You need a CDL in North Dakota before you are allowed to drive a commercial vehicle. The process of getting a CDL license in North Dakota requires more steps than the process for getting a regular license, because it gives you additional responsibilities. Depending on the endorsements you obtain, you may find yourself driving with more than 16 passengers, or driving with hazardous materials.

Because of these variances in commercial drivers license responsibility, North Dakota requires you to take a written and skills test ensuring you understand how to drive safely. You are only allowed to get this license if you already have a standard ND drivers license in your possession.

CDL Requirements in North Dakota

CDL license requirements in North Dakota state that you must be at least 18 years of age to drive commercially within the state. If you plan to drive into other states, you need to be at least 21 years of age. Motorists who are 16 or 17 years of age may be exempted from these age requirements if they are driving on behalf of a farm.

CDL requirements also state that you need to pass both a written test and a skills test in order to get your license. There are certain medical disorders that can prohibit you from getting a CDL, including hearing or vision disabilities, as well as heart problems or seizure-inducing conditions.

How to Apply for a CDL Permit in North Dakota

The CDL permit in North Dakota allows motorists to practice driving a commercial vehicle before getting their licenses. This is important, as it allows drivers to learn the skills they need to obtain to pass their road tests. To fulfill CDL learners permit requirements, you need to bring documentation that proves:

  • Your identity, which is often proved with a birth certificate, but can also be proved using a passport, Permanent Resident Card, Temporary Resident Card, Certificate of Citizenship or Certificate of Naturalization.
  • Your Social Security Number (SSN), which is most often proved with a Social Security card, but can also be confirmed with a W-2, 1099 or paystub, so long as these documents state your name and SSN.
  • Your residency, but keep in mind that one proof of residency needs to be connected to your home, such as a mortgage or utility bill, while the other can be an official paper that states your address, such as a drivers license or school transcript. You may also choose to bring two documents connected to your address.

The process of getting CDL permit credentials in North Dakota also requires you to pass a written test. The CDL learners permit is issued at DMV offices throughout the state.

Once issued, CDL permit rules state that you can only drive when accompanied by a licensed commercial driver. Your supervisor must be licensed to drive the same class of vehicle that you drive during practice.

CDL Written Test in North Dakota

To take the CDL written test in North Dakota, you need to go in person to a DMV office. No appointment is required, but if you are just taking the CDL general knowledge test, you should arrive at least one hour before the office is set to close. If you are getting one or more endorsements, you will need to take additional knowledge tests. You should arrive earlier to compensate for the amount of time it takes to complete these tests.

CDL permit test questions will only cover material that can be found in the Commercial Drivers License Manual. This includes topics such as:

  • Basic driving maneuvers.
  • How to transport cargo and passengers safely.
  • The consequences of operating a commercial vehicle under the influence.

At this time, an online CDL test is not offered by the North Dakota DMV.

North Dakota CDL Training Schools & Practice Tests

You can find a CDL practice test at the back of most of the ND CDL book offerings. Studying this manual is the most important form of CDL prep in North Dakota, since the questions in the handbook are the same questions that are drawn from when choosing what to include in your knowledge test.

You do not need to go to a CDL school in order to get your license. However, this can be a useful form of CDL training, because it allows you to get hands-on experience, while also having the opportunity to ask an instructor any questions you might be contemplating regarding commercial driving.

How to Get a CDL License in North Dakota

How to apply for CDL credentials begins with the required documentation, which is provided in the permit section, and is also required when you apply for your full commercial license.

The North Dakota CDL application is not available online, which means you will have to fill it out in-person. You can get your CDL at any DMV location in the state.

CDL Driving Test in North Dakota

The CDL test in North Dakota is designed to showcase your ability to perform basic driving maneuvers, operate commercial vehicles responsibly and respond to varying road conditions. As such, the CDL driving test will require you to:

  • Perform basic driving maneuvers such as turning, curving and braking.
  • Drive on highways, bridges and/or overpasses.
  • Practice safe driving habits, such as using turn signals and checking your mirrors.

If the route you take does not require you to test some of your skills, the test administrator will ask you to verbally explain how you would handle yourself in a situation requiring such skills.

You can schedule your road test online, or by calling: 855-633-6835.

How to Get a CDL as a Military Member in North Dakota

The military CDL in North Dakota allows certain active service members and veterans to waive their CDL skills tests. To get this waiver, one of the following statements must be true:

  • You drove a vehicle in the military that is similar to what you intend to drive as a civilian, no more than two years prior to your application
  • You drove commercially for the military no more than a year ago
  • You were not required to get a commercial drivers license when you drove for the military

If you drove commercially for the military no more than one year ago, your commanding officer will need to sign his or her name to that effect.

Note: The CDL for veterans in North Dakota is available up to two years after you have been discharged from the military.

CDL Medical Exams in North Dakota

Commercial drivers must submit to a CDL physical in North Dakota before they will be able to operate their vehicles. The CDL medical exam ensures that you do not have any medical conditions that could disqualify you from driving commercially, such as poor vision or a heart condition. You will be required to get this exam every two years – once you have received your CDL.

New DOT physical requirements mean that some motorists are required to send their medical certificates to the DMV before they take their tests. Or, in the case of motorists who have already received their CDLs, they will need to send the medical certificate in when they apply for renewal.

Note that you can mail, email or fax this certificate.

Types of CDL Classes in North Dakota

Commercial licenses are categorized into three different classes: the Class A license, Class B license and Class C license. The three CDL license types are further defined as:

  • The Class A CDL allows drivers to operate combination vehicles that are at least 26,001 pounds. Motorists with this license can tow a vehicle, or vehicles, weighing more than 10,000 pounds.
  • The Class B CDL allows drivers to operate single vehicles that are at least 26,001 pounds. Motorists with this license can tow a vehicle weighing no more than 10,000 pounds.
  • The Class C CDL allows drivers to operate vehicles that are less than 26,001 pounds.

Types of CDL Endorsements in North Dakota

North Dakota CDL endorsements grant extra driving privileges to commercial motorists. These endorsements are:

  • The hazmat endorsement, also known as the “H” endorsement, which allows you to drive with hazardous materials.
  • The tanker endorsement, also known as the “N” endorsement, which allows you to drive with liquid and/or gas tanks.
  • The passenger endorsement, also known as the “P” endorsement, which allows you to drive with 16 or more people in a vehicle.
  • The school bus endorsement, also known as the “S” endorsement, which allows you to drive a school bus carrying 16 or more people.
  • The doubles/triples endorsement, also known as the “T” endorsement, which allows you to drive combination vehicles.

Interstate vs. Intrastate Commercial Drivers Licenses in North Dakota

The North Dakota DMV offers two different licenses, and which one you choose will depend on whether or not you will be required to cross state borders.

The North Dakota intrastate CDL allows you to drive commercially within the state. The North Dakota interstate CDL, on the other hand, allows you to drive across state lines. The interstate license grants you all the privileges afforded by the intrastate license, so if you will be driving both within and outside of the state, you will need to get the interstate license.

Commercial Driving License Fees in North Dakota

CDL license cost in North Dakota is the same for all applicants, though failing a test or getting an endorsement will increase the price. The cost figures are as follows:

  • The CDL permit cost in North Dakota is $15
  • The knowledge and skills test each cost $5; you will need to pay this fee each time you take the test.
  • You will need to pay $3 for every endorsement you wish to obtain
Last updated on Thursday, March 5 2020.