How Do You Obtain a CDL Permit?

To obtain a CDL permit, the applicant must be at least 18 years of age, hold a valid driver's license and pass the knowledge tests for the type vehicle to be driven. The permit is valid for six months.

  1. Pass the knowledge tests

    CDL permit applicants are required to take one or more knowledge tests, depending on the endorsements and class of CDL license needed. The knowledge tests include a general knowledge test that is taken by all drivers.

  2. Prepare for the CDL skills test

    The purpose of a CDL license instruction permit is to prepare for the skills test. You must have a qualified driving instructor who is at least 21 years old with you at all times, and this person must be licensed to operate the specific type of commercial vehicle.

  3. Take the skills test

    You can only take the CDL license skill tests after passing any required knowledge tests. The basic skills that are tested during this stage include pretrip vehicle inspection, on-road driving and basic vehicle control.

  4. Learn the CDL license rules

    It is mandatory that you learn the CDL license rules before acquiring a commercial vehicle permit or license. The rules include, among others, notifying the employer within 30 days of a traffic violation conviction and not having more than one license.

  5. Meet federal medical standards

    The applicant must meet all federal medical standards before a permit and subsequent license is issued.