Commercial licensing is complicated. Applying for a CDL can be easy with our IA guide to your CDL.

Basic Requirements For A Commercial Driver’s Permit/License

  • You must be 18 years or older.
  • Certify that you are in agreement with state motor carrier safety regulations. See Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration or call (804) 355-5371 for more information.
  • Provide a valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate. You can obtain one by having a licensed medical professional fill out the appropriate Medical Examination Report for Commercial Driver Fitness reports. The medical examiner should provide you with a Medical Examiner’s Certificate.
  • Provide proof of full name, date of birth and social security.
  • Pass a vision screening test, knowledge test and a skills test.
  • You will be subjected to an interstate computerized check and Iowa record check for your driving records.

Steps To Apply For A CDL Permit/License

  1. You must meet the requirements for an Iowa driver’s license.
  2. Fill out the CDL application form making sure to check the correct option for interstate or intrastate driving. And hand in in-person to a DOT office.
  3. Pass the vision test, knowledge test and all the examinations for you license and endorsements.
  4. Provide proof of identity and legal presence.
  5. Pay license and endorsement fees.

Instruction Permit

You can use a Commercial Driver’s Instructional Permit as long as you are accompanied by a person who holds all correct endorsements and valid licenses of the vehicle being driven. The permit is valid for 6 months and can be renewed only once in a 2 year period.


A basic Iowa Commercial Driver’s License fees are $16 for 2 years and $40 for 5 years. Endorsements and Restrictions will be charged once, unless the CDL becomes invalid. Please see a list of fees for more information.

CDL Endorsements

The following is a list of endorsements you can get on your CDL:

  • Air brakes (drop L restriction).
  • Passenger (Class P).
  • Hazardous Material (Class H).
  • Doubles/Triples (Class T).
  • Tank (Class T).
  • Tank and HM (Class X).
  • School Bus (Class S).

Federal Guidelines For Interstate Drivers

The following is a list of federal requirements for interstate drivers.


Last updated on Tuesday, February 20 2018.

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