For current or potential commercial drivers in California, there are quite a few questions you may have about trucking in the Golden State. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about CDLs in California.
You must be at least 18 years old to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License and operate a commercial vehicle within Vermont (Intrastate commerce). You must be at least 21 years old to operate a commercial motor vehicle between Vermont and another state (interstate commerce).
What's the minimum age requirement for a commercial driver's license (CDL)?
To be eligible for application, you must be at least 18 years old. However, in order to drive certain types of vehicles requiring endorsements (such as HAZMAT, for example), OR to drive a commercial motor vehicle between states (as opposed to within California exclusively), you must be at least 21 years old.
What are the different classes of CDLs?
There are 3 different CDL classifications that distinguish the type of vehicle you are allowed to operate. They are:
- Class A: Required to operate any gross combination of vehicles weighing at least 26,001 lbs. that includes a towed vehicle of over 10,000 lbs.
- Class B: Required to operate any single vehicle weighing 26,001 lbs. or more, OR this type of vehicle also towing another with a GVWR of up to 10,000 lbs.
- Class C: Required to operate any commercial vehicle not defined by class A or B definitions, AND EITHER carries at least 16 passengers OR transports hazardous materials.
For more, visit our page on CDL Classifications.
What kind of vehicles can I operate with a Class A, B, or C commercial driver's license?
A few of the vehicles you may be able to drive (with the right endorsement) include:
- Tractor trailers.
- Truck and trailer combinations, including:
- Double trailers.
- Triple trailers.
- City buses.
- Delivery trucks.
- Construction vehicles.
- HAZMAT vehicles.
- Passenger vans.
- School buses.
Visit our guide to CDL Classifications for more information.
How do I apply for a CDL in California?
You will need to perform a number of actions, including:
- Completing a California CDL Application.
- Having an authorized physician complete a Medical Examination Report (Form MCSA-5876).
- Passing a written knowledge and signs test.
- Passing a road skills test.
For full details, visit our step-by-step guide to Applying for a CDL in California.
Commercial Drivers Practice Tests (CDL)
We offer a series of DMV Practice tests to help you prepare for your Commercial Driver License test. In addition to carefully studying your state's driver handbook, these tests will give you an idea about the types of questions you may see on the actual written test.
- 100 Questions - Unlimited Tests$14.95
- 50 Questions - Unlimited Tests$9.95
Do I have to submit a 10-Year History Record Check to get a CDL?
Yes, if you have been issued a driver's license in the past 10 years in another state or under a different name.
Do I have to get a medical examination for a CDL license application?
Yes, all CDL applicants must submit a Medical Examination Report (Form MCSA-5876) from a qualifying physician. This step is needed in order to ensure you will be physically able to operate a commercial vehicle.
The certificate you receive if you pass the medical examination will be valid for 2 years. However, if you are a school bus driver 65 years old or older, you will be required to get your certificate renewed annually.
Are there any special requirements for a HAZMAT endorsement?
In addition to being 21 years old or older and passing a written knowledge test, you must also complete a TSA security threat assessment. For further details, visit our CDL HAZMAT Endorsement page.
What do I need to do to drive a school bus?
To drive a school bus, you will need to have aP endorsement on your CDL license. To obtain these endorsements, a written knowledge test and a road skills driving test will be required.
Visit our guide to CDL Endorsements & Restrictions for details.
Will my employer be notified if I receive a traffic violation?
Probably. In California, the Employee Pull Notice (EPN) programnotifies the employers of CDL holders of violations:
- During enrollment.
- Annually from your date of enrollment.
- If any of the following are added to your driving record:
- Driving offenses resulting in a conviction.
- An accident.
- Failure to appear in court.
- Suspensions placed on your license.
Is it easier to get a CDL if I was in the military?
Possibly. In California, the Troops to Trucks program helps military veterans who have operated similar vehicles during their service to obtain a commercial driver's license. This includes waiving qualified veterans from the road skill test.
For more information about veterans and CDLs, see our CDL Veterans Waiver page.
I have a commercial learner's permit (CLP) and took a road test through my employer. Do I still need to take the California road skills test to receive my CDL?
If your employer is certified to test as a third party through California's Employer Testing Program (ETP), you may not need to complete the road skills test to receive your CDL.
Upon completion of your road test, your employer must issue a Certificate of Driving Skill (Form DL 170 ETP ). Once you submit this certificate to the DMV, you will be issued a CDL for the classification you tested on.
I'm a farmer and use a 1-ton pickup truck to pull a large trailer. Do I need a CDL?
No, IFthe following conditions are true:
- Your truck and trailer weight is between 10,000 lbs. and 15,000 lbs.
- Your vehicle is being used for agricultural purposes only (not for hire).
- You are driving no further than 150 miles from your farm.
If I fail the written knowledge test or the road skills test, am I allowed to retest?
Yes. For the examinations, you are allowed up to 3 attempts on the written exam and 3 attempts on the skills test to achieve a passing score.
This form is provided by your state's agency/department.
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1. Get Started Online With Commercial Drivers License Assistance
You cannot obtain a commercial drivers license online or through mail. Instead, you must apply for a CDL at your local DMV office, where you must take the driving skills test in person. However, depending on your states guidelines, you may be able to begin the application process by completing an online form. You may also be able to schedule your knowledge and skills tests online. With so many options available even before you step foot in a DMV, the CDL application process can seem intimidating or confusing. Thankfully, with the help of our detailed guide, you will get all the information you need about how to apply for a CDL in your state. Our guide covers everything from the types of commercial licenses available, the level of expertise each skill test requires and how to renew or replace your commercial license in the future.
2. In Person at the DMV
The only way to obtain a commercial drivers license in any state is to pass a written and skills test at your local DMV. You should bring the appropriate application filled out and all the required paperwork, such as proof of identity. A DMV employee will administer the skills test that corresponds with the type of commercial drivers license you applied for and will pass or fail you based on your performance. The application and testing process can easily take a few hours, so most DMVs will not allow walk-ins and require applicants to make an appointment ahead of time in order to take a skills test. Because this process can be very time consuming, it is important to go to the DMV well prepared. Additionally, showing up to your appointment unprepared may result in you failing your written or skills test, which will cost you both time and money to retake.
All applicable Mississippi CDL allows all interested drivers to operate buses and/or trucks professionally. However, all related knowledge tests must be completed before a license can be issued. Note that not all applicants are eligible for a CDL license, and may be disqualified from operating commercial vehicles based on prior offenses. During the application process, drivers must select a license class and the number of endorsements that they require. Keep in mind that CDL fees vary between applications.
A full commercial drivers license is only issued once all applicable road skills tests have been completed. Study manuals may be used to take practice tests and prepare for all of the state’s CDL examinations. In some cases, a waiver may be used to skip the road skills test, altogether, but restrictions apply. Once an applicant meets all of the state-specific requirements, he or she will be issued a license to drive professionally in the state of Mississippi.
CDL Requirements in Mississippi
The state’s CDL license requirements must be met by all drivers applying for a license in Mississippi. One or more of the following CDL requirements may affect your eligibility:
- Drivers must hold a valid Mississippi driver’s license
- Drivers must hold a permit before applying for a full license
- Drivers must be residents of the state
- Drivers must be at least 18 years old
- Drivers must pass all applicable knowledge examinations
- Drivers must meet all of the state’s medical requirements
How to Apply for a CDL Permit in Mississippi
A CDL permit must be held before a full license can be issued. Permit applications need to be submitted in person, at a local MS DMV office. Once purchased, a CDL learners permit is valid for six months. All CDL permit rules must be adhered to when practicing in commercial vehicles. Follow the below steps to apply for a permit at the DMV:
- Complete the permit application form
- Submit a self-certification form in person or online
- Submit a medical card in person or online
- Pass all required written tests
- Pass the vision test
- Pay the CDL permit application fee
A $2.50 CDL permit processing fee is applied to online medical certifications. Keep in mind that the system takes five business days to process an application. Therefore, applicants using the online system must do so at least five days prior to applying for a permit.
CDL Written Test in Mississippi
The general CDL written test must be completed by all drivers, regardless of the vehicle’s class. In addition, specific endorsement tests may be required. The following written exams are provided by the MS DMV at approved testing centers:
- CDL General Knowledge Test
- Passenger Endorsement Test
- Air Brakes Test
- Combination Vehicles Test
- Hazardous Materials Test
- Tanker Test
- Double and Triple Trailers Test
- School Bus Test
Multiple CDL permit test questions are available in the state’s driving manual, and may be used to test your knowledge before taking the exam.
Mississippi CDL Training Schools & Practice Tests
The state’s training manual includes a CDL practice test at the end of most chapters. Drivers may use the manual to study for each exam. While CDL prep is recommended, certain endorsements may require official training before a test can be taken. For example, drivers applying for the hazmat endorsement must complete a certified CDL training course provided by the employer. School bus CDL school may also be required in your area.
How to Get a CDL License in Mississippi
Before you apply for CDL licensure, you must hold a permit for at least 14 days. After which, a skills test can be scheduled, and a CDL application submitted.
In order to get your CDL license successfully, you must:
- Schedule the CDL driving skills Appointments must be made at least two days before taking the exam and can be scheduled online or over the phone. If an appointment is missed, you must wait two weeks before rescheduling.
- Bring your CDL permit with you to the test center.
- Submit the same CDL application form that you completed for your permit.
- Submit a valid medical card.
- Submit proof of a background check if applying for a hazmat endorsement.
- Bring a licensed driver qualified to operate the same Class of vehicle as you.
- Pay the licensing fee.
CDL Driving Test in Mississippi
The practical CDL test must be taken at the DMV or an approved third-party testing center. All vehicles must meet the state’s CDL requirements, and be in the correct class. If you arrive late or fail to bring the correct paperwork your test will be cancelled. The CDL driving test is comprised of three parts, which include:
- A pre-trip vehicle inspection test.
- A basic vehicle control test.
- An on-road test.
All three stages of the CDL test must be completed in the order listed above.
How to Get a CDL as a Military Member in Mississippi
A completed military CDL skills test waiver form can be submitted alongside a permit application, if applicable. Not all service members are eligible for the waiver. The application must include a statement from a commanding office attesting to the driver’s experience while on active duty.
If the applicant operates – or has operated – a commercial vehicle while employed by the military, the waiver allows him or her to skip the skills test portion of the application process. All applicable CDL written tests must be passed, and cannot be waived using this form.
CDL Medical Exams in Mississippi
All of the state’s new DOT physical requirements must be met before applying for a CDL. Furthermore, your medical information must be kept up-to-date with the DMV at all times. Failure to comply with the state’s rules may result in the removal of your driving privileges.
If you certify as non-excepted, and require a CDL physical, you must submit a valid CDL medical exam card with your permit application. MS residents can submit certification forms and medical cards online or in person. A certified DOT medical examiner must perform the physical.
Types of CDL Classes in Mississippi
The weight requirements for a Class A license differ from Class B and C vehicles. The difference between the three CDL vehicle classes is outlined below:
- A Class A CDL is needed for vehicles with a combined weight of 26,001 pounds or more; additional weight restrictions apply
- A Class B CDL is needed for single vehicles weighing 26,001 pounds or more; additional weight restrictions apply
- A Class C CDL is needed for single vehicle weighing less than 26,001 pounds; a Class C CDL is also required for vehicles transporting hazardous materials or at least 16 passengers
Types of CDL Endorsements in Mississippi
MS CDL endorsements may be added to a new or existing commercial license. One or more of the following endorsements are available to eligible applicants:
- Hazmat Endorsement (H)
- Air Brake Restriction (K)
- Doubles and Triple Trailers Endorsement (T)
- Passengers Endorsement (P)
- Tanker Endorsement (T)
- Combination of Tank and Hazmat Endorsements (X)
- School Bus Endorsement (S)
Interstate vs. Intrastate Commercial Drivers Licenses in Mississippi
Drivers holding an intrastate CDL are only permitted to operate commercial vehicles within state lines. In contrast, applicants holding an interstate CDL are allowed to cross state borders. Applicants must self-certify as one or the other when applying for a permit.
Commercial Driving License Fees in Mississippi
The Mississippi CDL license cost is comprised of an application fee, a permit fee and a license fee. Additional CDL permit costs may be applied.
See below for a breakdown of the state’s CDL fees:
Is There An Age Limit On Getting A Cdl License
- CDL application fee: $25
- CDL learners permit fee: $16
- Third-party CDL trainer: $32
- Five-year CDL license: $55
- Hazardous materials endorsement background check: $100
Age Limit To Get Cdl License
- Commercial Operator License from driverservicebureau.dps.ms.gov
- CDL Drivers Manual from dps.state.ms.us
- MCSD Medical Certification Requirements from dps.state.ms.us
- CDL Info from dps.state.ms.us