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

Basic Requirements For A Commercial Driver’s Permit/License

Steps To Apply For A CDL Permit/License

  1. You must meet the requirements for a standard Washington state driver’s license.
  2. Fill out the CDL application form and hand in in-person to a DOL office. For more information see Instruction Permit section below.
  3. Pay a $10.00 fee for your permit.
  4. Pass the CDL knowledge exams. See the CDL Manual for the required information. The exam can be taken at any DOL location and there is a $10.00 re-examination fee if have to retake the test in order to pass
  5. Pass the 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 the road test at your local DOL office.
  8. Pay license and endorsement fees.

Instruction Permit

In order to be eligible for a Washington CDL, you must first obtain a CDL instruction permit. First, you must fill out the CDL application form. Then show proof of legal presence and US residency. Next, pay the $10.00 permit fee. Lastly, pass the CDL general knowledge exam and vision screening test. Also, you must have your instruction permit for 30 days before obtaining a CDL. Washington Instruction Permits expire in 6 months and can be renewed only once.


A Washington Commercial Driver’s License will be valid for 8 years. The cost is $50.00 for a standard CDL license. However, there are separate charges for various tests and procedures to be completed. 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).

Federal Guidelines For Interstate Drivers

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


Last updated on Friday, January 18 2019.

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