Attempting to get my CDL got a Question... (California)

Discussion in 'Trucking Schools and CDL Training Forum' started by PumpkinKing, Oct 26, 2020.

  1. PumpkinKing

    PumpkinKing Bobtail Member

    Oct 26, 2020
    I'm attempting to get my CDL through an Academy in the State of California.

    I am currently a Resident of TN and hold a TN drivers License. I will only be here for as long as it takes me to pass the academy and DMV test. (I was out here working the fires).

    Do I have to surrender my TN DL and become a resident of California to take the CA DMV test for my Class A?

    I had someone tell me that in Utah they didn't have to surrender their home state DL or become a resident of Utah. They were given an official paper stating they passed their Utah class A DMV test. They had a limited amount of time to go back home and submit it to obtain their home state Class A. Since it's a federally regulated test, this makes sense. Just not sure if it applies to California.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2020
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  3. Chinatown

    Chinatown Road Train Member

    Aug 28, 2011
    Henderson, NV & Orient
    Ask the school what the rules are in California.
    When I changed my cdl from Tennessee to Nevada, just had to take a new eye exam and show proof of living in Nevada.
    Some drivers on this forum used Escapees RV Club to get a legal address in another state.
    Some cdl schools give you proof of graduation along with a temporary cdl license and you take that temp. license to your home state and swap it out at the DMV for that states cdl.
    COBB2070 Thanks this.
  4. brian991219

    brian991219 Road Train Member

    Aug 10, 2013
    Lords Valley, PA
    It depends. Since 2015 the FMCSA has allowed the skills and road tests to be taken in other states than your home state but the learner permit (knowledge) test must be administered in your home state.

    Do you already have your permit from your CDL from Tennessee?

    If yes, then you should be able to take the skills and road test in California but will have to return to Tennessee with the paperwork from CA to have your CDL hard card issued. If you do not already have a permit then you will need to establish California residency to obtain a permit so it will not be worth it if you don't plan to live in California.
    COBB2070 and PumpkinKing Thank this.
  5. COBB2070

    COBB2070 Medium Load Member

    Jul 8, 2018
    SoCal...The OC
    Check with the school to be sure, but if you're talking Swift, CRST, or CR England, they'll want you to get a CA CLP, even if you show up with a TN CLP. But if you're talking about a 160hr school, they probably won't care if you show up with a TN CLP. If you test and pass with the TN permit/license, you have 90 days to return to TN to get your hard CDL issued. If you can, drop the $ to get your permit in TN anyway,
  6. Allow Me.

    Allow Me. Trucker Forum STAFF Staff Member

    May 28, 2009
    Rancho Mirage, Ca.
    You won't get a foot in the door at a Ca. DMV office right now. Strictly appointments, but not making new appointments. Bring your Tn. papers, should be OK for school, but check with school
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