Truck Driving

Learn how to operate a tractor-trailer safely and efficiently through classroom, range, and over-the-road environments.

CNM offers CDL programs through CNM Ingenuity (CNMI) and CNM's School of Applied Technologies (AT).

photo of truck

4 Week Program (CNMI)

12-15 Week Program (AT)

Program Description

The CNM truck driving program offers basic instruction required to become a professional truck driver and to obtain a Class A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). Obtaining a Class A license permits you to drive a Class B vehicle as well.

This program meets federal regulation requirements for entry-level drivers.

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Drivers License Types

Offered at CNM

  • The Class A CDL is required for drivers who wish to drive a combination vehicle which is Gross Combination Vehicle Weight Rated (GCVWR) greater than 26,000 lbs. This is the license required to drive a Tractor-Trailer.
  • The Class B CDL is required for drivers who wish to drive a single vehicle which is GVWR 26,000 lbs. or more. Class B can drive vehicles of a lower class but not tractor-trailers.

Other Licenses

  • The Passenger Bus CDL allows an operator to drive a vehicle such as a city or public school bus. This license is not offered at CNM, but you may practice on campus.
  • The Class C and D licenses are not offered at CNM.

CDL Program Requirements

You must meet the requirements for our CDL programs. The Required Documents for all Commercial Licenses and Permits are included in Chapter 6, Section C (CDL). You can learn more about CDL on the CDL in the State of New Mexico webpage.

Class A Program

Minimum Requirements
  • Must be a legal, permanent resident of the United States
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Must complete drug screen no later than one week prior to class start date
  • Have maintained a valid driver’s license for the last three (3) years (some exceptions allowed, contact department)
  • Not have been convicted of or forfeited bond for more than four (4) moving violations in the past three years
  • Not have more than one at-fault, preventable accident in the past three (3) years
  • Not have been convicted of or forfeited bond for reckless driving
  • Not have any DWI/DUI convictions within the past five (5) years
  • Not have more than one (1) DWI/DUI conviction in the past ten (10) years
  • Not have more than two (2) DWI/DUI convictions within a lifetime 

Note: A work visa is not accepted as identification for this program.

Drug Screening & DOT Physical

Both the required drug screening and Department of Transportation (DOT) physical must be completed no more than 30 days and no later than one week before the class start date. It is important to follow these directions or you may be subject to forfeit your seat and start the following term.

Note: a "negative" drug screening result must be received by the Director of the CNM Truck Driving Program one week prior to the start date of the term or you will be automatically dropped from the program roster.

The required drug screening is performed at Custom Health Services. The DOT physical is also a requirement. However, you do not have to use Custom Health Services for this portion. The prices stated above are for Custom Heath Services if ordered individually. There is also a bundled price of $110 if the physical is scheduled at the same time as the drug screening and both are performed at Custom Health Services. There is a savings of $31 if booked together.

Once you are registered as a student, please visit for more information. Custom Health Services can be reached at 505-918-9355 to schedule your appointment(s). Due to COVID-19, there are no walk-in appointments at this time. You must have a scheduled appointment.

  • A valid New Mexico driver’s license
  • Two (2) proofs of residence
  • Medical card
  • Original social security card must match birth certificate name (or marriage license)
  • Original birth certificate (or proof of citizenship or Lawful Permanent Residency)
  • A certified copy of your driving record for the past three (3) years
  • Long form DOT physical results from a qualified testing facility
  • Drug screen results for controlled substances use (no more than 30 days old)

CDL-A classes: required paperwork is due by the 2nd week of class.

Note: You are subject to all Federal Motor Carriers Safety Regulations drug and alcohol testing rules. Before class begins, you will need to obtain your DOT drug screen no more than 30 days and no later than one week before the class start date. 

    Time to Completion

    Our CDL-A truck driving program meets stringent requirements that are recognized in the industry. You benefit by receiving the highest truck driving education available, assuring prospective employers, and improving your chances of being hired.

    • Day classes take one 12-week term.
    • Nights and weekends classes take one 15-week term.


    It takes approximately one term to obtain a CDL-A. A term consists of the following three (3) classes that must be taken in this order: TRDR 1120, TRDR 1220, & TRDR 1392. To begin you will only enroll in TRDR 1120. The costs for 2020-2021 below are broken down by class.

    The approximate total cost (with drug screen and physical) for a CDL-A completed in one term (12 or 15 weeks):

    • NM Resident: $1,245.00
    • Non-Resident: $4,125.00

    Note: All costs are estimates and could change without notice.

    CDL-A Costs:

    Total Costs for TRDR 1120



    TRDR 1120

    New Mexico Resident 


    Tuition - TRDR 1120 (6 credit hours) $336.00 $1,776.00
    CNM Registration Fee (paid once per term) $45.00 $45.00
    CNM Technology Fee $54.00 $54.00
    DOT Physical (required for 1120*) $87.00 $87.00
    Drug Screening (required for 1120*) $54.00 $54.00
    Permit (paid at MVD) $18.00 $18.00
    Work Gloves $5.00 $5.00

    *See information above for Drug Screening & DOT Physical Requirements.

    TRDR 1220

    New Mexico Resident 


    Tuition - TRDR 1220 (6 credit hours) $336.00  $1,776.00
    CNM Technology Fee $54.00 $54.00
    Books (Road Atlas & Log Books) $15.00 $15.00

    Total Costs for TRDR 1220



    TRDR 1392

    New Mexico Resident


    *Tuition - TRDR 1392 (2 credit hours) *$0.00  *$0.00
    CNM Technology Fee $18.00 $18.00
    CDL Examiner $200.00  $200.00
    CDL License $23.00 $23.00

    Total Costs for TRDR 1392



    *There's no tuition for TRDR 1392, if you have completed TRDR 1120 and TRDR 1220 in the same term. If you do not complete all three classes in one term, the tuition for TRDR 1392 will be $56.00 per credit hour for NM residents or $296 per credit hour for non-residents.

    Other Information

    • Truck driving classes are offered every term including summers
    • Students may not test out of or skip any classes.
    • All classes are run in a sequential manner and may not be taken concurrently.
    • Students initially will only be able to register for the first class in the CDL A series (TRDR 1120).
    • Classes are held at the Advanced Technology Center.
    • Practice driving may be held off campus.
    • Some extra endorsements may be available (Tankers, Doubles, Hazardous Materials, Passenger) and each will have additional costs associated with it.