Commercial Driver Education in Montana

Third-Party Schools

Montana does not offer any state-organized trucking schools for commercial driver candidates. Instead, it allows private trucking training centers (third parties) to handle the trucking tutoring. You can find a long list of these schools in Montana phone books or on the Internet.

If you're eager to start studying, you can download a PDF version of the Montana Commercial Driver License Manual. The manual offers meticulously detailed information on everything you need to know about operating a truck in and outside of Montana. Its bulk looks initially daunting, but given the fact that Montana's CDL tests have a head-shaking reputation for being comprehensive, this manual is indispensable.

No Official Education Required

Montana complies with all federal regulations as stipulated by the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986. The Act was designed to sift out unqualified truck drivers by establishing a set of national standards (amazingly, prior to this act, many states allowed anyone who owned a regular license to operate a commercial truck) on everything from CDL testing to blood alcohol content policies.

Montana does not require any specific number of behind-the-wheel hours per se. All that matters is that you can pass the CDL tests. You can arrange to take the tests either through a driver exam station or a state-approved, third-party, trucking school as allowed in the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986. Keep in mind that not every driver exam station has the capabilities to administer CDL testing.

For questions contact Montana's Motor Vehicle Division at (406) 444-3933 or e-mail

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