CDL Training Frequently Asked Questions


License - Validate the person’s license:  active or not, type, length of time had, etc

  1. What kind of CDL will I obtain?
    You will get a Class A CDL, able to operate standard tractor-trailer combination vehicles.
  2. I have some violations on my record, can I still enroll?
    You must not have over 4 points on your license and can not have offenses like a DUI/DWI or Reckless driving. Other options are also available if criteria is not met. (Pre-hire letter.)
  3. I recently got my driver’s license, can I enroll?
    Yes you can, however, employer criteria varies, many require you to have the driver’s license for a minimum of 9 months.


DOT requirements - Drugscreen and physical are included in the Sterling package.

  1. What kind of physical is this?
    The physical is conducted by a DOT-qualified physician or equivalent.  It consists of evaluation of your medical history, an eye exam, an overall health check and blood pressure. The physical must be completed to obtain a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) and for the duration of having a CDL.  Results are given to you immediately at the location where it is completed.
  2. I already completed a DOT physical, do I need to take another one? 
    If your current physical was performed within 3 months of the course start date, a new physical may not be required.  A copy of your certification will be needed for review.
  3. What is involved with a DOT drug screen?
    You will go to an approved medical facility to complete the screening process (possibly the same as where the DOT physical was performed, if done together).  You will do this one time and other possible testing requirements will be covered the first day of class. The urine specimen is sent from the collection site to a Medical Review Officer.  Their office will notify you if there are any concerns or issues regarding the specimen. The results will then be given to the school.
  4. Will I have to do a drug screen and physical more than once
    The DOT drug screen is required for enrollment.  Other testing needs will be covered during the classroom section.  A DOT physical must be renewed before it expires.  Active time frame is no longer than 24 months and can be less, depending on the initial examination results.  Certain medical conditions are factored in the expiration date.

Industry driving positions - Over the Road driver, Regional driver, Local driver.

  1. What is an OTR driver?
    OTR typically consists of traveling anywhere in the continental U.S. and/or Canada.  You will typically be gone from home for a minimum of 2 weeks.  Home-time varies afterward, but is typically 2-3 days before being dispatched again. This driving position typically consists of getting paid by cents/mile. The more experience you obtain typically the more cents/mile you earn.
  2. What is a regional driver?
    Typically with this position you will be gone throughout the week and spend your weekends/downtime at home. This Driving position typically consists of getting paid by cents/mile. The more experience you obtain typically the more cents/mile you earn.
  3. What is a local driver?
    This is a driver that goes home every night to their home to complete the off duty time. This driving position typically is paid hourly versus being paid cents/mile.  Hourly wage also varies, typically higher with more experience.
  4. What is the difference in pay for the different types of drivers?
    Typically in the trucking industry most driving positions and pay depend on the amount of experience the driver has.  Other compensation items may include layover time, type of cargo hauled, driving environment/geographic areas, etc.

Length of the Program and Equipment

  1. How long is this program?
    The program consists of 160 hours of training:  50 hours in classroom and 110 hours split between range and road.
  2. What type of equipment is used for training?
    Industry standard:  tandem axle sleeper trucks with automatic transmission, 48’ or 53’ dry van (enclosed) trailer.
  3. What testing will I need to do?
    For CLP: To obtain the learner’s permit you will need to take the required documents to your local DMV and take a written test typically on a computer. This process will be covered during the classroom portion of training.   For CDL: all of the skills required to pass the test will be taught during training.  To obtain the CDL the school will schedule a test and accommodate you to the test site where the examiner will administer the test.
  4. Will I be testing in the same equipment?
    Yes, equipment used in training is also used for testing.  Substitutions are rare and only if unforeseen circumstances arise.
  5. What is the schedule for the Day, Evening, Weekend classes?
    The class consists of sixteen 10-hour days, Mon - Thurs, 7:00 am to 5:30 pm. 
  6. Where is the classroom and range?
    Instruction for the course will be on the main campus, in the Criminal Justice building room 108 (week 1) and the NTCC Driving Pad (Week 2-4) See map.


Cost of the CDL Program 

Location-specific tuition and funding options are shared.

  1. Do I have to pay for the drug screen and physical?
    No, these fees are covered by tuition.
  2. Do I have to pay DMV fees (testing)?
    Yes, the student is responsible for paying the DMV fees upfront. However, the student will be reimbursed for all DMV fees after completing the program and meeting reimbursement criteria.
  3. Do I have to pay any other fees?
    No, training-related expenses are covered by the program -- course materials, equipment, etc.

Training-related subjects 

Expectations and details are explained on Day One.            

  1. What if I have to miss days/hours during training can I make them up?
    Due to this being a clock hour program all hours must be completed. Make-up day options and the attendance policy will be explained on Day One.
  2. How is the training conducted?
    • Classroom section is a group setting, covering materials needed for the learner’s permit exams and other DOT and industry requirements.
    • In the Range section students are taught how to perform Vehicle Inspections and Backing exercises necessary for the CDL exam.  Some activities will be performed as a group and others done individually.
    • In the Road section students will operate the tractor-trailer on public roads, covering vehicle handling and defensive driving.  When not driving, students will observe other driver performance.

Course completion

Related to finding a job and securing a Class A CDL.


  1. How do I get my CDL License?
    The program will schedule your CDL exam test with either the State or with a Third Part Examiner. Then once the student completes the testing process and gets a passing score they can then go to their local DMV to obtain the Commercial Driver’s License.
  2. What do I receive from the program after completion?
    Providing all criteria is met, you will receive a certificate of completion, certifying you have met federal requirements for entry-level driver training.  Many employers require this as proof of completing a formal training program.  
  3. How do I find a job?
    Many carriers/employers seek entry-level drivers.  Some offer tuition reimbursement and other incentives if hired.  There are multiple ways to approach this issue -- TRUCKING JOBS ARE IN HIGH DEMAND. You can submit single applications to each trucking company or there are several different apps available that can submit a single application to several different prospective employers.  If you have questions regarding other employment opportunities, please reach out to your Career Services or Admissions department, where available.


For More Information Contact

Continuing Education