Can a Non US Citizen Get a CDL?

If you’ve emigrated to the United States, you may be wondering “Can a non US citizen get a CDL?” Getting a CDL is a quick way to be able to support your family and establish yourself in this country. So, can a non us citizen get a CDL? The short answer is yes. However, you must be a legal permanent resident. Keep reading to learn more.

How Can a Non US Citizen Get a CDL

When getting your CDL it’s important to make sure you’re coordinating with someone who understands the intricacies of immigration law. Each state has different rules so you’ll want to make sure you’re following state and federal laws. 

If you do not yet have a green card it will be a bit more complex to obtain your CDL. However, if you are a citizen of Canada or Mexico you will have to get your CDL there. The U.S. Department of Transportation has determined that commercial motor vehicle testing is the same in the U.S., Canada,, and Mexico. If you are a resident of Canada or Mexico that’s where you’ll have to get your CDL but it will be valid in the United States. Even if you live and work in the United States you’ll still need to go back to Canada or Mexico to obtain your CDL.

Federal law states that you can’t have more than one CDL and if you were to obtain a CDL from the United States that would technically mean that you have two CDLs and that is not allowed. Below are the steps you need to take if you are not a US citizen. 

Get your EAD

If you are not a legal citizen and are not yet authorized to work in the United States you need to get your valid employment authorization document (EAD). Getting this document will allow you to get a non-domiciled CDL, which is a CDL for those authorized to work in the United States but are not US citizens. The EAD is also known as the I-766 or a work permit. 

If you don’t have an EAD but you do have a work visa, you may be allowed to get your CDL depending on what state you reside in. Learn how to apply to get your EAD here

Prepare Your Application

After acquiring your EAD you can begin to prepare your CDL application. As long as you are 21 and older you are qualified to take the CDL exam. Each state requires you to take an exam. The best way to prepare for the exam is to go to a CDL school. 

For your application, you’ll need proof of residency and some form of ID. A passport will work, if you don’t have any valid ID you may need to call the Social Security Administration. After you’ve prepared your application it’s time to attend CDL training.

Attend CDL School

Truck Driver institute offers CDL training that only takes 3 weeks to complete. After those 3 weeks, you can be on the road with a new career. All of your training takes place in a state-of-the-art training facility with teachers who have previously been truck drivers. 

There are three different types of CDLs, Classes A, B, and C. Class A CDLs allow you to drive anything and anywhere. When you obtain your Class A CDL that automatically qualifies you to drive a truck with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds. With a Class A CDL, you can drive semi-trucks, tractor-trailers, flatbeds and so much more. 

Truck Driver Institute is the best place to learn how to drive a truck. From the training facilities to the expert staff, you won’t find a better place to obtain your commercial driver’s license. TDI has an 80% job placement rating and that is not only because of our stellar training services. TDI offers pre-hire CDL job screening, so you don’t waste your time if you’re not a good fit for a truck driving career. In addition to that, we have a post-graduation job placement program that will place you with one of our carrier company partners. You’ll have many options to choose from so you’re sure to end up with a company that aligns with your goals. With select companies, your starting salary could be up to 70.000 dollars a year. 

TDI has 11 different locations that are all ready and willing to help you get your CDL. If you’re not from one of these locations, not to worry. We offer lodging for our out-of-town students. You may be  excited to learn how can a non-us citizen get a CDL but are worried about cost. Fear not because when you get your CDL with TDI you can get started with as little as 225 dollars out of pocket

It’s important to note that even though you will have a CDL you will not be able to drive a truck with hazardous materials. Only US citizens are allowed to get a hazardous materials endorsement. 

Get Your CDL and Start your Career

Now that you know the answer to the question “Can a non US Citizen Get a CDL?” it’s time to start your career and get on the road. 

Once you’ve passed your CDL test, which will be proctored by TDI, you can start your career as a truck driver. After you pass your test you’ll have to go to the DMV and get your CDL photo taken. TDI will set help you get set up with a job with one of the carrier companies we partner with. 

If you run into trouble during the process of getting your documentation together, you should speak to an immigration lawyer. An immigration lawyer will be able to help you gather the proper paperwork to ensure that you can have the truck driving career of your dreams. 

Contact TDI today if you want to learn more about truck driving and CDL school.

Get Started

Get your Class A CDL in our friendly, supportive CDL training program. TRAIN with experienced instructors – multiple good-paying, secure job choices with benefits available for eligible graduates. EARN $700 – $1000+ / week to start as a truck driver. Get started today by filling out the form below. We look forward to hearing from you!