pass on the first try.

To get a better idea of what's entailed in driving commercially, check out the Michigan's CDL manual. The manual includes information on everything you need to know to pass the written test.

Once you've had your training, passed the written test, and are ready to road test, you'll need to find one of the state's approved testing organizations at which to do so. You can use the Road Skills Testing Organization Locator to help find a center near you.

Not all counties have approved third-party driver skills test sites. Some sites allow you to rent a rig in which to take your driving test, but not all do. Michigan doesn't regulate the fees charged by testing organizations, so you'd be wise to call around to find the best price.

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