How Do I Get My CLP?
Maybe you grew up knowing you wanted to drive a truck, or perhaps you’ve just decided it’s time for a career change. The problem: You, like many people, don’t know where to start. Fortunately, it’s easier than you think – and it all begins with a CLP, or commercial learner’s permit.
Related: What are the First Steps to Become a Truck Driver?
HOW DO I GET A CLP?
The first step to becoming a VIP driver is getting your commercial learner’s permit, or CLP. It comes from your state of residence, and it’s a requirement if you want to attend our industry leading program and drive for us. You’ll have to study for a written test (just like you did when you earned your first driver’s license), which you’ll have to pass in order to eventually get your commercial driver’s license. Most states provide study materials at no cost. For example, Wisconsin’s are here.
Pro tip: Some states require you to study for and pass other exams, as well, so it’s best to call your local licensing office to find out what you need.
Requirements for a CLP in WisconsinWhile every state may be a little different, most have similar requirements for obtaining a CLP. In Wisconsin, you have to:
- Be 18 or older; 21 to drive Interstate
- Hold a valid driver’s license for non-commercial vehicles
- Complete the Commercial Driver Certification: Tier of Operation form
- Present a valid Federal Medical Card if required (the DMV can let you know whether you need one)
- Provide proof of citizenship or legal status in the United States
- Pass general knowledge tests
- Pay driver licensing fees (no cost to test just to receive the CLP)
If you get your CLP in Wisconsin, it’s valid for 180 days. You can use that time to practice driving with someone who has a CDL at or above the level of your permit, or with a qualified driving instructor. Typically, you’ll be able to complete your training within 6 months; however, if you can’t, you can renew your CLP. If you have to renew your CLP, you might be required to retake knowledge exams (but that depends on how many times you’ve already renewed your CLP).
Again, every state has its own requirements. You need to get your CLP from the state you reside in now before you can attend a truck driving course, practice driving in a commercial vehicle and earn your CDL.
What About DOT Physicals?Some states require you to get a DOT physical before you can test for your CLP. Most types of commercial driving require it anyway, but you should check with your local driver licensing facility to see if you need one to obtain your CLP. You may also need to pass a vision screening, so keep that in mind as well.
ARE YOU INTERESTED IN GETTING YOUR CLP?
If you want to become a truck driver, getting your commercial learner’s permit is the first step down a rewarding path. Once you receive your CLP and meet other eligibility requirements, you’ll be able to attend the Veriha Trucking Academy or join the VIP Apprenticeship Program.