Informational Packet

​​​​​​​​​​​​​CDL Courses Offered

TRAN 544: CDL Entry Level Driver Training Theory Course

This online course meets FMCSA ELDT standards and requirements and is a prerequisite to the Behind the Wheel driving course. This theory course is 100% online and takes a minimum of 15 hours and a maximum of 30​ days to complete. You must complete the online theory course before you can start the Behind the Wheel course.

Cost: $1​​40, Not Refundable

TRAN 545: CDL Behind The Wheel Driving Course

This is a 3 week course where students will be trained ​with automatic​ trucks and master the skills and maneuvers on our concourse as well as road driving for a Class A CDL. DMACC is an authorized Iowa DOT 3rd Party testing provider, so upon successful completion of the course, our students will be tested “in house” and able to obtain their CDL quickly.

Cost: $4,360 Tuition + $400.00 Fuel Fee = Total - $4,760

Behind The Wheel Driving Course Schedule

Daytime classes: 3 weeks to complete, plus testing.
Monday - Thursday 7:30AM - 4:30PM
Friday 7:30AM - 12PM

Night classes: 6 Weeks to complete, plus testing
Monday - Thursday 5P​M - 10PM

To view current schedule of classes, click here​​

Entrance Requirements

**Students must have approved financial assistance or be paying for self (cash, credit card, etc.) in order to get registered**

  1. Must be at least 18 years of age

  2. Must be able to read and speak English language sufficiently

  3. Complete online application for the CDL program here

    • Once submitted, you will receive an email with your personal link to upload documents

  4. Get your CDL Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP) from the Iowa DOT

    • See "Steps to obtain your Iowa Commercial Learner's Permit" below for more instructions

  5. Purchase your Certified Iowa Driving Record from the Iowa DOT

    • Must be certified 5-year MVR (must be dated within 3 weeks of submission)​
    • Go to local DOT station or Iowa DOT website​

  6. Get a DOT approved physical

    • See "Physician Information" below
    • Most grants will pre-pay for this physical. If you are receiving grant funds, be sure to check with them before paying

  7. Using the link you were emailed after completing application, upload all required documents:

    • Drivers license
    • Commercial Learner Permit (both sides)
    • Medical Examiners Certificate
    • Motor Vehicle Record*
      *Disqualifying Factor - 1 major violation in the last year and/or 2 major violations within the last 5 years​

  8. Call the Transportation Institute (515-965-7450) to register and pay for the online CDL ELDT Theory Course

    • If you are grant funded, please contact your grant instead

  9. Once you have successfully completed the online theory course, upload your completion certificate to your personal link

  10. Call the Transportation Institute (515.965.7450) to pay and register for the Behind the Wheel Driving Course.

    • This is a first come, first served registration. Students who have all entrance requirements completed and funding secured will be registered as soon as possible.

  11. Drug test - do not go until instructed

    • You will be required to take a drug test prior to the driving course. DMACC PAYS FOR THE DRUG TEST and will instruct you on that process.

  12. Upload drug test paperwork to your personal link

Financial Assistance Options

The options listed below are available for students to review, if interested. Most students qualify for funding - not always income based. Each grant or funding source will require their own approval process. You must complete their approval process before registering for CDL courses, as payment will be requested at the time of registration. Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) does not apply to non-credit programs such as our CDL program.

    We provide academic, financial and job seeking support to qualified applicants. You must complete our 4​ step intake & orientation process to determine eligibility for tuition assistance. Please call 515-256-4951​ to schedule. Funding approval can take 3-4 weeks. Located at the DMACC Southridge location.


    515-281-9619 or 515-281-5387 or 800-JOBIOWA
    200 Army Post Road, Des Moines, IA 50315
    Several programs are available to help with training. Also help with resume writing, interviewing, basic computer skills, access to computers, printers, fax, lists of job openings, ESL, food assistance, career fairs. 

  3. ​ PROMISE JOBS - 515-281-9747
    Contracted by Department of Human Services to serve only FIP recipients. 

  4. WORKFORCE INVESTMENT ACT (WIOA) – 515-281-9619 ext. 53622​
    Helps with training and tuition assistance.  Please contact before your class starts for assessment.  Approval can take 1-2 months.  Considerations for assistance include income guidelines for those out of work or not working full-time.  Employment and training solutions for adults and dislocated workers.  This is possible assistance for those who have been laid-off or economically disadvantaged.  This does not help those who were fired unless it was proven that you were fired unjustly.

  5. PROTEUS – 515-271-5303 or 800-372-6031
    Scholarship program for individuals who have done farm work (baling hay, detasseling, work with crops/livestock, etc).
    Assistance might include tuition, books, tools, transportation, or money for time in class.​

  6. JOB CORPS – 515-281-9634 or 800-773-JOBS
    Assists persons 16-24. Help for dropouts, foster youth, homeless.  Must meet low income criteria. Ask about Heavy Truck Driving assistance.

    Sergio Mendoza -
    Assisting women and minority males in highway construction or Class A CDL.

  8. DISABILITY SERVICES - Client must have a disability.
    Vocational Rehab - East Central/Polk Co. – 515-281-4211
    DMACC Vocational Rehabilitation – 515-964-6366 

  9. E​X-OFFENDERS - Help for ex-offenders.
    Dept. Of Corrections​ 
    Polk County Fifth Judicial District – 515-242-6600

    Students can borrow from $1000 to $6900 from a private lender during the CDL class. DMACC has a list of lenders that have historically provided loans to students. DMACC does not recommend any particular lender. The link will assist you in finding and comparing private loan options. Please note this is a LOAN and not a GRANT. All money will need to be paid back to the respective lender.

Workforce Training Academy Tuition Assistance Application

**This application is for those interested in financial assistance through WTA (#1 on list above)**

Students can start the tuition assistance process for WTA certificate training programs online!

The Tuition Assistance Process begins with these 4 steps:     Click GET STARTED
Review the steps to qualify:
  1. WTA Application
  2. Upload required documents
  3. CASAS Assessments (Math and Reading)
  4. Attend pre-enrollment class

Having trouble? Call 515-256-4951

Once your application is received, we will process it and reach out to schedule assessments.
Next Steps:
  1. Once you have completed the WTA Q&A Session and the WTA application, you will be contacted by Mollie, our administrative assistant, to schedule the CASAS assessment.
  2. Once you have achieved the minimum scores for CASAS, we will register you for the next step in our process. This is the 16-hour pre-enrollment class, Navigating Your Journey.
WTA Process: Mollie, Administrative Assistant
Office: 515-256-4951​

CDL Specific Questions: Lori, Pathway Navigator
Office: 515-965-7160
NOTE: Once approved and enrolled in a CDL class, your navigator will provide more details of how to successfully complete the required Career Readiness Class before the CDL class begins.​

Steps to obtain your Iowa Commercial Learner's Permit​

You must obtain a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) from the Iowa DOT before starting BTW Driving Class.

  • Pick up a free CDL Learners Manual (study guide from the Iowa DOT).

  • Download the free Iowa DOT app on your phone; search for Iowa CDL on the app store (study guide and practice tests).

  • On the​ website, obtain an appointment to test for your permit at the Iowa DOT. Select "testing" as the service then knowledge test, then Commercial CDL and fill out required form.

For Class A, you must pass three tests 80% or higher (General Knowledge, Air Brakes and Combination tests). For Class B, you must pass two tests (General Knowledge and Airbrakes).

  • No limit on retakes, you can attempt all three of these tests on a daily basis if you can obtain the proper appointment.

  • Once passed, you must present your Birth Certificate or Passport to have the Permit issued. You will receive a paper copy. Keep this copy, do not discard the paper CLP.

DOT Physical Information

A DOT physical is a pre-requisite to attending the Commercial Vehicle Truck Driving Course.
Do not take the drug screen until we send you to take it.

  • DOT physicals must be from a physician on the FMCSA’s register of certified doctors . The current registry listing can be found on the website. You can choose any provider on the registry.​

The following clinics are close to our location and have certified providers on the FMCSA registry. Please note the cost is subject to change.

Mid-Iowa Occupational Testing
1300 37th St., West DSM, IA
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. M-F
Cost: $90.00

Medix Occupational Health
1824 SW White Birch Circle, Ankeny, IA
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. M-F
Cost: $75.00

Hope Chiropractic
Cost: New student only $50, bring this paper

Wellness Clinic
Cost: $50 for DMACC Students


Federal DOT Physical Disqualifications​​

Listed below are the physical conditions that the Department of Transportation considers to be disqualifying an individual from being able to obtain a CDL:

  • Diabetes requiring insulin for control (Insulin-Treated Diabetes Mellitus Assessment Form​ and process required for approval).

  • High Blood Pressure– Readings of 140/90 or higher are considered borderline by the DOT.

  • Respiratory dysfunction that might interfere with safe driving.

  • Cardiovascular disease that may interfere with safe driving.

  • Rheumatic, arthritic or muscular disease that interferes with the ability to operate a vehicle safely.

  • History of epilepsy or seizures requiring the use of medication.

  • Mental, nervous or psychiatric disorders that may affect safe driving.

  • Visual acuity of 20/40 in each eye with 70% horizontal vision.

  • Extensive hearing loss (federal waiver possible).

  • Use of certain drugs that may affect safe driving.

  • Current clinical diagnosis of alcoholism.

  • Impairment or loss of leg, foot, hand or finger that may affect safe driving (federal waiver possible).


Review this website for more details on these regulations:

Drug and Alcohol Testing Program

Persons seeking admission to or attending the College’s Transportation Institute (hereinafter collectively called "students”) shall be subject to drug and alcohol testing in accordance with State and Federal law under the same conditions and extent specified for employees under Board Policy 3014, except that instead of “pre-employment” testing, students shall be subject to “pre-admission” testing.

Students testing positive shall be terminated from training and will not be considered for future enrollment for a period of one year, after which such students will be required to successfully participate in a substance abuse evaluation at their expense, and if recommended, substance abuse treatment and/or training in addition to submitting to “return to admission” testing.

Students that are logged as a test refusal on the pre-admission testing must not be allowed to conduct safety sensitive duties (e.g. driving)until they successfully participate in a substance abuse evaluation at their expense, and if recommended, substance abuse treatment and/or training in addition to submitting to “return to admission” testing.

Applicability of this policy to students shall not confer upon them the rights of College Employees nor shall it oblige the College to treat students as College Employees for disciplinary treatment or any other purposes.

The Coordinator of the Transportation Institute shall be responsible for the implementation of this policy and to provide such information and notice to students as required by State and Federal regulations.

Adopted: February 12, 1996
Update: August 10, 2017

Free ELL Instruction at DMACC

English Language Learners (ELL) instruction is offered at the non-credit level free of charge. The goal of the program is to provide quality ELL instruction to speakers of other languages so that they can succeed in academic, work, or career programs.

Non-credit ELL courses consist of multi-level English instruction for anyone 18 years or older. The courses move learners from a beginner level to a solid intermediate level of proficiency. The classes cover the four skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing as well as improving pronunciation and building vocabulary. The primary goal of the course is to teach communicative competence, that is, the ability to communicate in English according to the situation, purpose, and roles of the participants.

The CASAS (Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System) is used to appraise the students' English reading and listening skills and to place them in the appropriate learning level.

Make a registration appointment at:​

Face-to-face classes are scheduled to be offered at:

  • Urban Campus (1100 7th Street, Des Moines, IA 50314)
  • Southridge Center (1111 E. Army Post Road, Des Moines, IA 50315)
  • Ames Hunziker Center (1420 S. Bell Avenue, Ames, IA 50010)
  • Perry VanKirk Center (1011 2nd Street, Perry, IA 50220)
  • Hope + Elim Church (2500 University Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50311)
  • Oakridge Neighborhood (1401 Center Street, Des Moines, IA 50309)

Availability of class levels and times may vary from location to location. If you have questions about the times and levels of classes available at a particular location, please contact:

John Windheuser
Lori Rice

DMACC Transportation Institute Contact Information​

2081 NE 54th Ave
Des Moines, IA 50313