Requirement For European Truck Drivers

Topic 26442 | Page 1

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Mathieu C.'s Comment
member avatar

Hi everybody I'd like to become a truck driver in USA but i'm french and i'd like to know if european trucks driver's licences are valid in USA and to know how to validate these licences in USA. Is it better for me to obtain the CDL in USA or to obtain its equivalent in europe and validate it in USA?

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.
Bobcat_Bob's Comment
member avatar

You would have to get a US one, as far as I l know you would have to have a US address and regular license for at least a year before you would be eligible for one. Then you would need to take and pass the tests.

G-Town's Comment
member avatar

You will need to have a non-commercial drivers license in one of the lower 48 states before qualifying for a CDL permit in the US.

European truck driver license is not transferable to US.

How do you intend on getting a US work visa. Trucking companies do not sponsor visas.

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.
Rick S.'s Comment
member avatar

1 - A European Trucking License is not valid to operate a Commercial Vehicle here in the states, there is no reciprocity. 2 - For the most part, you must have a US regular drivers license for a year, to obtain a CDL (most companies require this also). 3 - If you are not a US Citizen, you must have a green card or other work authorization to operate a Commercial Vehicle (or, legally, to get ANY EMPLOYMENT). Many states (like FL) will not even issue a regular operators license, without "legal status" in the US.

If you are HERE ALREADY, and have held a regular US license, and have authorization to work - then you shouldn't have any issues. If you live in Europe - you won't be able to just come over, get a CDL and go right to work.

Rick

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.
Mathieu C.'s Comment
member avatar

Thanks fot all your replies. Now i'd like to know how i can get the CDL while i'm not US citizen. Do i need a work visa or a student visa because i'll need to learn the job and if i get the CDL's equivalent here in France the European licence C and EC (C for trucks between 7800 pounds and 16500 pound and EC for truck over 16500 pounds , limited at 44 metric tons) it will be easier for me to find a job as truck driver in USA Here (only in France) there's 20 job offers as truck driver everyday, but the european regulations for trucks are awfull (that's why i don't want to drive across EU). for example: Forbidden to drive a vehicule over7800 pounds from saturday 10pm until sunday 10pm with a fine of 3750€ (unless your transporting fuel or perishable goods) Continuous driving is limited to 4h30 driving time with 45 mm of break to be distributed in one or more times (minimum 15 mm) during this period. Daily driving is limited to a maximum of 9 hours with possible derogation for 10 hours of driving 2 days per week. Trucks are electronically limited at 53mph (87km/h) the penalty for excessive speed is a licence withdrawal in addition to a large fine. There's no borders but there's more than 20 different languages accross Europe (german, italian, spanish, portugese, polish, danish, swedish etc...) and few people speaks english (and in UK they drive on the wrong side of the road and in few days they will leave EU) France is as big as Texas and the biggest EU country so european truck drivers often cross several countries (different local rules, different languages, different lifestyles etc...) If i come in USA things will be easier (only one language, freer regulations, bigger roads, same lifestyle) In short I want to become a trucker in the USA and i'd like to know how to realise my dream.

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.
RealDiehl's Comment
member avatar

I went to school with man who was a truck driver from Netherlands. Although he had a cdl from another country he was still required to take a cdl training course in the United States. Unfortunately I dont know if the fact that he held a CDL in Europe made it easier to find a driving job in the U.S. Good luck, Mathieu. I hope you can achieve your truck driving goals.

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.
Errol V.'s Comment
member avatar
Now i'd like to know how i can get the CDL while i'm not US citizen. Do i need a work visa or a student visa because i'll need to learn the job and if i get the CDL's equivalent here in France ...

The CDL license is administered by each state, although the requirements and regulations are from the federal government. This means there is no way to practice and test for, say, a Virginia CDL while you are not even in the United States. (To confuse things, if you are a resident of Virginia and go to CDL school in Missouri, you can take and pass the test in Missouri but you'll still have to go home to VA to get your paper CDL license.)

You can certainly study for the preliminary written test (go here for your study: High Road CDL Training Program)

If you can come to the US and drive a car for a year, and have that work permit, some trucking company might admit you to their CDL training program.

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.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
Pacific Pearl's Comment
member avatar

Have you considered Canada? Quebec has a license reciprocity agreement with France. It takes a couple of months for them to verify your driving experience but you can drive for 6 months with your French license as long as you have a work permit. Their only concern is that you have driving experience - they don't care that you got your experience in Europe. There is no residency requirement. You can read more about Quebec Class 1 licenses here:

https://saaq.gouv.qc.ca/en/drivers-licences/obtaining-licence/heavy-vehicles-class-1-2-3/combination-road-vehicles-class-1/

Once you get a Canadian CDL you can drive trucks in the US as long as you live in Canada.

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.
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