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

Basic Requirements For A Commercial Driver’s Permit/License

Steps To Apply For A CDL Permit/License

  1. You must have a Pennsylvania Driver’s License.
  2. Fill out the Commercial Learner’s Permit form and hand in in-person to a Driver License Center. For more information see Instruction Permit section below.
  3. Pay the required fee for your permit.
  4. If the privileges requested for require a Knowledge Test and Road Test you will be issued a Knowledge Test Authorization after which you will have to clear the Knowledge Test.
  5. Pass vision screening test.
  6. Attend and then provide proof that you have taken a Commercial driver’s education program specifically for commercial motor vehicles.
  7. Take road test at your local Driver License Center.
  8. Pay license and endorsement fees.

Instruction Permit

In order to be eligible for a Pennsylvania CDL, you must first obtain a CDL instruction permit. First, you must fill out the Commercial Learner’s Permit Form. 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. The combined time span of a Knowledge Test Authorization and CDL Permit is one year. For example, if you take two months to clear the knowledge test, the permit will be valid for 8 months.


A Pennsylvania Commercial Driver’s License will be valid for 4 years. The cost is $89.50 for a standard CDL license. The fee for senior drivers is $45 and the license is valid for two years. Please see a list of fees for more information.

CDL Endorsements

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).
  • Combination of Hazardous Material and Tank Vehicle (Class X).

Federal Guidelines For Interstate Drivers

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


Last updated on Thursday, March 8 2018.

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