Logistics

How to Get Your CDL in West Virginia and Wisconsin

CDL
Written by Sheryl Posnick

This article is useful for anyone who wants to get a CDL in West Virginia or Wisconsin. If you want to learn about earning a CDL at other states, we have put together a comprehensive guide on how to get a commercial driver’s license in every state of the country.

West Virginia

You need a CDL if you are going to drive:

  • Any vehicle combination with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001+ pounds, as long as the GVWR of the towed vehicle(s) is over 10,000 pounds. (Class A)
  • A single vehicle with a GVRW of 26,001+ pounds; or this vehicle towing another that is less than 10,000 pounds. (Class B)
  • A vehicle with a weight rating of less than 26,001 pounds, or such a vehicle towing another that is less than 10,000 pounds: Vehicles that are designed for 16 passengers or more, including the driver, and Vehicles used to transport hazardous materials. (Class C)

In order to obtain a CDL:

  • You must be at least 18 years old and have 2 years of driving experience.
  • You must meet specific physical qualification standards and carry a medical certificate to show evidence of such qualification.
  • If you are unable to become medically certified, you may be eligible for a medical waiver.
The Exams

All applicants must take either a written or oral knowledge test and pass and answer at least 80% of the questions correctly. You must test for the desired endorsements you have listed on the test card at the time you test for general knowledge, but you may get a test card for other endorsements at a later date if you wish to add them.

If you fail the knowledge exam, you may not retest for 7 days. You may try to pass the exam three times on the original fees.

After you pass the written exams, you will receive a commercial driver’s instruction permit. Only after you have your learner’s permit can you then take your road (skills) tests.

After you pass your road tests, you can then receive your CDL.

Wisconsin

If you are going to drive any of the following vehicles, you must obtain a CDL:

  • Vehicles that weigh 26,000+ pounds, determined by the highest of the following:
    • manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR)
    • manufacturer’s gross combination weight rating (GCWR) when the towed unit has a GVWR, registered weight, or gross weight of 10,000+ pounds
    • actual weight
    • registered weight
  • A vehicle carrying hazardous materials that require placarding under federal law
  • A vehicle designed or used to carry 16+ people, including the driver
The Exams

First, you must take and pass the appropriate knowledge test(s) for the vehicle you plan to drive.

CDL knowledge tests are free, and take take at least 1 to 1.5 hours to complete. You must answer 80%+ questions correctly to pass. You must present a valid Class D license at the time of testing.

After you pass the knowledge exam, you can obtain your Commercial Driver Learner permit (CLP). Your CLP will be valid for 180 days. You can use a CLP to practice driving with a qualified instructor or CDL driver who has a valid license at or above the level of your permit.

You must hold a CLP for 14 days prior to taking your road test(s).

After you schedule and pass the pre-trip, backing test and skills test(s) with an approved third party tester, you can receive your CDL.

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About the author

Sheryl Posnick

Sheryl Posnick is an editor and writer living in Brooklyn, NY. She is the founder and president of Red Letter Content, an editorial company with a focus on educational, test preparation, and career readiness materials.

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