To drive a tow truck in Illinois, you are required to have a commercial driver's license (CDL) issued by the Illinois secretary of state.
To obtain a CDL for tow trucks, candidates need either a Type A CDL or a Type B license. Type A is for combination vehicles weighing in excess of 26,001 lbs. towing in excess of 10,000 lbs. A Type B license is for combination vehicles towing less than 10,000 lbs., which would be most consumer cars and trucks.
In order to receive a CDL, candidates must complete both a written and driving exam. The written exam covers such things as weight, balance, inspection and other knowledge required to safely operate the vehicle. Failure to pass the test in three attempts means candidates must wait another 30 days before retaking the exam. Three more failures, and the wait triples to 90 days.
The driving exam tests the candidate's skills in safely operating the vehicle. Basic control of the vehicle is tested, including starting, stopping, breaking and maintaing speed. Other skills such as turning, backing up and brake and lane usage are also tested.
The CDL fee is $60 and basic driver's license is $10. The commercial driver's permit is $50, while the cost of the CDL itself is $24. There is also a $6 fee the cost of registering the driver in a national database.
Greg Blankenship is a Springfield, Ill.-based writer who has been covering public policy and politics professionally since 2002. He has written for "The American Spectator," "The Springfield State Journal-Register," "The Champaign News-Gazette" and "The Suburban Daily Herald." His focus has been on health care, public finance and economic issues. Blankenship holds a Master of Arts in international studies from Loyola University of Chicago.