Texas CDL License Requirements

To begin a career as a truck driver in Texas, you may first require a Texas commercial driver's license (CDL). There are typically three types of CDL licenses that may vary slightly from state to state. Texas classifies commercial vehicles using the following criteria:

  • Class A: Combination vehicles weighing 26,001 pounds or more, with a trailer exceeding 10,000 pounds
  • Class B: Single or combination vehicles exceeding 26,001 pounds, with a trailer less than 10,000 pounds
  • Class C: Vehicles under 26,001 pounds carrying 16 or more passengers or transporting hazardous materials

According to Texas CDL requirements, applicants must be at least 18 years old, have a valid Texas driver's license, pass a vision exam and obtain a medical certificate. The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) governs the transportation of materials across state lines. Federal regulations require truck drivers hauling materials from one state to another to be at least 21 years old. Applicants then need to take a general knowledge exam and a skills test. The three part skills test includes a pre-trip vehicle inspection, a basic vehicle control test and an on-road driving test. For the driving test, applicants must use a vehicle in the same class for which they are trying to obtain a CDL license--for example, if you wish to obtain a Class B CDL, you must test in a Class B vehicle.

To drive a truck with air brakes, a tanker truck, a school bus or a truck with double/triple trailers, additional endorsements may be needed. Endorsements may be needed to transport hazardous materials or to carry 16 or more passengers (including the driver). A background check by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) may be required to transport hazardous materials (also referred to as a Hazmat endorsement). truck driving schools may provide you with the knowledge and skills training needed to pass the Texas CDL exams.

Resources for Texas CDL Requirements

Visit the Texas Department of Public Safety Driver License Division website for more information.

Learn more about Texas trucking schools.

Truck Driver Salary in Texas

Location 25th Percentile 75th Percentile Annual Salary
United States $31,270 $48,330 $38,700
Texas $28,560 $46,730 $36,550
Abilene, TX $29,880 $50,910 $36,240
Amarillo, TX $28,860 $47,710 $39,060
Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX $29,110 $47,040 $35,710
Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX $29,870 $42,330 $35,370
Brownsville-Harlingen, TX $30,240 $49,310 $41,490
College Station-Bryan, TX $25,820 $43,260 $33,360
Corpus Christi, TX $25,920 $42,330 $34,050
Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX Metropolitan Division $28,310 $50,280 $38,920
El Paso, TX $23,340 $46,210 $34,430
Fort Worth-Arlington, TX Metropolitan Division $30,140 $46,950 $36,920
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX $30,620 $46,980 $38,140
Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, TX $26,330 $51,610 $33,740
Laredo, TX $25,140 $47,520 $32,010
Longview, TX $29,050 $42,630 $34,790
Lubbock, TX $27,860 $43,840 $35,770
McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX $20,490 $45,080 $31,600
Midland, TX $30,360 $51,590 $39,640
Odessa, TX $33,930 $54,610 $40,710
San Angelo, TX $25,210 $37,540 $32,490
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX $26,370 $40,850 $32,030
Sherman-Denison, TX $28,270 $47,200 $35,560
Texarkana-Texarkana, TX-AR $32,700 $38,620 $35,640
Tyler, TX $29,060 $44,990 $38,230
Victoria, TX $28,870 $38,480 $33,910
Waco, TX $28,860 $43,360 $36,380
Wichita Falls, TX $28,770 $43,690 $34,760

Table data taken from 2015 BLS (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes533032.htm)