If you live in Texas, Kansas or Oklahoma, learn the guideline for getting your Commercial Driver's License (CDL) below. For all other states, refer to this guide on every state of the country.
To apply for a Texas CDL, you must:
- Apply in-person at any driver license office and complete the appropriate application.
- Present documents to verify identity and Texas residency.
- Present evidence of a Social Security Number.
- Meet the nonresident commercial requirements (in some states this is also referred to as “non-domicile commercial resident”) if you are from a foreign jurisdiction other than Canada or Mexico.
- Present proof of Texas vehicle registration and liability insurance on all vehicles registered in your name.
- Complete the Supplement Application Texas Commercial Driver License Certifications and Record of CDL Examination (CDL-1).
- Consent to be photographed, fingerprinted and provide your signature.
- Pass the vision test.
- Pass the knowledge and skills tests for the appropriate driver license including endorsements.
- Pay the required fee.
- Provide a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for the driving test, which must be representative of the type of license you seek.
At the driver license office, specify if you are applying for interstate or intrastate commerce.
You must be at least 21 years old for interstate (Oklahoma and other states) transport and 18 years old for intrastate (State of Oklahoma only).
You will also be asked to provide proper identification when you apply for your CDL (original or certified documents), which can be a Birth Certificate, U.S. Passport, other state's driver license, or Active Duty Military ID cards.
The Application Process
The application will ask you questions about your age, training, medical history, current state of health, metal health, vision, hearing acuity, and drug use/alcoholism. You may be denied a CDL if you fail to qualify on any of these requirements.
You'll also need to pay the appropriate fee, based on what class of license you seek.
You also must pass knowledge and skills tests in order to be issued a CDL. Once you have passed the vision screening, written test, and driving test in the vehicle that represents the class you are applying for, you will visit a Tag Agent, who will photograph you, collect your fees, and give you your CDL.
In the driving section of the testing, a KS DOR examiner checks your skills including:
- Pre-trip inspection
- A basic operating skills test
- A basic driving skills test
You must pass each section of testing in order to move on to the next one.
In the pre-trip inspection, you must walk the examiner through every part of your inspection of:
- Fluids, belts, and other items under the hood
- The truck cab, including emergency equipments, dials, gauges, steering, brakes and clutch
- Connections including hitches, air lines, hydraulics, trailer axel placement or fifth wheel coupling
- Tires, wheels, brakes, fuel tank
- Tie-downs, tarps, trailer sides, rigging, trailer frame, and trailer doors
- Cab mirrors, seat, steering, clutch, brakes, emergency equipment, cab doors, communications equipment, and gauges
In the basic skills portion, you will be asked to:
- Drive forward and stop
- Back up
- Alley dock
- Parallel park
- Make a right turn
- Backward serpentine
The examiner will then check your driving skills. The areas covered in this test:
- Urban and rural straight driving
- Urban and rural lane changing
- Expressway driving
- Stopping and starting
- Driving on curves, upgrades and downgrades
- Railroad crossings
- Bridges and overpasses
You won't need an appointment for your testing, but call in advance to see if the office you want to use has a CDL examiner.
Fees vary depending on several factors, including the addition of different endorsements. A chart is available with all applicable fees on the Kansas DMV website.
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