An Idaho CDL is issued by the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) to adult drivers who meet the state’s eligibility criteria and pass the state exams. As opposed to a regular driver’s license, possessing a CDL allows drivers to drive large trucks and trailers for commercial purposes, both in Idaho and between Idaho and other states. Drivers can apply for the commercial license by first requesting a permit and then using that permit to learn the ins and outs of safely operating the class of vehicle the driver plans on using once licensed.

There are several commercial drivers license education programs and schools available at locations across Idaho to help drivers prepare to apply for their permits and licenses. Drivers applying for a truck driver license can visit ITD agencies around Idaho in person to complete the necessary written knowledge exam, and eventually, the skills-based driving exams. Drivers can apply for their commercial licenses with permission to drive different classes of vehicles with various endorsements. All applications must be accompanied by the necessary application fee in order to be processed. Read on to learn more about commercial licenses in Idaho.

CDL Requirements in Idaho

CDL license requirements in Idaho state that all applicants must be at least 18 years of age and hold a non-commercial (Class D) license in order to be eligible to apply. In addition, CDL requirements for driver eligibility include being able to provide proof of legal presence in the U.S. with the appropriate federally-accepted paperwork. Drivers should have at least one year of licensed driving experience before they submit an application for a commercial license.

How to Apply for a CDL Permit in Idaho

ID drivers must first apply for the CDL permit, or CDP, before they can be found eligible to receive a full license, like in many states across the country. The CDL permit rules allow drivers to practice operating vehicles in their intended class of operation, under the direct supervision of an already-licensed driver in anticipation of their skills-based driving tests. In order to receive a CDL learners permit, ID drivers must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Provide proof of your driving record in the U.S. from the last 10 years
  • Pass the written knowledge exam
  • Provide proof of legal presence in the U.S.
  • Provide proof of having another valid license for at least one year prior to the date of application

CDL Written Test in Idaho

Which CDL written test an Idaho driver is required to take depends on the type of vehicle he or she will be driving with the commercial license, and what materials he or she will be transporting. The basic CDL general knowledge test must be taken by all other applicants, but the other tests are optional, depending on the situation of the driver. No online CDL test options exist for drivers in Idaho. Beyond the general knowledge test, other tests commercial drivers may be required to complete in Idaho include the:

  • Air Brakes Test: Necessary if your vehicle has air brakes, including air over hydraulic brakes.
  • Combination Vehicles Test: Required to drive combination vehicles.
  • Hazardous Materials Test: Required to haul hazardous materials. A Transportation Security Administration (TSA) background check must also be completed.
  • Tank Vehicle Test: Required to haul any liquid or gaseous materials in a tank – or tanks – having an individually rated capacity of more than 119 gallons, and an aggregate rated capacity of 1,000 gallons.
  • Doubles/Triples Test: Required to pull double or triple trailers.
  • Passenger Test: Required by all bus driver applicants.
  • School Bus Test: Required (along with a passenger endorsement) if you want to drive a school bus.

Idaho CDL Training Schools & Practice Tests

CDL school is not required by drivers before they can apply for a permit or license, though it is highly recommended. Several providers offer CDL prep courses to drivers of all experience levels seeking some extra help before taking the state’s knowledge or skills exams. These courses are particularly useful for providing hands-on skills training with qualified instructors to drivers with permits.

Beyond these programs, the ITD has published a comprehensive study guide that covers all of the topics that are on the basic knowledge exam and most of the material for the specific exams. This guide can be purchased at ITD locations, or downloaded online for free.

How to Get a CDL License in Idaho

How to get a CDL in Idaho does not vary from county to county, or between driver classes. All drivers who would like to apply for CDL credentials of any class, and with any type of endorsements must submit an application in person, to an ITD licensing office, along with the following documents:

  • A current driver’s license
  • A Social Security card
  • Proof of Idaho residency
  • The designated application fees
  • A CDP (at least two weeks old)

When submitting the CDL application, the driver will be asked to self-certify whether he or she will be participating in intrastate or interstate commerce, and whether a DOT medical card is required. The applicant’s driving history will then be checked, and he or she will be asked to sit for the vision and knowledge exams. The driver can schedule a skills test with a CDL Skills Examiner once all other steps are complete.

CDL Driving Test in Idaho

Idaho drivers can schedule a CDL test at the County DMV by signing up with an accredited examiner from the list of examiners offered by the ITD. The CDL driving test is the last step in the process of applying for a commercial license, and is meant to test the driver’s ability to complete pre-trip inspections, backing maneuvers, skills on public roads in stressful conditions and more. The ID test consists of three main parts:

  1. The vehicle inspection
  2. The basic control skills test
  3. The road test

Additional CDL tests are required for drivers requesting endorsements or permission to drive certain classes of vehicles. Drivers must pass all three parts of the driving test during the same session in order to pass the exam.

How to Get a CDL as a Military Member in Idaho

Drivers who hold a military CDL because they are serving active duty in the armed forces with experience in transport are exempt from having to apply for a civilian commercial license. This rule also applies to non-military civilians who are subject to the Code of Military Justice.

CDL Medical Exams in Idaho

In Idaho, a CDL physical must be completed by the majority of commercial drivers before they can qualify for the commercial license. Driver who must meet the CDL medical exam requirement must see a doctor on the National Registry of Medical Examiners within 24 months prior to submitting the license application to complete a Medical Examiner’s Certificate. Drivers who pass the exam will receive an MCSA 5875 packet with detailed information recorded from the exam, and have a one-page summary of the report sent directly to the DMV for placement in the their on-file records.

Types of CDL Classes in Idaho

There are different classes of CDL licenses in Idaho. The Class A license allows drivers in Idaho to operate combination vehicles of 26,001 or more pounds, and permits the holder to also operate vehicles in the other classes.

The Class B CDL is intended for the drivers operating heavy straight vehicles, and permits the holder to also operate vehicles in the other classes. The Class C license is intended for smaller vehicles carrying 16 or more passengers or hazardous materials.

Types of CDL Endorsements in Idaho

There are six different types of CDL endorsements for which commercial drivers in Idaho can apply, giving them permission to transport a variety of specific materials or a sizable number of people. The passenger endorsement, for example, allows the driver to carry passengers in his or her vehicles. The six endorsements available in Idaho are the following:

  1. Double/Triple Endorsement (T)
  2. Hazmat Endorsement (H)
  3. Passenger Endorsement (P)
  4. School Bus Endorsement (S)
  5. Tanker Endorsement (N)
  6. Tank Vehicles/Hazardous Materials (X)

Interstate vs. Intrastate Commercial Drivers Licenses in Idaho

Drivers are required to request an interstate or an intrastate CDL, depending on what they plan on using their licenses for, and where they plan on driving. An interstate CDL is required by all drivers who will drive across state borders, or within Idaho, but with cargo or passengers that originated outside of the state. All other drivers can apply for the intrastate license. Drivers must declare their status when applying or online through the Commercial Driver’s License Self-Certification of Driving Category web portal.

Commercial Driving License Fees in Idaho

The total CDL license cost for drivers in Idaho includes the cost of the permit, license, endorsements and more. Drivers applying for a commercial license may be required to pay any of the following fees:

  • CDL permit cost: $29
  • CDL – one-year (age 20): $15
  • CDL – three year (age 18 to 21): $30
  • CDL – four year (age 21 and older): $40
  • Seasonal CDL (180 days): $39
  • Duplicate CDL or permit: $15
  • License upgrade: $25
  • Added endorsement (after issuance of a CDL): $15
  • Written tests (each): $3
  • Skills test, County CDL license: $10
  • CDL examiner fee: Varies, can be up to $190, per Idaho Legislature
Last updated on Thursday, March 5 2020.