Idaho CDL CDL
CDL Commercial Drivers License - Home Study Course
CDL License Test Prep
Idaho CDL License Test

IDAHO CDL LICENSE

Commercial Drivers License
CDL LICENSE Requirements
Home Study Course
For Tests Beginning May 1, 2017

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IDAHO CDL Information
Specific Idaho CDL Information

Idaho CDL Fees
  • Idaho CDL license (4-year) $40.00
  • Idaho CDL instruction permit $29.00
  • Duplicate Idaho CDL or permit $15.00
  • License upgrade $25.00
  • Endorsement addition (after issuance of a Idaho CDL) $15.00
  • Idaho CDL Written tests (each) $ 3.00
  • Idaho CDL Skills test ($10 to Driver's License Office, $60 to Idaho CDL Skills Tester)$70.00

How to Obtain an Idaho CDL

To apply for a Idaho CDL, you must be at least 18 years old and either have a valid Idaho non-commercial license (Class D) or have passed all tests required to obtain one. You may be able to take your Class D license tests and your CDL tests at the same time. However, you must have one year of driving experience in order to obtain a CDL.

If you want to obtain an Idaho CDL, study Idaho's "Commercial Driver's License Manual" which may be obtained from a county driver's license Office. This manual provides you with the information necessary to pass all Idaho CDL written tests. Information regarding the skills test requirements is also included.

To apply for your Idaho CDL, go to your county driver's license office. Take your current driver's license, Social Security card, proof of Idaho residence and money to pay your fees. Applicants who are not U.S. citizens or U.S. nationals will be required to provide proof of lawful presence in the United States. You will be asked if you are subject to and in compliance with the requirements of Part 391 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (Qualifications of Drivers). You will be asked to declare (self-certify) what type of driving you intend to do: Interstate or Intrastate (within Idaho only) and whether the type of driving you plan to do will require a DOT Medical card or not. When applying for your CDL, your driving record will be checked, fees will be collected, and you are required to pass the vision and knowledge tests.

After passing the written tests, you must make an appointment with an Idaho CDL Skills Tester to take the skills test. A list of Examiners is available at the County DMV and online at www.itd.idaho.gov Some testers have vehicles that you can rent. When you go to the skills tester, you will need to take proof of identification, proof of insurance, and your receipt showing you have passed the written tests and paid the skills test receipt fee.

The Idaho CDL skills test has three parts: the vehicle inspection, the basic control skills test, and the road test. The skills test will take two to three hours to complete and must be taken in a vehicle that is representative of the license class you wish to obtain. If the vehicle used for the test is not equipped with air brakes, your CDL will show a restriction stating that you are not licensed to operate vehicles equipped with air brakes.

After you have passed all required Idaho CDL written and skills tests, you do not have the authority to operate a commercial vehicle until you obtain your Idaho CDL from the County DMV. You will be issued a temporary license from your county driver's license office and your permanent license will be sent to you by US Mail. It is very important your mailing address is current and accurate. If you move after your CDL is issued, you must notify Idaho Transportation Department of your new address.

All test results remain valid for one year. If the appropriate license is not issued within the one-year period, the tests must be re-taken. If you do not pass a test, you must wait three (3) days before retaking the test. Test fees must be paid again.

Idaho CDL tests are not required at renewal time, with the exception of the Hazardous Materials test which must be passed prior to each renewal.

Idaho CDL Instruction Permit

An Idaho CDL instruction permit allows you to practice driving a large commercial vehicle on public roads. This permit is available by taking the appropriate written tests for the type of vehicle you will operate. An instruction permit is valid for up to 180 days. You must be at least 18 years old, hold a valid Idaho Class D driver's license, have at least one year of driving experience to obtain a CDL Instruction Permit. To use the permit, you MUST be accompanied by a driver properly licensed to operate the vehicle you are driving, and this person MUST occupy the seat beside the driver.

Need More Idaho CDL Information?

Contact the Driver Services section of the Idaho Transportation Department at (208) 334-8736 or by e-mail at: driverlicense@itd.idaho.gov

Idaho CDL Written Knowledge Tests
You will need to pass the Idaho Knowledge Tests that are required for the class of license, restriction, and endorsements you wish to possess. A general knowledge test for the Class A or Class B and C license must be successfully completed by all CDL applicants. The information needed to pass these tests is contained in the FREE Idaho CDL Handbook. Please read and study this manual carefully.
  • Class A - 70 Questions (50 GK + 20 Combination Vehicles) - Skills test required.
  • Class B - 50 Questions - Skills test required.
  • Class C - 50 Questions - Skills test required for bus, school bus and air brakes vehicles..
  • Passenger Endorsement - 20 questions - Skills test required in bus.
  • School Bus Endorsement - 25 questions - Skills test required in school bus.
  • Doubles/Triples Endorsement - 20 questions - No additional skills tests.
  • Tank Vehicle Endorsement - 20 questions - No additional skills tests.
  • Hazardous Materials Endorsement - 30 questions - No additional skills tests.
  • Air Brake Restriction Removal - 25 questions - Additional skills test in vehicle with Air Brakes.

Classes of Idaho CDL and Required Tests

CDL Class Tests Required Possible Endorsements and Required Tests
Class A
(Combination
vehicle endorsement required)

General Knowledge Written Exam

Combination Endorsement Written Exam

Road Exam

H - Hazardous Materials Written Exam
N - Tank Vehicles Written Exam
P - Passenger Transport Written and Road Exam
T - Doubles/Triples Written Exam
X - HazMat and Tank Vehicles Written Exam
L - Air Brakes Written and Road Exam
S - School Bus Written and Road Exam
Class B

General Knowledge Written Exam

Road Exam

H - Hazardous Materials Written Exam
N - Tank Vehicles Written Exam
P - Passenger Transport Written and Road Exam
X - HazMat and Tank Vehicles Written Exam
L - Air Brakes Written and Road Exam
S - School Bus Written and Road Exam
Class C

General Knowledge Written Exam

Road Exam

Note: If upgrading to a Class C from a Class D, no road test is required UNLESS the endorsement requires one.
H - Hazardous Materials Written Exam
N - Tank Vehicles Written Exam
P - Passenger Transport Written and Road Exam
X - HazMat and Tank Vehicles Written Exam
L - Air Brakes Written and Road Exam
S - School Bus Written and Road Exam

Idaho CDL Endorsements

Exam Time Allowed (Minutes) # of Questions on Exam # of Correct Answers Needed to Pass
General Knowledge 60 50 40
Air Brakes 25 25 20
HazMat 30 30 24
Tank 20 20 16
Passenger 20 20 16
Doubles/Triples 20 20 16
Combination Vehicles 20 20 16
School Bus 20 20 16

For the most complete and accurate official Idaho state CDL information, go to the Official Idaho CDL Website.

WHAT IS A CDL?

A "CDL" is a Commercial Drivers License. It meets certain "standards" that are the same for every state. It differs from your Idaho "operator's" or "chauffeur's" licenses. It is required if you drive certain kinds of commercial vehicles either within Idaho or outside of Idaho.

WHAT IS THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY ACT OF 1986 (CMVSA/86)?

It is a law passed by the United States Congress which requires ALL the individual states to comply with certain standards in regards to the licensing of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. Idaho driver licensing standards comply with the law, requiring CMV drivers to obtain a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) when driving applicable vehicles. A CDL license can ONLY be issued in the driver's STATE OF LEGAL RESIDENCE, and if you have a CDL, you can have NO OTHER DRIVER'S LICENSE in ANY other state.

WHEN DO I NEED A CDL INSTEAD OF MY REGULAR IDAHO DRIVERS LICENSE?

A CDL is required if you operate any of the following CMV's . . .

  • A vehicle with a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 lbs.
  • A vehicle towing a unit with a manufacturer's GVWR of more than 10,000 lbs. when the GCWR exceeds 26,000 lbs.
  • A vehicle designed to transport 16 or more persons (including the operator) or any vehicle carrying children to or from school and home regularly for compensation.
  • A vehicle of any size that carries hazardous materials in amounts requiring placarding.

ARE THERE ANY EXEMPTIONS TO BEING REQUIRED TO HAVE A CDL?

Yes, a few . . .

  • Active Duty Military . . . with military licenses operating military vehicles.
  • Firefighters . . . meeting approved training standards and operating authorized emergency vehicles.
  • Farmers . . . in certain cases.
  • Individuals ....operating motor homes or other vehicles used exclusively to transport personal possessions or family members, for non business purposes.

ARE THERE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS TO OBTAIN A IDAHO CDL?

You must meet the following requirements to obtain a CDL . . .

  • You must be 21 years old. (18 years if all commercial driving is done within Idaho and if no hazardous materials requiring placarding are transported and if you do not drive double or triple trailer rigs).
  • Possess a valid medical certificate in accordance with MCSR 49 CFR 391.41.
  • You must otherwise qualify for the license based on your driving record. Any of the following will disqualify you from obtaining a CDL . . .
    • If you possess a license from any state other than your State of Residence.
    • If you are currently subject to any disqualification of your commercial driving privilege in Idaho or any other state.
    • If your license is currently suspended, revoked, denied, or cancelled.
    • If you have a conviction for operating a CMV (commercial motor vehicle) while impaired in the 24 months immediately preceding application.
    • other technical rules, and further restrictions that pertain only to IDAHO are covered in detail within the Course.
      THERE ARE CURRENTLY NO APPRENTICESHIP OR TRAINING REQUIREMENTS TO GET YOUR IDAHO CDL. THIS MAY SOON CHANGE.

Access Official Federal CDL Medical Requirements Info

HOW DO I OBTAIN A CDL?

By completing the following items . . .

  • Show your driver's license from your State of Residence.
  • Take and pass all written examinations that apply to your license class and endorsement requirements.
  • Show proof of social security number.
  • Meet driver record eligibility requirements as determined by the State of Idaho.
  • Fill out an application including certifications.
  • Show proof that you passed the required written tests, pass a vision screening, and show proof of a valid DOT medical certificate (BEFORE a CDL Temporary Instruction Permit will be issued and before you will be allowed to the the skills test).
  • Pay the Idaho CDL fees.
  • Schedule, take, and pass your CDL skills test.

A separate booklet is included with the complete Idaho CDL Course package which covers information such as fees, locations, contacts, and other items specific to the State of Idaho for the written and skills examinations for ALL classes of license and ALL endorsements.

What do the terms Class A, Class B, and Class C mean on a CDL?

It refers to the type of vehicle that you may operate . . .

  • CLASS A . . . allows you to operate vehicles which tow trailers or other vehicles with a GVWR over 10,000 pounds when the combined GVWR is over 26,000 pounds. A Class "A" license also allows you to operate Class B and C vehicles. Applicable endorsements are required.
  • CLASS B . . . allows you to operate single vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs or more OR a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 lbs. or more, towing trailers/vehicles rated at 10,000 pounds GVWR or less. A Class "B" license also allows you to operate Class C vehicles. Applicable endorsements are required.
  • CLASS C . . .allows you to operate vehicles under 26,001 lbs. GVWR, that would normally not require a CDL; except when they are designed to transport 16 or more persons including the driver; or that carry 15 or less people (including the driver) transporting children to or from school and home regularly for compensation, or carry hazardous materials in amounts requiring placarding. Applicable endorsements are required.

What are Endorsement Codes and when do I need them on my CDL?

Endorsements are necessary for certain commercial driving requirements as follows . . .

  • AIR BRAKES endorsement for vehicles with air brakes.
  • (T) DOUBLE or TRIPLE TRAILERS. For tractors pulling two or three trailers.
  • (P) PASSENGER. For vehicles which are designed to carry 16 or more people (including the driver);
  • (S) SCHOOL BUS. Any vehicle transporting children to or from school and home regularly for compensation.
  • (N) TANK VEHICLES. For vehicles designed to haul liquids or liquefied gases in bulk in permanently mounted tanks or portable tanks rated at 1,000 gallons or more.
  • (H) HAZARDOUS MATERIALS. To carry hazardous materials in amounts requiring placards.
  • (X) Endorsement code designating a Tank (N) vehicle that carries Hazardous Materials (H).

Access Official Federal CDL Hazardous Materials Info

I'M OVER 18 YEARS OLDS, BUT NOT 21 YEARS OLD YET. CAN I GET A CDL?

Yes . . . with restrictions. Until your 21st birthday, you cannot drive a commercial vehicle outside the borders of Idaho. You cannot drive a vehicle requiring HAZ MAT placarding and cannot drive double or triple trailer rigs.

CAN I USE MY IDAHO CDL OUT OF STATE?

Yes! If you are 21 years or older it is good throughout the entire United States.

CAN MY CDL BE SUSPENDED OR REVOKED?

Yes, there are MANY reasons that your CDL can be suspended or revoked. Improper use of alcohol or drugs, traffic violations, and failure to notify top the list. The Idaho CDL Course details ALL of the rules regarding suspension or revocation. The point to remember is that alcohol or drug use is not tolerated and your record WILL FOLLOW YOU THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES FOREVER!!!

SO LET'S SAY THAT MY CDL IS REVOKED. CAN'T I JUST GET A CDL IN ANOTHER STATE?

No!!! Those days are gone. One computer system keeps track of all licenses THROUGHOUT the United States. In a matter of seconds it can be determined if you possess more than one license.

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