Commercial Driver Education in Nevada
Do you feel happiest with a steering wheel in your hand and gas pedal beneath your foot? If so, maybe you should take a gamble on becoming a commercial driver in Nevada.
You can apply for a Nevada commercial driver's license (CDL) through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The Nevada DMV will require you to pass CDL tests, which will gauge how familiar you are with the driving and safety practices needed to operate a commercial vehicle.
Once you've received your Nevada CDL, you could be required to complete additional commercial driver training, depending on the type of commercial vehicle you'll be operating. Keep reading for details on commercial Driver's Ed requirements in Nevada.
IMPORTANT FEDERAL TRAINING REQUIREMENTS UPDATE
Per new federal entry-level driver training requirements effective February 7, 2022, the NV DMV now mandates new CDL applicants complete an entry-level driver training course through an authorized provider. You’ll need to complete this training prior to applying for your first commercial driver’s license, upgrading your existing CDL class, or applying for a HAZMAT, school bus, or passenger endorsement.
Required Nevada CDL Education
When preparing for the NV Department of Motor Vehicle's CDL exams, you are not state-required to enroll in formal commercial driver education courses.
However, AFTER receiving a commercial driver's license with a school bus endorsement, school bus drivers are legally required to complete specialized training before being able to work.
NV School Bus Drivers
If you plan on driving a school bus in Nevada, you'll have to complete additional training after obtaining your CDL with passenger (P) and school bus (S) endorsements.
You cannot legally transport students until you've completed the appropriate school bus driver training.
New school bus drivers must complete the following, approved by the Nevada State Board of Education:
- Behind-the-wheel training – 20 hours.
- Classroom training (20 hours) on:
- School bus laws.
- Responsibilities and requirements for school bus drivers.
- Driving defensively.
- Emergency situations.
- First aid administration.
When you've finished all of the necessary trainings, you'll be legally permitted to transport students in Nevada. You'll have to pass an annual written exam in order to maintain your status as an active Nevada school bus driver.
All Nevada CDL Applicants
To receive your NV commercial driver's license, you are not required to take preparatory CDL education courses. However, doing so can greatly increase your chances of being able to pass the Department of Motor Vehicles' required CDL tests on your first attempt.
The exams that all CDL applicants are required to pass include:
- Basic CDL knowledge written test.
- CDL skills road test.
Depending on your commercial driver license's classification and endorsement(s), you could also have to take additional CDL tests.
That's why it's important that you know exactly which classification and endorsement(s) apply to your Nevada CDL so that you don't encounter any surprises when you go to take the DMV's commercial driver exams.
For more information on commercial driver's license classifications and endorsements, refer to the following guides:
Choose a Nevada CDL Test Prep Course
As mentioned above, taking a CDL test prep course is not mandatory. You should still consider looking into commercial driver education for the following reasons:
- More often than not, employers will require that you've had formal commercial driver training before they consider hiring you.
- Commercial Driver's Ed prep courses are specifically designed to help you pass the Nevada DMV's CDL written and road tests.
Taking a classroom course will acquaint you with the topics and format you'll encounter on the CDL written exam. Participating in a behind-the-wheel program will familiarize you with the vehicle and skills you'll need to master for your CDL road exam.
If you do begin to look into your commercial Driver's Ed options, first ask the following:
- Can your schedule and budget accommodate for the course length and pricing of a CDL test prep course?
- Are certified CDL instructors who hold valid commercial driver's licenses teaching all of the classes?
- Does the program's curriculum go over all of the material and skills you need to know for your specific CDL's required tests?
The NV Department of Motor Vehicles provides a list of suggested commercial Driver's Ed schools, which is a great reference point if you decide to take a Nevada CDL education course.
CDL Classroom Course Curriculum
Before you make a final decision on a CDL classroom course, take a close look at the curriculum. The class should at least cover all of the topics you'll need to know for the basic CDL knowledge written exam, including:
- Steps to conducting a full vehicle inspection.
- Basic vehicle control (e.g. acceleration and backing up).
- Using manual and automatic transmissions.
- Establishing a safe field of vision.
- Controlling vehicle speed in situations like:
- Heavy traffic.
- Sharp curves.
- Steep hills.
- Icy roads.
- Awareness of the space around your vehicle.
- Spotting and dealing with hazards like:
- Construction zones.
- Objects in the road.
- Erratic drivers.
- Extreme weather conditions.
- Emergency and accident procedure.
Don't forget that the classification and endorsement(s) of your desired commercial driver's license could require that you pass additional CDL written tests, including:
- School bus operation.
- Pulling double or triple trailers.
- Transporting tankers filled with liquid or gas.
- Working with hazardous materials.
- Driving combination vehicles.
- Using air brakes.
- Transporting passengers.
When you feel ready, schedule an appointment at your local Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles office that offers commercial driver license written testing.
NV Behind-the-Wheel CDL Training
After you ace the DMV's CDL written tests, you'll be given a commercial learner's permit (CLP). Legally, you must hold your Nevada CLP for at least 14 days before taking the CDL road skills test.
While you have a commercial learner's permit, you can practice driving your commercial vehicle of choice. So, why not take a behind-the-wheel training program? You'll learn all of the skills that you'll need to execute for the Department of Motor Vehicles' road test.
For the DMV's general CDL skills road test you will need to successfully perform the tasks you tested on for your written exam, as well as any others appropriate to your CDL class, to include:
- Backing up and docking in an alley.
- Safely driving through intersections and railroad crossings.
- Getting on and off of expressways.
- Practicing general safety skills like:
- Using your turn signals.
- Staying in your own lane.
Similar to preparing for your CDL written tests, you might need to learn additional behind-the-wheel skills for your specific commercial driver's license's road test.
The other driving skills that you could have to learn, depending on the classification and endorsement(s) of your CDL, include:
- Performing a complete air brakes check.
- Extended safety inspection for all buses and trailers.
- Letting students off of a school bus.
When you believe that you can safely and confidently operate your commercial vehicle, make an appointment at your local Nevada DMV office that offers CDL road skills testing.
NV CDL Solo Study Guide
While you're preparing for the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicle's CDL exams, you always have the option of studying on your own.
All of the material that you'll need to know is in the Nevada Commercial Driver License Manual. Make sure you read over every section that applies to the classification and endorsement(s) of your commercial driver license.
As an extra tool, you can also take CDL practice tests. These will help you to gauge how familiar you are with the material, and let you know which parts of the manual you'll need to study a little bit more. You can also use an online NV CDL practice test to get comfortable with the exam format, and refresh your questions to give yourself a new test each time.
As long as you have the right attitude and resources, you can definitely pass the DMV's required commercial driver tests. Plus, you'll get to study from the comfort of your own home and it won't cost you a thing.