Had To Downgrade Class A TX CDL. I Want My CDL Back. What Do I Do Here?

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millionmiler24 (CRSTs Mos's Comment
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Hello TruckingTruth, I used to hold a CDL in Texas but was forced to downgrade to a Class C license, because I couldn't afford to get another DOT physical. At that time I was out of work. It was 10 days before the deadline to renew my physical and I couldn't afford it so I had to voluntarily downgrade my license because if I had let the DPS in TX do it, it would have looked bad on any future job apps. I didn't want to downgrade it, but I felt I had no choice. There was no one that could help me out. I miss trucking and I really want to get my CDL back and get all the CDL endorsements I can on it this time.

I have moved to Florida about 6 months ago and have became homeless due to a situation I don't want to talk about here on the internet. I was wanting to know, I have a regular Class E license here in Florida with a General Delivery address on it. I am really wanting to get my CDL back and work toward getting all of my endorsements on it. I had no endorsements on my TX CDL. What do I have to do to get my CDL in Florida?

Since I had a CDL in TX, would I have to go back to a school and redo everything or is there a simpler way to get my Class A CDL here in Florida? Please help me out here. This is the only way I can get myself off the streets and out of the situation I am in. No other jobs here in my area will hire someone with a General Delivery address on their license. I think that is an excuse because no one out here wants to hire a homeless person for work. I am not the typical homeless person. I take care of myself, I don't smoke, I don't do drugs, and I don't drink. I don't even smoke cigarettes. I have a flawless driving record and flawless criminal record (in other words, I have never been in trouble with the law) I have horrible credit though due to the fact that I became homeless. I need to get out of this situation as soon as possible. I have just been down on my luck and need my CDL back so I can get out of this mess. What do I do here?

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive 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.

DOT:

Department Of Transportation

A department of the federal executive branch responsible for the national highways and for railroad and airline safety. It also manages Amtrak, the national railroad system, and the Coast Guard.

State and Federal DOT Officers are responsible for commercial vehicle enforcement. "The truck police" you could call them.

Susan D. 's Comment
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I think it would depend on how long you went without having it.

I'm thinking Brett or Old School will chime in here any minute.

millionmiler24 (CRSTs Mos's Comment
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I think it would depend on how long you went without having it.

I'm thinking Brett or Old School will chime in here any minute.

I had to downgrade it on 04/11/2015. That was 10 days before my physical was set to expire.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I am in. No other jobs here in my area will hire someone with a General Delivery address on their license. I think that is an excuse because no one out here wants to hire a homeless person for work.

There are a ton of government regulations when it comes to hiring workers. Having a legal address is certainly one of the requirements. A business can't just say you live "in the general area". Lots of regulations. So you have to get yourself into a position where you're hireable to begin with, whether you want a job in trucking or elsewhere.

And you can't get a license of any class without a proper address, either.

Unfortunately I'm pretty certain you're going to have to start over on your CDL from scratch, as if you never had a CDL. You're going to have to take the written exams to get your permit and endorsements and then take the driving exam again to get the CDL back.

Depending on your background, which you say is pretty solid, you could get on with one of the Paid CDL Training Programs and get a refresher on your training, test for your CDL, and get out there driving again for little or no money out of pocket. But you're definitely going to need a regular, verifiable address. It can be the address of family or friends in your home state as long as they agree to it.

And you may know that living in Florida is really going to reduce, but not eliminate, your opportunities because not a lot of companies hire out of Florida. Texas is a much better location as far as number of opportunities available. I'm not saying you should move. I'm just making sure you're aware of that.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive 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.
millionmiler24 (CRSTs Mos's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

I am in. No other jobs here in my area will hire someone with a General Delivery address on their license. I think that is an excuse because no one out here wants to hire a homeless person for work.

double-quotes-end.png

There are a ton of government regulations when it comes to hiring workers. Having a legal address is certainly one of the requirements. A business can't just say you live "in the general area". Lots of regulations. So you have to get yourself into a position where you're hireable to begin with, whether you want a job in trucking or elsewhere.

And you can't get a license of any class without a proper address, either.

Unfortunately I'm pretty certain you're going to have to start over on your CDL from scratch, as if you never had a CDL. You're going to have to take the written exams to get your permit and endorsements and then take the driving exam again to get the CDL back.

Depending on your background, which you say is pretty solid, you could get on with one of the Paid CDL Training Programs and get a refresher on your training, test for your CDL, and get out there driving again for little or no money out of pocket. But you're definitely going to need a regular, verifiable address. It can be the address of family or friends in your home state as long as they agree to it.

And you may know that living in Florida is really going to reduce, but not eliminate, your opportunities because not a lot of companies hire out of Florida. Texas is a much better location as far as number of opportunities available. I'm not saying you should move. I'm just making sure you're aware of that.

Ok, then I know what my first step needs to be and that is to take care of the address situation. Next: What Company Sponsored Training Program is the best one to go with in your opinion? Which one do you recommend?

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive 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.

Company Sponsored Training:

A Company-Sponsored Training Program is a school that is owned and operated by a trucking company.

The schooling often requires little or no money up front. Instead of paying up-front tuition you will sign an agreement to work for the company for a specified amount of time after graduation, usually around a year, at a slightly lower rate of pay in order to pay for the training.

If you choose to quit working for the company before your year is up, they will normally require you to pay back a prorated amount of money for the schooling. The amount you pay back will be comparable to what you would have paid if you went to an independently owned school.

Company-sponsored training can be an excellent way to get your career underway if you can't afford the tuition up front for private schooling.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
Which one do you recommend?

They're all good programs, but quite different in many ways. It really boils down to:

  • Where you live
  • What type of freight you want to haul
  • How often you want to be home
  • What parts of the country you'd like to run

Once you filter companies through that list you'll have a few to choose from. In Florida you may only have two or three. But at that point I always recommend applying to any that meet your criteria to see who will give you an opportunity. Then, if you have more than one opportunity you can dig deeper into the details to see which one suits you best.

But we don't have a list of recommendations or a list of companies we recommend avoiding. For us it simply comes down to finding the company that suits your preferences best.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

millionmiler24 (CRSTs Mos's Comment
member avatar

double-quotes-start.png

Which one do you recommend?

double-quotes-end.png

They're all good programs, but quite different in many ways. It really boils down to:

  • Where you live
  • What type of freight you want to haul
  • How often you want to be home
  • What parts of the country you'd like to run

Once you filter companies through that list you'll have a few to choose from. In Florida you may only have two or three. But at that point I always recommend applying to any that meet your criteria to see who will give you an opportunity. Then, if you have more than one opportunity you can dig deeper into the details to see which one suits you best.

But we don't have a list of recommendations or a list of companies we recommend avoiding. For us it simply comes down to finding the company that suits your preferences best.

Well, I feel the safest in the Southeastern and Midwest (except Chicago metro area) and I wish to haul mostly dry van freight. I am homeless so hometime is not an issue as long as I can stop by and check my mail once every 2 weeks. Thats all I would need to do on hometime. I unfortunately live in Florida now, but I would be willing to relocate for a better job opportunity.

Dry Van:

A trailer or truck that that requires no special attention, such as refrigeration, that hauls regular palletted, boxed, or floor-loaded freight. The most common type of trailer in trucking.

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

Well I wouldn't make any drastic moves if you don't have to. If you want to stay in Florida, have a look to see if you can get an opportunity with one of the programs that hires out of Florida. You might not have to go anywhere. But if you're open to going anywhere, the Midwest and the East will have by far the most opportunities - OH, IL, IN, MO, TN, IA, NC, SC, GA, VA, PA. Stay kinda centered in the Eastern half of the country and most companies hire from those areas.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
millionmiler24 (CRSTs Mos's Comment
member avatar

Well I wouldn't make any drastic moves if you don't have to. If you want to stay in Florida, have a look to see if you can get an opportunity with one of the programs that hires out of Florida. You might not have to go anywhere. But if you're open to going anywhere, the Midwest and the East will have by far the most opportunities - OH, IL, IN, MO, TN, IA, NC, SC, GA, VA, PA. Stay kinda centered in the Eastern half of the country and most companies hire from those areas.

Which one of those states is the best in your opinion? Which has the lowest cost of living, which is the safest and which has the best opportunities for a driver? Especially one like myself that needs to be retrained to re obtain my CDL.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive 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.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

They're all equally good as far as hiring goes. Anyone will hire from pretty much all of those states. For me, safety is more about country living versus city living, or the quality of your immediate community, not so much about what state you're in or what city you're near.

Cost of living I really don't know for sure. I know from past experience that Georgia was super cheap to live in, but that was a bunch of years ago.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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