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

INDIANA CDL LICENSE

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

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INDIANA CDL Information
Specific Indiana CDL Information

Indiana Commercial Driver's License

Frequently Asked Questions About Indiana CDLs

When Do I Need a CDL?

You will need to obtain a CDL if you operate a commercial motor vehicle that:
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of at least 26,001 pounds; or
  • Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or
  • Is any size vehicle carrying hazardous materials which requires placarding

How Do I Obtain an Indiana CDL?

To obtain an Indiana CDL you must:
  • Have a valid Indiana operator's license;
  • Have a valid United States Social Security number;
  • Be a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident;
  • Pass a DOT physical examination;
  • Obtain a commercial driver's license learner's permit and pass one or more of the written knowledge tests; and
  • Pass a skills test in a vehicle class you intend to operate after acquiring an Indiana CDL permit

A Indiana CDL skills test must be taken at one of the authorized Indiana CDL driving skills test sites. There you will demonstrate your knowledge and skills of operating a commercial motor vehicle.

What happens if a driver's Indiana CDL has been expired, disqualified, cancelled, revoked, or invalidated for more than one year?
If a driver's CDL has been expired, disqualified, canceled, revoked, invalidated or voluntarily surrendered for more than one year, the holder must pass all knowledge and skills exams prior to issuance of the Indiana CDL license [140 IAC 7-3-17.5(d)].

How can the status of a DOT physical examination be checked by a driver or employer?
Companies and individual drivers can check the processing status of a DOT physical examination form by calling 888-692-6841 and selecting option number one (1).

Indiana CDL Self-Certification

On February 1, 2014 all Commercial Driver's License (CDL) holders who did not self-certify their driving type were disqualified for Failure to Self-Certify. Federal regulation requires CDL holders to certify to the BMV the type of commercial motor vehicles that they operate, or intend to operate, as well as acknowledge that they are required to meet the medical requirements for that CDL.

To close this disqualification, you must self-certify your driving type or surrender your CDL. You may self-certify on myBMV.com or during a Indiana CDL or Indiana Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP) transaction at a branch. Four notifications of the deadline were mailed over the past year.

Self-certifying online is free and easy. You will need to create a myBMV account, if you do not already have one. After accessing your account, click "my Driver Records" then click on "CDL Self-Certify Driver Type" in the left column and answer the questions. After answering the questions, place a checkmark in the "swear or affirm" box and then click "save". You may also self-certify during a CLP/CDL renewal, amend or replacement branch transaction.

Indiana Commercial Driver's License

An Indiana Commercial Driver's License (CDL) allows the holder to operate commercial motor vehicles or combinations of vehicles with declared gross vehicle weight ratings in excess of 26,000 pounds; vehicles designed or used to transport 16 or more people, including the driver; and vehicles used to transport hazardous materials.

In general, Indiana CDL requirements are stricter than for any other Indiana driver's license and are based upon stringent Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. To get a CDL you must a United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident and be at least 18-years-old, if you will be transporting property within state lines, or at least 21-years-old if you will be transporting people. You must have held a valid driver's license, chauffeur's license, or public passenger chauffeur's license for at least one year. You must also hold a Indiana CDL learner's permit.

Getting an Indiana Commercial Driver's License Learner's Permit

To get a commercial driver's license learner's permit you must be at least 18 years old if you will be transporting property within state lines, and at least 21 years old if you will be transporting people. You must have held an Indiana driver's license, chauffeur's license, or public passenger chauffeur's license for at least one year.

To get a Indiana commercial driver's license learner's permit you need to pass the appropriate knowledge test for the vehicle type that you plan to operate:
  • All commercial vehicles drivers: General knowledge test
  • All school bus drivers: School bus endorsement test and passenger transport test
  • All bus drivers: Passenger transport test
  • Vehicle with air brakes: Air brakes test
  • Combination of vehicles: Combination vehicle test
  • Drivers required to transport hazardous material: Hazardous material test
  • Drivers required to transport liquids in bulk: Tanker test
  • Drivers required to pull double or triple trailers: Doubles/triples test

When you pass a knowledge test, the results are valid for 180 days. You may receive only three commercial driver's license learner's permits in two years. An Indiana commercial driver's license learner's permit is valid for six months.

Holders of a valid Indiana commercial driver's license learner permit may operate a commercial motor vehicle only when accompanied by the holder of a valid commercial driver's license holder who has the proper class and endorsement(s) necessary to operate the commercial motor vehicle.

You may find the material covered in the knowledge examinations in the commercial driver's license test booklet.

When you apply for a Indiana commercial driver's license you must present documents of identification proving your identity, lawful status, Social Security number, and Indiana residency.

Indiana CDL Knowledge Examination and Skills Testing

To get a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) in Indiana, you must pass a knowledge examination and a driving skills test in a vehicle representative of the class of Indiana CDL that you will receive. The driving skills test must be taken at a BMV authorized test site and consists of a pre-trip inspection test, a basic control skills test, and the road trip test. Authorized test sites electronically transmit the skills test results to the BMV to increase security and accuracy.

The Indiana Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP), all knowledge tests and skills tests are valid for one hundred and eighty (180) days. Renewal of an Indiana CLP may require retaking the knowledge examinations.

Documents of identification

You must be either a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident to apply for an Indiana Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP) or Indiana Commercial Driver's License (CDL), per 49 CFR 383.71. For further information on this requirement, please visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website.

When you apply for an Indiana CLP or Indiana CDL you must present documents of identification proving your identity, lawful status, Social Security number, and Indiana residency.

Transferring a CDL From Out of State

The Indiana BMV will conduct a driver record search using the Commercial Driver's License Information System (CDLIS) for all license holders transferring to Indiana from another state. If your CDLIS Pointer (Driver History) from your prior state of record is not available, or your CDLIS Pointer is incomplete, there will be a delay in processing your application for a license in the State of Indiana.

The Indiana BMV will contact the licensing officials in the state(s) where the license was previously held to complete this process. When the BMV has received the required information, the applicant will be contacted by the BMV to return to the license branch to complete processing.

You must meet all requirements to transfer a base license and pass the general knowledge written tests to transfer a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) to Indiana. If you have a hazardous materials endorsement on your current CDL you will be required to pass that knowledge test and have acceptable threat assessment approval to be issued the endorsement on an Indiana license.

Renewing or Replacing an Indiana CDL Renewing or Replacing an Indiana CDL

A Commercial Driver's License (CDL) issued in Indiana is valid for four years. You may renew your Indiana CDL at any Indiana license branch up to one year before the license expires.

To replace an Indiana CDL, you will need to visit any Indiana license branch and present certain documents of identification.

Re-Applying For a Indiana CDL

If you voluntarily surrender or relinquish your Commercial Driver's License and would like to re-apply for commercial driving privileges after one year, you must obtain an Indiana Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP), pass all necessary knowledge tests and driving skills tests, and provide a valid Medical Examination Report for Commercial Driver Fitness Determination (medical examination) and Medical Examiner's Certificate unless a valid medical examination and medical examiner's certificate is already on file with the Indiana BMV.

Indiana CDL Fees

  • 4 year Indiana CDL - $36.00
  • Restricted Class B Indiana CDL - $36.00
  • Upgrade/Downgrade Indiana CDL - $19.00
  • Replacement/Amended Indiana CDL - $5.50
  • Indiana Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP) - $17.00
  • Amended or Replacement Indiana CLP - $10.50

Indiana CDL Written Knowledge Tests
You will need to pass the Indiana 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 Indiana 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 Indiana 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

Indiana 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 Indiana state CDL information, go to the Official Indiana 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 Indiana "operator's" or "chauffeur's" licenses. It is required if you drive certain kinds of commercial vehicles either within Indiana or outside of Indiana.

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. Indiana 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 INDIANA 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 INDIANA 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 Indiana 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 Indiana 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 INDIANA are covered in detail within the Course.
      THERE ARE CURRENTLY NO APPRENTICESHIP OR TRAINING REQUIREMENTS TO GET YOUR INDIANA 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 Indiana.
  • 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 Indiana CDL fees.
  • Schedule, take, and pass your CDL skills test.

A separate booklet is included with the complete Indiana CDL Course package which covers information such as fees, locations, contacts, and other items specific to the State of Indiana 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 Indiana. You cannot drive a vehicle requiring HAZ MAT placarding and cannot drive double or triple trailer rigs.

CAN I USE MY INDIANA 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 Indiana 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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