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Truck Driving

Learn how to operate a tractor-trailer or Class B truck safely and efficiently through classroom, range, and over-the-road environments and through full-time and part-time course work.

Parked CNM student truck-driver truck.

CNM’s Commercial Drivers’ License Offerings 

CNM offers CDL programs through CNM's School of Applied Technologies (AT) and through CNM Ingenuity. Each program's offerings vary in price, frequency, credit, accreditation and prerequisites. 

The AT offering, which counts for college credit, is a 12-15 week (days and weekend) program. It occurs on a set schedule, is offered once a semester, requires prerequisites and is not customizable, but offers accreditation from the Professional Truck Driving Institute (PTDI). The application is through CNM.

The CNM Ingenuity offering, which does not count for college credit, is a 4-5 week program. Its costs can be more restrictive (a set fee for both NM residents and non-residents), but it's offered monthly and is customizable. The application is through ABQCDL.org.

The information that follows on this page is all related to the Applied Technologies program.

Program Descriptions

This program offers basic instruction required to become a professional truck driver, with either a Class A or Class B Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

The Class A program is certified by the Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI). After successfully completing the Class A program, you will receive a CNM Truck Driving certificate and a PTDI certificate. As a Class B student, you will receive a CNM Certificate of Achievement.

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

CDL Program Requirements

You must meet the following for our CDL programs.

Minimum Requirements for Class A or Class B Programs

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • 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

Read the Required Documents for all Commercial Licenses and Permits in Chapter 6, Section C (CDL).

More information about CDL in the State of New Mexico.

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

Provide the Following Paperwork

  • A valid New Mexico driver’s license
  • Two (2) proofs of residence
  • Medical card
  • Original social security card
  • 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 (dated for the term)

CDL-A classes: required paperwork is due by the 2nd week for day sessions or by the 5th week for night or blended sessions.

CDL-B classes: required paperwork is due by the 2nd week.

Note: You are subject to all Federal Motor Carriers Safety Regulations drug and alcohol testing rules. When you begin class, you will get a medical authorization form and more information on where to go for physicals and drug screening.

How long does it take?

The length of your program depends on the CDL type you choose and how much time you can commit.

CDL-A

Time to Completion

Full Time Day classes

One term (12 weeks)

Part Time Nights/Weekends

One term (15 weeks)

Part Time Distance Learning and Weekends

One term (15 weeks)

 

CDL-B

Time to Completion

Full Time Day classes

One term (6 weeks)

Part Time Weekend classes

One Term (8 weeks)

Why do CNM’s programs take longer than other programs?

Our CDL-A truck driving program is accredited by the Professional Truck Driving Institute (PTDI), which 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.

How much does it cost?

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 2018-2019 below are broken down by class. Note: All costs are estimates and could change without notice.

CDL-A Costs:

Total Costs for TRDR 1120

$728.00

$2204.00

TRDR 1120

New Mexico Resident 

Non-Resident

Tuition - TRDR 1120 (6 credit hours) $282.00 $1,758.00
CNM Registration Fee (paid once per term) $45.00 $45.00
CNM Technology Fee $54.00 $54.00
DOT Physical (required for 1120*) $65.00 $65.00
Drug Screening (required for 1120*) $65.00 $65.00
Books (paid at bookstore) $207.00 $207.00
Permit (paid at MVD) $10.00 $10.00

*Must be completed within 2 weeks of term start.

TRDR 1220

New Mexico Resident 

Non-Resident 

Tuition - TRDR 1220 (6 credit hours) $282.00  $1758.00
CNM Technology Fee $54.00 $54.00

Total Costs for TRDR 1220

$336.00

 $1812.00

TRDR 1392

New Mexico Resident

Non-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 $18.00 $18.00

Total Costs for TRDR 1392

$236.00

$236.00

*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 $47.00 per credit hour for NM residents or $293 per credit hour for non-residents.

Total cost for a CDL-A completed in one term:

NM Resident: $1300.00

Non-Resident: $4252.00

CDL-B Costs:

TRDR 1420

New Mexico Resident

Non-Resident

Tuition - TRDR 1420 (9 credit hours)

$423.00

$2637.00

Registration Fee 

$45.00

$45.00

Technology Fee

$81.00

$81.00

DOT Physical (*required for 1420)

$65.00

$65.00

DOT Drug Screening (*required for 1420) $65.00 $65.00
Books (paid at bookstore) $207.00 $207.00
Permit $10.00 $10.00
CDL Examiner (*required for 1420) $200.00 $200.00
CDL License $18.00 $18.00

Total Costs for CDL-B

$1,114.00

$3328.00

*Must be completed within 2 weeks of term start.

Why are CNM truck driving programs not eligible for financial aid?

Programs must be at least 16 credit hours to be eligible for financial aid; CDL-A is 14 hours and CDL-B is 9 hours.

CDL-B may be financial aid eligible if students take the class as part of the transportation technology degree.

Drivers License Types

CDL

Description

Offered at CNM?

A

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.

Yes

B

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.

Yes

C

 

No

D

Regular driver’s license

No

Passenger Bus

Allows operator to drive a vehicle such as a city or public school bus

No, but students may practice

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.