California CDL Handbook 2019 & Truck Driver Resources

California cdl handbook

The California CDL Manual, also known as the California CDL Handbook, is the training manual you will study in order to pass the written test to obtain your California commercial learner's permit. The commercial learner's permit allows you to drive a tractor trailer as long as you have a licensed CDL holder in the vehicle with you.

The California CDL manual also contains various sections of required materials for obtaining your CDL endorsements, or CDL certifications, some of which are required for driving a commercial vehicle, others are optional.

You can also pick up a paper copy of the California CDL manual from your California state's DMV office.

Studying The California CDL Manual: A Better Way

cdl manual study guide
  • 100% Free!
  • Easier To Learn
  • Multiple Choice Questions
  • Keeps Track Of Your Score
  • Gives Extra Help You Where You Need It Most

Trying to read and memorize the entire California CDL handbook can be a long, boring, difficult process so we've created a much better way of studying the California CDL manual, and it's free!

Our High Road Online CDL Training Program is a free program we've built to make it so much easier and more enjoyable to prepare for getting your California CDL permit. The California CDL handbook is built right into our online CDL training program but we've broken it down into small sections with multiple choice questions after each section.

Our High Road CDL Training Program will keep track of your score throughout your journey and it will even help you review the areas you're struggling with. As you go through the questions on each page we'll include some review questions from previous pages to help reinforce the materials.

Give our High Road Online CDL Training Program a shot. You'll love it!

Drivers Who Must Obtain The California CDL

The California CDL must be obtained by the driver of any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

California Commercial Driver's License Classifications

  • Class A CDL - Combination vehicles - GCWR of 26,001 or more pounds providing the GVWR of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Class B CDL - Single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Class C - Single vehicle with a GVWR of at least 16,001 pounds but less than 26,001 pounds.
  • Class D CDL - Single vehicle with a GVWR of less than 16,001 pounds.

California Commercial Driver's License Exams

In addition to the vision screening required for all drivers, all CDL applicants are required to pass a written exam, and most are required to pass a skills and driving exam.

Computerized Written Knowledge Exam

The computerized written knowledge exam for the state of California consists of standardized multiple-choice questions. In addition, specialized exams are added if you wish to operate any of the following vehicles:

  • combination vehicles
  • double or triple trailers
  • vehicles carrying hazardous materials
  • passenger-carrying vehicles
  • school buses or tanker vehicles
  • vehicles with air brakes (also requires a skills and road test)

California CDL Training Information

We have a ton of resources available to help you choose the right training for your California Commercial Driver's License and to prepare for the exams:

High Road Online CDL Training Program

Our High Road CDL Training Program contains the California CDL manual to study for your California commercial learner's permit. We've broken down the California CDL handbook into small sections with multiple choice questions after each one.

Our program will keep track of your score throughout and offer review questions as you go along to help make learning easier and to reinforce the materials. Give it a try!

High Road Online CDL Training Program

Paid CDL Training Programs

Instead of paying a tuition up front to attend a private truck driving school we recommend you go through truck driving school with a company that offers paid CDL training.

Paid CDL Training Programs are truck driving schools which are owned and operated by the trucking companies themselves. Not only do they provide top notch CDL training but you'll also have a job upon completion of the training. It's an excellent way to get your training, and in fact TruckingTruth prefers paid CDL training over private CDL training. Read here to learn more:

Why I Prefer Paid CDL Training Over Private CDL Training

Apply For Paid CDL Training

You can apply for paid CDL training right here through TruckingTruth! A short one-minute application will be forwarded to all of the companies you qualify for and you will hear from recruiters today!

The best part is that there's no obligation. If you're simply interested in learning more about the various paid CDL training programs and what they have to offer then don't hesitate to apply now. It's a great opportunity to weigh your options for CDL training, see if you qualify, and compare the different company programs.

Apply For Paid CDL Training

California CDL Practice Tests

We have almost 1,000 CDL practice questions to help you prepare for your California commercial learner's permit exam. Our multiple choice questions are just like the ones you'll see on the written exam at the California DMV office. We have a complete scoring system and they work great on all devices. Check it out:

California CDL Practice Tests

Pre-Trip Inspection Study Guide

Your California CDL exam will include a pre-trip inspection. Our pre-trip inspection study guide has a ton of great resources to help you prepare for the exam including:

  • Pre-trip inspection checklist
  • Photos of the parts you'll be inspecting
  • Descriptions of what you'll be checking for on each part you inspect
  • Pre-trip inspection videos
  • Free pre-trip inspection downloads for you to study offline

Check it out: Pre-Trip Inspection Study Guide

Additional Resources For Getting Your California CDL

California DMV Homepage

To learn more about getting your California commercial learner's permit and CDL license you should explore the website for the California Department Of Transportation.

California DMV Homepage

California Licensing Requirements

To learn more about getting your California commercial driver's license you can check out the CDL licensing information and requirements for California.

California Licensing Requirements

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Apply For Paid CDL Training Through TruckingTruth

Did you know you can fill out one quick form here on TruckingTruth and apply to several companies at once for paid CDL training? Seriously! The application only takes one minute. You will speak with recruiters today. There is no obligation whatsoever. Learn more and apply here:

Apply For Paid CDL Training

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