Commercial Driver Qualification Criteria

From Liability to Cargo, we keep you covered

If you own a trucking company and you are looking to hire drivers, you probably know there are strict qualifications for the job. Commercial Drivers need special licenses, have to pass a physical examination, and have to know how to inspect their trucks and log their hours properly.

Simplex Group can help make sure that your drivers are fully qualified to take hauls across the country. We can keep driver’s records on file for you and make sure that they stay up to date. You have a business to run, and we want to ensure it runs smoothly.

Photo of a truck driver

Age Requirements

An interstate truck driver must be at least 21 years of age. Some states let a person drive semi professionally at the age of 18 years old. However, you should know that truckers must be 21 to take products across state lines. It is best to hire drivers who are over 21 so they can take all hauls.

Commercial Drivers License

In most states, a Commercial Driver’s permit is needed before a driver can get a CDL. A driver can take a knowledge test at the Department of Motor Vehicles to get the permit. A driver will have to take a driving skills test in the kind of vehicle that they wish to operate to obtain their CDL. They will have to demonstrate their ability to drive a truck, back it up, and inspect it.

Educational Requirements

There are many commercial driving schools online. If your company is looking to hire new drivers, consider giving your business card to some of the schools in town. When you hire from a school, you know that the person is well trained.

A person does not need a college degree to operate a commercial vehicle. You can make it a requirement of your trucking company if you think it is for the best, but it is not mandatory. There are trucking schools all over the country, and they are a great place to find inexpensive drivers who do not have any bad habits.

Medical Exam

To become a commercial driver, a person must pass a medical exam. Not just any doctor can perform this exam. A driver must be examined by a doctor who is registered with the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

There are a few things a person can expect when they take a Department of Transportation medical exam. The doctor will ask about their medical history, including questions about medical problems experienced by the driver and any surgeries they have undergone. Certain medical conditions can prevent a person from becoming a commercial driver. These include:

  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Vision Impairment
  • Epilepsy 
  • Mental Disorders

A driver must disclose all medications they are on. Truck drivers cannot take any of the following drugs, even if they are prescribed by a doctor:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Amphetamines
  • Opioids
  • Phencyclidine

The DOT medical exam is comprehensive. It includes such standards as looking into the patient’s eyes and ears and testing their reflexes. However, the doctor will also administer a full hearing and vision test. They will perform tests on their circulatory system and check the back, spine, and gait of the driver. They examine the driver’s genitalia and give them a urine test to see what proteins it contains.

Employment History

Before you hire a driver, The driver must fill an employment application with the last 10 years of work history, however you only need to contact every employer they have had in the last three years and confirm the dates they worked there. It is also a good idea to check references. This can be a time-consuming task. Fortunately, Simplex Group can check references for you.


Drivers are required to have endorsements to carry certain cargo. Items such as flammable liquid, gasses, and explosive material, may require these endorsements.

Clean Driving Record

Before you hire a commercial driver, you will want to make sure they have a clean record in the states they have been licensed. We will make sure that the drivers you hire have no suspensions against them in any state. We can also check for accidents and any other red flags on their record. We pull a 10-year driving history on each applicant as required by law.

Drug Tests

Some states require a drug test and others do not. Almost all trucking companies require a full drug test as a condition of employment. It is the best way to protect yourself if any of your drivers has a drug-related accident. Simplex Group can help you arrange for a full panel urine test. We can also help arrange for and keep a record of random drug tests.

Once a driver meets all the necessary qualifications, you must store their records for three years. When you undergo your New Entrant audit, the auditor will ask to see these records. We can keep the records for you and update them as necessary. 

Trucking pays well and offers people the opportunity to see the whole country. We can help you select truckers to work for your company. Let us worry about keeping their records so you can focus on your company’s growth.