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CDL & Transportation Classes

Here’s your chance to learn to drive the big rigs and cash in on the nationwide shortage of qualified drivers! Carriers are hiring and wages are very attractive. We are your one-stop shop in northeastern South Dakota for your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) needs. Let us help you earn your CDL and take advantage of this high-demand career opportunity. We also offer endorsements and refresher training. Our professional instructors use the latest equipment and techniques to provide second-to-none CDL and transportation training classes. We offer reasonable rates for Written Test Preparation Classes, Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection Video, ELDT Theory and Course, CDL Exams or Refresher Training, School Bus/Passenger endorsements, etc.

Get Your CDL – Step by Step Instructions

Get Your School Bus and Passenger Endorsement – Step by Step Instructions

Commercial Driver’s License Certification Classes

CDL Written Test Preparation and Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) Theory – Online

These classes will cover general knowledge, air brakes, and combination vehicles. After completion, individuals will be able to visit their local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to take the exam. These classes are also for drivers who are applying for an initial Class A or Class B CDL or drivers upgrading their current CDL from Class B to Class A. These classes can be used to satisfy the theory instruction portion of the new entry-level driver training (ELDT) requirements that went into effect on February 7, 2022. The mandatory classes must be completed with scores of at least 80 percent to satisfy the theory portion of the ELDT requirements.

Class Length: 8 hours (at your own pace)
Registration Fee: $200 per person

CDL Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT)

Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) is a new requirement of the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration (FMCSA) that was mandatory as of February 7, 2022. Anyone wishing to obtain a CDL (Class A, B, Bus, Passenger & Hazardous) is required to take this training.

Date: Ongoing
Time: Dates and times to be determined by CDL instructors’ schedules and participant availability.
Class Length: up to 4 weeks
Registration Fee: $1,375 per person/per week of training

ELDT Fast Track Assessment

Drivers that have experience operating semi-tractor/trailers can schedule a driver assessment with LATC’s CDL instructor.  This is not the same as Behind the Wheel training.  This is a 2-3 hour session where the driver will conduct a vehicle inspection, perform a brake check, demonstrate backing, and drive a route through Watertown and Interstate 29.  If the driver shows proficiency in all these behind-the-wheel competencies, their information will be uploaded to the DMV and they will be able to schedule the driver exam with a 3rd Party Examiner.
Prerequisite: Proof of ELDT theory completion.
Assessment fee:  $750

CDL & Endorsements Flow Chart

Cdl Flow Chart 4 23
Click on flow chart to enlarge


PLEASE NOTE: In order to obtain your Passenger, School Bus, or Hazardous Materials Endorsement you must have one of the following:

  •    Current Class A or Class B Commercial Driver’s License (or Commercial Learner’s Permit).
  •    Take and pass the Class A or Class B Theory AND take and pass the Class A or Class B written test at the DMV (to obtain your Commercial Learner’s Permit).

School Bus and Passenger Theory

Lake Area Tech’s online self-paced School Bus/Passenger Theory course is available for those looking to obtain their School Bus and Passenger endorsements. Recent changes by the U. S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration require school bus drivers to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) with a passenger endorsement and a school bus endorsement if they drive a school bus designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.  
Registration Fee: $200

Hazmat Driver ELDT Theory

The Hazardous Materials Regulations require every hazmat employer to train, test, and certify every hazmat employee. The online, self-paced course offered through the link below can be used to help satisfy the theory instruction portion of the new entry-level driver training (ELDT) hazmat endorsement requirements that went into effect on February 7, 2022. The course must be completed with a score of at least 80 percent to help satisfy the theory portion of the ELDT requirements. In addition, drivers who transport hazmat are also required to take modal-specific training.

Training Fee: $200

CDL Third Party Exam or Refresher Training

CDL Third Party Exam

Third Party Exam testers are available through LATC. Successfully passing this vehicle inspection and driving test will earn you your CDL. This testing is offered year-round. You must currently possess your instructional permit and have a current South Dakota Driver’s License. LATC truck rental is $300/hr.*
*Prices subject to change.

Registration Fee: $90 per exam or retake, per person

CDL Refresher Training – By Request

If you have previous driving experience, we offer a one-on-one refresher training class with an experienced truck driver instructor. This training would be excellent for an individual who has obtained their CDL Instructional Permit and needs some time behind the wheel in preparation for the CDL Skills (driving) Exam.

Please contact the Corporate Ed office at 605-882-5284 ext. 320 to register
Registration Fee: $300 per hour

NOTE: Lake Area Technical College reserves the right to reschedule classes based on inclement weather or equipment failure.

Before You Sign Up You Must Have:

  • A valid South Dakota driver’s license
  • A current Department of Transportation physical card
  • Clean drug screening
  • Participants are responsible for studying the applicable CDL laws in other states.

Who cannot get a South Dakota Commercial Driver’s License?

  • Persons under the age of 18. Drivers are not permitted to cross state lines until age 21. 
  • Persons who have a license under suspension, revocation, cancellation, or disqualification.
  • Persons who are not a resident or domiciled in South Dakota.
  • Persons who have accumulated child support arrearages of $1,000 or more (may be eligible for a six-month temporary).

CDL Manual:

  • SD Class A CDL Permit – Sections to study for Class A course: General Knowledge, Air Brakes, and Combination Vehicle
  • SD Class B CDL Permit – Sections to study for Class B course: General Knowledge and Air Brakes

Lake Area Tech CDL Bridge Program

Lake Area Tech’s bridge program provides one of the first steps in a career pathway for low-skill adults by connecting adult education programs to postsecondary technical education.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse

Drivers are required to register for the FMCSA’s Clearinghouse upon receiving their CLP (Commercial Learner’s Permit).  You can do so here: https://clearinghouse.fmcsa.dot.gov/

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Rules and Regulations Resources

Drivers can find a wide range of information regarding rules and regulations here: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/ .


Lake Area Tech Corporate Education

Terri Cordrey, Director of Corporate Education 
Shane Swenson, Director of Outreach
605-882-5284 ext. 320