We've broken our Illinois CDL practice tests into 16 categories which will cover the entire CDL permit exam, all of the CDL endorsement exams, and your job duties as a driver.
Driving Rules And Regulations will cover the basics like who needs a CDL, CDL classifications, CDL reqiurements and disqualifications, and why special CDL endorsements are sometimes required.
Transporting Cargo will cover the different terms related to truck and cargo weights, driver responsibilities regarding overweight trucks, the safe loading of cargo, and cargo securement.
Safe Driving will cover the basics of a pre-trip inspection, basic control and backing, speed and lane control, managing space around your vehicle, and driving in poor weather conditions.
Transporting Passengers is required for the passenger endorsement and will cover the basics of a pre-trip inspection for a bus, loading and securing passenger cargo, and school bus safety.
The School Bus Endorsement is required in some states for driving a school bus. This section covers loading and unloading passengers safely, bus inspection, and regulations for passenger transport.
Air Brakes will cover the various parts of an air brake system, air brake inspection, proper braking techniques, the differences between air brakes and hydraulic brakes, and stopping distance.
Combination Vehicles is a requirement for driving a tractor trailer and will cover combination vehicle air brakes, coupling and uncoupling trailers, and combination vehicle air brake inspection.
Doubles And Triples is an endorsement needed to pull double trailers or triple trailers and will cover coupling and uncoupling of doubles and triples, inspection, and air brake tests.
Tankers is a required endorsement to pull tanker trailers or large totes of liquid and will cover the pre-trip inspection of tankers, tanker loading, and safe driving for tankers.
Hazardous Materials is an endorsement required to pull hazardous cargo and covers labels and placards, loading and unloading hazardous materials, parking and routing, and emergency response.
Pre-Trip Inspection will cover the inspection of the outside of the truck, the air brake system, inspection of the trailer, engine start and check, and driver responsibilities.
Driving Exam will cover the reqiurements for passing the CDL driving exam, the CDL driving exam scoring system, upgrades and downgrades, and the basics of the driving exam itself.
Logbook Rules is not a requirement for the CDL permit or endorsements but it's critical for doing your job. This is a very thorough section which covers all of the rules governing the logbook.
Weight Distribution is not a requirement for the permit or endorsements but is critical for doing your job. It will cover cargo loading, weight distribution, fuel calculations, and center of gravity.
Flatbed Cargo Securement is not required unless you're pulling a flatbed. This section covers tiedown components, securing devices, working load limits, and requirements for different types of freight.
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Here are more resources related to getting your CDL in Illinois:
Before getting your CDL, you must obtain your Commercial Learner's Permit. The process for obtaining this permit is simple, and this is a complete outline for what you need to know to be on your way to get your CDL.
Your Illinois Commercial Learner's Permit will be valid for 180 days. During those 180 days, you will be able to practice driving a commercial truck on public roads only and with a licensed commercial driver. The federal law states that you must have your CLP for at least 14 days before you test for your CDL. You can renew your permit up to 30 days before OR 5 days after its expiration date, without having to retake the knowledge tests, for an extra $50.
Before you begin this process, it is very important that you read and study the Illinois CDL Study Guide because it contains all of the information you will need to successfully pass the permit and license exams.
You can take the actual permit test as many times as necessary, but keep in mind that you will need to pay the permit fee every time. Additionally, by the time that you retake the permit test it is possible that your medical examination might need to be updated. Therefore, prepare for success the first time with all of the tools at your disposal.
While it is not required by Illinois or the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, it is recommended that you take a CDL education class before beginning this process. This class serves a similar process to the driver's education courses available to teenagers before they get their driver's license.
Much like getting your CDL, there are a list of fees that you must pay before getting your CLP. Here is a complete list of the fees you will need to pay during the permit process.
All Illinois CLP tests are taken at the Secretary of State facilities. You can check to see where your local SOS is by entering your zip code on the DMV website. Once you know the facility closest to you, you can go directly to the location or schedule an appointment online to take your permit test.
To obtain your CLP in Illinois, you must pass the general knowledge written test, the combination knowledge written test, and the air brake knowledge written test (if applicable). The general knowledge written test has 50 multiple-choice questions, and to pass you must answer 40 correctly. This means you must score 80% or higher in order to pass. The combination knowledge written test has 20 multiple-choice questions, and to pass you must answer 16 correctly. This means you must score 80% or higher in order to pass. The air brake knowledge written test has 25 multiple-choice questions, and to pass you must answer 20 correctly. This means you must score 80% or higher in order to pass.
The general knowledge test covers a variety of topics such as understanding the pre-trip inspection and knowing how to drive on black ice. This test is similar to the general knowledge test that you took when you first obtained your civilian driver's license. The combination knowledge test is more specific, and its goal is to assure you know the specialized knowledge for driving combination vehicles safely. The air brake knowledge test is only applicable to drivers who want to drive air brake-equipped vehicles. Therefore, it will not be taken by everyone. Because of these tests, it is very important that you read the Illinois CDL Study Guide (linked above) so you can pass the knowledge tests.
There are several free CLP Practice Tests available online where you can see questions similar to the ones that you will see on the exams. You can take these tests multiple times, and often they will explain if or why your answer was incorrect. This will help you as you prepare to take the actual test.
You will need to take similar knowledge tests for additional endorsements or skills that you want to use when you are a licensed driver. For example, if you want to be qualified to drive hazardous materials, you must pass the HAZMAT knowledge test before receiving this endorsement. Knowledge tests for endorsements are also found on these practice sites.
The requirements for getting your CLP are the same as the requirements you must meet to get your CDL. It is possible that these will have additional fees, but because the vary from person to person, they are not listed above. Before you get your CLP you must meet the following requirements:
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration checks your driving record from the past 10 years and in all 50 states, including the District of Columbia, to assure that only the safest and most qualified drivers continue in this licensing process.
This is a certified statement from a doctor approved by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration that says you are fit to drive. Visit the FMCSA website for more information about where you can find a doctor.
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