Can I Get My CDL Without Going to School?

Truck driving school can feel time-consuming and costly for some, so you may be wondering how to get a CDL without going to schoolFor individuals looking to make a career change or to start a career in the driving industry, getting started can seem daunting. The costs associated with earning a CDL may even steer you away from attending a truck driving program. It is important to understand that the fundamental skills and knowledge you will learn at a truck driving school will not only prepare you to pass the CDL test, but those skills will set you up for a successful, lengthy career as a truck driver. When beginning a career in truck drivingit is not a smart idea to choose the quick and cheap route to earning your CDL license 

Can I Get A CDL Without Going to School? 

 The short answer is yes. However, the better answer is yes, but your chances of finding a stable position and being hired by a reputable company are going to be slim at best. Most companies, especially those that will look to develop a long, stable working relationship with you, will not hire new drivers who do not meet the minimum 160 classroom hours taken through a qualified training school. So, if you are wondering if it is possible to get a good truck driving job without going to school, or if you are wondering how to get a CDL without going to schoolcontinue reading to learn more about truck driver employers look for. 

Employers and State DMV’s Looking for CDLs & Training Schools 

Although many future truck drivers may consider getting a CDL without going to school, this strategy defeats the entire purpose of the license because the majority of carriers and employers will not only require candidates to have successfully graduated from a truck driving schoolThey will also know the difference between reputable schools and low-quality programs. In addition, most state DMVs will require commercial driving experience through a training program with a certain required number of behind the wheel experience in order to pass your CDL exam. In short, very few commercial carriers will find candidates lacking in training school experience as quality candidates in the hiring process. Instead, employers will look to see if candidates have learned proper road operations, technical vehicle-trailer systems, and all the regulations listed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).  

Getting a CDL is just the start. Gaining the proper educationCDL school prep and experience is far more valuable. There are many online schools, but no program that cannot offer you practical behind the wheel experience with the assistance of a seasoned truck driving veteran is going to adequately equip you for a successful career. 

Is it Worth it to Pay for Truck Driving School? 

The upfront costs associated with attending a training school may steer many away from pursuing a rich career in truck driving. But instead of wondering what CDL school costs, or if there is a way to get a CDL without having to pay any training school – instead, ask is it worth it to attend a training school? 

The true cost of a training school is not defined by the financial cost. Instead, think about the proper education, preparation and expertise you will be able to develop and how those gained skills can set you up for success in a future CDL job. Yes, technically, any person can try to find online classes or study on their own in order to obtain a CDL without going to school. However, even if those looking to take that route do earn their CDL, their chances of finding a reputable carrier and employer are marginal to none. But even then, imagine having acquired a CDL, found a job with an employer who does not require the criteria for having attended an established CDL school. What then? Consider yourself just starting out a career in this situation and falling into a risk or situation that could compromise your driving record or employment history as a result of lack of education, training, and hands-on experience. 


At TDI, you can get started with as little as $225 out of pocket! Our program offers many resources for financial aid. Everything from Carrier Reimbursement to scholarships to Military/GI Bills. At TDI, your upfront out-of-pocket cost will be approximately $200 – $300, depending on whether you require lodging. Other truck driving schools will cost anywhere between $3,000 to $7,000. In addition, most truck lines will help with the balance through their Tuition Assistance Programs. Even with the low cost of tuition, there are still several options available for covering the costs of CDL training, including Career Education Funding and Employer Tuition Assistance. 

Getting your CDL through Truck Driver Institute is not only an affordable option, but a smart choice. Unlike other options, TDI does not require an applicant to sign any lengthy contracts limiting your career choices. With a 90% CDL job placement rate, professionals and teachers at our institution will work with students one-on-one to make sure students find the right job. No student will be placed in a box, unlike other programs. Instead, TDI is focused on developing relationships between experienced drivers and students seeking to start a long, fruitful career in truck driving. Safety, quality, and longevity are values every TDI instructor seeks to instill in the training program. TDI works with over 20+ professional carriers who actively seek out TDI graduates so that you can find a job right after graduation! If you are