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United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Commercial Driver's License Program

Overview

Driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) requires a higher level of knowledge, experience, skills, and physical abilities than that required to drive a non-commercial vehicle. In order to obtain a Commercial Driver's License (CDL), an applicant must pass both skills and knowledge testing geared to these higher standards. Additionally CDL holders are held to a higher standard when operating any type of motor vehicle on public roads. Serious traffic violations committed by a CDL holder can affect their ability to maintain their CDL certification.

Licensing

Driving a commercial motor vehicle is a big responsibility. It requires special skills and knowledge. Most drivers must obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL) through their home State (it is illegal to have a license from more than one State). In addition, special endorsements may be required if you or your company drivers will be driving any of the following vehicles:

  • a truck with double or triple trailers
  • a truck with a tank
  • a truck carrying hazardous materials
  • a passenger vehicle

Contact your State licensing bureau (e.g., Department of Motor Vehicles) for details.

Highlights

What's New?


Any summary, description, or paraphrase of a regulatory requirement on this site is intended to provide general guidance only.  Please consult the text of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for a full account of the applicable requirements.

Reminder

Truck

FMCSA does not issue Commercial Driver's Licenses (CDLs). State governments are responsible for issuing CDLs.

Last updated: Wednesday, December 18, 2019