How to Get a Commercial Drivers License in Missouri
You cannot obtain a commercial drivers license online or through mail. Instead, you must apply for a CDL at your local DMV office, where you must take the driving skills test in person. However, depending on your state's guidelines, you may be able to begin the application process by completing an online form. You may also be able to schedule your knowledge and skills tests online. With so many options available even before you step foot in a DMV, the CDL application process can seem intimidating or confusing. Thankfully, with the help of our detailed guide, you will get all the information you need about how to apply for a CDL in your state. Our guide covers everything from the types of commercial licenses available, the level of expertise each skill test requires and how to renew or replace your commercial license in the future.
2. In Person at the DMV
The only way to obtain a commercial drivers license in any state is to pass a written and skills test at your local DMV. You should bring the appropriate application filled out and all the required paperwork, such as proof of identity. A DMV employee will administer the skills test that corresponds with the type of commercial drivers license you applied for and will pass or fail you based on your performance. The application and testing process can easily take a few hours, so most DMVs will not allow walk-ins and require applicants to make an appointment ahead of time in order to take a skills test. Because this process can be very time consuming, it is important to go to the DMV well prepared. Additionally, showing up to your appointment unprepared may result in you failing your written or skills test, which will cost you both time and money to retake.
Drivers must hold their Missouri CDL credentials, first, before operating certain commercial vehicles, both inside and outside of the state. There are three CDL license classes in Montana. Each class refers to a category of vehicle. Depending on the type of cargo you are transporting, you may be required to add an endorsement to your license, as well.
Commercial drivers license fees are based on the class of license chosen, as well as the number of endorsements added. Before a CDL license can be issued, specific written and skills tests must be completed. Each class of license and endorsement requires separate testing. For example, truck driver license examinations differ from those required for a school bus endorsement or a hazmat endorsement.
CDL Requirements in Missouri
All of Missouri’s CDL license requirements must be met before you can operate a commercial vehicle on public roads. The CDL requirements for carrying hazardous materials follow stricter guidelines. You may be disqualified from applying if you are not a lawful resident, have committed certain felonies or are considered a threat to national security. Drivers applying for a hazmat endorsement must complete federal background checks before completing the application process.
CDL requirements state that drivers must hold their valid Missouri driver’s licenses to qualify for a CDL. Applicants must be at least 18 years old to apply for the intrastate license, and at least 21 years old to apply for the interstate license. (Review more on these license types in the designated section below.)
How to Apply for a CDL Permit in Missouri
A CDL permit must be applied for in person, at the MO DMV, and held for at least 14 days before a skills test is scheduled. Drivers with a CDL learner’s permit must be accompanied by a fully-licensed adult when operating the vehicle. To apply for a CDL permit, follow the required steps, which include:
- Passing all applicable vision and written tests. Tests are conducted at Highway Patrol testing centers.
- Submitting proof of citizenship or lawful presence.
- Providing your valid MO driver’s license.
- Completing the MO DMV permit application form. Forms are available at DMV offices.
- Submitting a medical certificate or waiver, if applicable.
- Paying the CDL permit Permits are valid for 180 days.
NOTE: CDL permit rules state that at least two staff members must verify the application. Therefore, not all offices are equipped to complete the transaction. As such, applicants are advised to search online for offices that accept CDP (permit) and CDL (license) applications before arriving.
CDL Written Test in Missouri
An MO CDL written test must be taken for each applicable endorsement. In addition, a CDL general knowledge test is required for all classes of commercial permits. An online CDL test is not available in Missouri. All tests must be taken in person at a Highway Patrol testing center. Applicants must answer 80 percent of the CDL permit test questions correctly to pass. You may need to pass one or more of the following written tests:
- General Knowledge Test: 50 Questions
- Air Brake Test: 25 Questions
- Combination Vehicle Test: 20 Questions
- Hazardous Materials Endorsement Test: 30 Questions
- Double/Triple Trailer Endorsement Test: 20 Questions
- Passenger Endorsement Test: 20 Questions
- Tank Endorsement Test: 20 Questions
- School Bus Test: 20 Questions
Missouri CDL Training Schools & Practice Tests
Drivers may complete a third-party CDL practice test or use the MO CDL handbook to study for the exams. The manual may be used for CDL prep, but should not be used in lieu of a training course. Applicants are not required to attend CDL school or CDL training programs. However, your employer may provide mandatory courses. The law requires that all drivers applying for the hazardous materials or school bus endorsements complete specified training supplied by their employers.
How to Get a CDL License in Missouri
Before you apply for CDL credentials, you must hold a permit for at least 14 days. After which, a skills test must be scheduled. Once you have passed all of the required road tests, visit the DMV, and submit an application. Drivers must present the DMV with:
- A valid CDL permit
- A complete CDL application Forms are available at the DMV, or can be requested from the DMV ahead of time.
- A medical certificate or waiver, if applicable.
- Payment for the CDL.
CDL Driving Test in Missouri
Missouri CDL test appointments must be made ahead of time through the Highway Patrol Troop Headquarters. The MO CDL driving test is broken into three sections. Drivers are asked to perform an inspection test, a basic vehicle control test and a road test. You must complete all three parts of the skills test in the same type of vehicle for which you are applying to be licensed. Similarly, the corresponding written tests must be completed before a CDL skills test can be scheduled. For example, if you are testing for a Passenger endorsement, you must complete the Passenger written test before applying for the driving test.
How to Get a CDL as a Military Member in Missouri
A military CDL skills waiver form may be used to upgrade an existing driver’s license, and skip the required road test. The form may also be used to obtain a CDL for veterans recently discharged from the armed forces. To qualify, drivers must have been employed within 90 days of the application being filed. Furthermore, they must have had at least 60 days of experience operating a commercial vehicle over the previous two years. If eligible, service members must take all applicable knowledge tests prior to applying. After which, they must submit the military CDL skills waiver form to the DMV, along with payment for the CDL.
CDL Medical Exams in Missouri
The state’s new DOT physical requirements must be met by all drivers applying for CDL credentials. Applicants may be required to complete a CDL physical if they self-certify as non-excepted. A CDL medical exam must be performed by a certified DOT medical examiner on all eligible drivers. Once on filed at the DMV, drivers must keep their information up-to-date at all times.
Types of CDL Classes in Missouri
A Class A license, Class B license or Class C license may be used to operate commercial vehicles. The weight and function of the vehicle determines which class it belongs to. Requirements for each type of CDL license are listed below:
- Class A CDL – Vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more; in some cases, a Class A license may be used to operate vehicles in Classes B and C
- Class B CDL – Single vehicles weighing 26,001 or more
- Class C CDL – Single vehicles weighing less than 26,001 pounds, and carrying hazardous materials or at least 16 passengers, including the driver
Types of CDL Endorsements in Missouri
MO CDL endorsements can be added to a CDL license during – or after – the application process. They refer to a specific attribute of the vehicle or a type of cargo that requires additional training or skills. The following endorsements may be added to a CDL in Missouri:
- Hazmat Endorsement
- Passenger Endorsement
- Tanker Endorsement
- School Bus Endorsement
- Combination Tanker and Hazmat Endorsement
Interstate vs. Intrastate Commercial Drivers Licenses in Missouri
An interstate CDL may be used to drive commercial vehicles across state lines, and past certain international borders. On the other hand, the intrastate CDL license can only be used to drive commercial vehicles within the state. Applicants are required to self-certify, whether they will be operating within Missouri or across state lines.
NOTE: An interstate CDL cannot be held by applicants younger than 21 years old.
Commercial Driving License Fees in Missouri
Missouri’s CDL license cost varies, and may include a credit card transaction fee. Your application may be subject to one or more of the following fees:
- CDL permit fee: $7.50
- Three-year CDL license fee: $22.50
- Six-year CDL license fee: $45
- CDL written test fee: $25
- CDL skills test fee: $25
The MO DMV accepts cash, checks, cashier’s checks, money orders, debit cards and credit cards. Restrictions may apply. All personal checks must be made payable to: the Missouri Department of Revenue.