Georgia Truck Driving Requirements

Driving a truck is more challenging than driving a regular car due to the vehicle’s massive size. Because of this, individuals wanting to operate a large truck in Georgia must adhere to certain driving requirements and possess the necessary skills, knowledge, and permits before operating a large truck.

Here is what you should know about Georgia’s truck driving requirements:

Age Requirements and the Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

In Georgia, you need to obtain a CDL to drive a commercial truck. Truck drivers who wish to operate within the state (intrastate) can apply for a CDL permit when they are 18 years old.

However, if a driver wants to drive a commercial truck vehicle across state lines (interstate) they must be at least 21 years old. The CDL classes in Georgia include Class A, B, and C, and each of them comes with their specific endorsements.

Regular Driver’s License Requirements and Medical Certifications

Before you can apply for a CDL permit, individuals must first apply and obtain a valid Georgia driver’s license. You can skip this step if you already have a permit. However, if your permit is an out-of-state license, then you have to transfer it to a Georgia driver’s license to become eligible.

When it comes to medical examinations, commercial truck drivers must be physically qualified to operate their trucks, and they will need certifications issued by medical experts listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

Knowledge and Skills Tests

Depending on what CDL class and endorsements you are seeking, you will need to apply and pass the knowledge and skill tests assigned to that class. These tests cover topics such as your general knowledge of air brakes, combination vehicles, tanker vehicles, hazardous materials, pre-trip vehicle inspection tests, basic vehicle control, and an on-road driving test.

The tests vary depending on what CDL class you hope to attain. Courses are conducted only by authorized third-party examiners approved by the DDS, and you will need to pay for all the applicable fees.

Background Check

When you apply for a CDL, you will undergo a background check, which will focus on your driving record to ensure you are eligible for the CDL and to work in the industry. Background checks will also likely occur prior to employment.

Hazmat Endorsement

In instances where individuals wish to transport hazardous materials in their driving operations, they must pass a separate knowledge test and undergo a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) background check to ensure safety and security. 

Since the requirements and specific regulations might vary depending on the type of commercial truck vehicle you intend to operate, it’s best to consult with Georgia’s DDS department directly or by browsing their website.

If you’ve been involved in an accident with one of these vehicles, contact large truck accident attorneys.

Author: Brandon Park