Q: Are there any additional eligibility considerations?
A: In addition to the City Academy eligibility requirements listed above, CDL/hoisting candidates will need to pass:
- a physical exam
- a reading comprehension test, and
- (for some City positions) a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) review.
Q: Can current City employees take part in the City Academy CDL training?
A: No. City Academy is intended to be an entry point to start a career with the City of Boston. Individuals who are already employed by the City are not eligible to participate.
Q: If I don't have a driver's license, can I get one before the program starts?
A: The RMV requires that individuals must be over 18 years old and have a driver’s license to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). For the purpose of City Academy, we prefer applicants with some prior driving experience. This will increase the likelihood of successfully completing the training and passing the CDL written exam and road test.
If you are in the process of getting a driver’s license and want to apply for the program, please reach out to City Academy staff at CityAcademy@boston.gov for more information.
Q: What is considered a "good" driving record for the purposes of the program?
A: Within the past year, you must not have been convicted of any of the following offenses:
- Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Operating a commercial motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or greater
- Leaving the scene of an accident involving a motor vehicle driven by oneself
- Refusing to submit to a chemical test or analysis of breath or blood after operating a motor vehicle
- Using a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony
Also, you will be unable to obtain a CDL (and thus, ineligible for the program) if any of the following apply to you:
- You have been convicted of two or more of any of the violations specified above
- You have refused to submit to a chemical test or analysis of breath or blood after operating a motor vehicle two or more times
- You have any combination of the offenses above, arising from two or more separate events.
Q: What is the grade level competency necessary to participate in the program?
A: Applicants will need to demonstrate reading comprehension at an 8th grade level on the TABE (Test of Adult Basic Education) reading test. You can review information and practice test questions on the TABE testing tool found online here. This is just one of many online resources you are welcome to use.
Additionally, those with non-U.S. high school diplomas are also eligible.
Q: Is a high school senior who will be graduating in June eligible for the program?
A: Yes. As long as a high school senior is on track to graduate, they are eligible to apply for the program. In this situation, applicants should bring a signed letter from their high school guidance counselor that states that they are on track to graduate in June.
Additionally, 17 year olds who will be 18 by June 1, 2023, may also enroll.
Q: Are non-US citizens eligible for the program?
A: Green card holders are the only category of non-citizen eligible to participate in the program. To participate in the City Academy CDL training, you must provide proof of U.S. Citizenship OR proof of Lawful Permanent Residency within the United States, as this is a federal requirement to obtain a CDL. The following documents may be presented as proof of status:
- Valid, unexpired U.S. passport
- Certified copy of a birth certificate filed with a State Office of Vital Statistics or equivalent agency in the individual's state of birth, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) issued by the U.S. Department of State
- Certificate of Naturalization issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
- Certificate of Citizenship issued by DHS
- Valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or the former Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)
Q: Does the drug test include marijuana?
A: Yes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is the national regulator for drug testing for CDL drivers. FMCSA includes cannabinoids (marijuana) on its list of controlled substances, for which random drug testing is conducted. A positive test will result in loss of your CDL. If you test positive for marijuana in pre-training drug screening, you will be disqualified from moving forward in the program. This is true for other controlled substances, for example, but not limited to:
- morphine, and
- anabolic steroids.
Q: What is the physical exam and why is it required?
A: To qualify for a Commercial Driver's License (CDL), you must pass a Department of Transportation (DOT) medical examination performed in accordance with CFR 49 §391.41 and CFR 49 §391.43. DOT medical examinations are conducted by a licensed medical examiner, as defined in CFR 49 §390.5.
If you make it to this phase of the screening process, City Academy will arrange an appointment with a DOT-licensed medical examiner for you, at no cost to you.
Q: What is the application process?
A: The process consists of six steps:
1. Fill out an application.
2. Bring the following documentation to a one-on-one screening interview. This will be scheduled by City Academy staff if you are determined to meet eligibility requirements for the program:
- A current and valid MA driver’s license
- Proof of Boston Residency
- Documentation to complete an I-9 form
- Proof of income
- Educational transcripts
- A current resume (if you have one)
3. Take reading comprehension testing.
4. Take drug testing.
5. Take Department of Transportation (DOT) physical examination conducted by a licensed medical examiner listed on the FMCSA National Registry
6. Begin training if selected for the program