BASIC REQUIREMENTS FOR A COMMERCIAL DRIVER'S PERMIT/LICENSE
STEPS TO APPLY FOR A CDL PERMIT/LICENSE
- You must be at least 21 years old to drive a commercial vehicle across state lines (interstate commerce) or hazardous materials or wastes (intrastate or interstate commerce). You may drive for hire within California if you are 18 years of age or older and do not engage in interstate commerce activities.
- Fill out the CDL application form (DL44C) and hand in in-person to a DMV office. For more information see Instruction Permit section below.
- Complete a 10 year History record check form (DL 939).
- Pay the required fee for your permit.
- Pass the traffic laws and signs tests. See the CDL Manual for the required information.
- Pass vision screening test.
- Taking a Commercial driver's education program specifically for commercial motor vehicles is required by California Law only if you are a public transit bus driver.
- Submit to DMV CDL office a Certificate of Driving Skill (DL 170) if your employer is authorized by DMV to issue such certificates. Both you and your employer sign this form.
- Pay license and endorsement fees.
In order to be eligible for a California CDL, you must first obtain a CDL instruction permit. First, you must fill out the CDL application form (DL44). Then show proof of legal presence
and US residency. Next, pay the required permit fee
. Lastly, pass the CDL general knowledge exam and vision screening test
A Commercial Driver's License will be valid for 5 years. The cost is $71.00 for a standard CDL license. Please see a list of fees
for more information.
The following is a list of endorsements you can get on your CDL:
- Hazardous Material (Class H).
- Tank Vehicles (Class N).
- Passenger-Carrying Vehicle (Class P).
- School Bus (Class S).
- Towing a Double or Triple Trailer (Class T).
FEDERAL GUIDELINES FOR INTERSTATE DRIVERS
The following is a list of federal requirements for interstate drivers.