Logistics

How to Get Your Commercial Driver’s License in Michigan and Idaho

CDL
Written by Sheryl Posnick

This article applies to anyone who wants to apply for a CDL in Michigan and Idaho. If you want to learn about getting a CDL in other states, TheJobNetwork has put together a very comprehensive CDL guide on every state of the country.

Michigan

Who needs a CDL?

Any Michigan resident who will operate the following commercial vehicles is required to obtain a CDL:

  • Single vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001+ pounds
  • Combination vehicles towing a trailer or other vehicles with a GVWR of 10,001+ pounds when the GCWR is 26,001+ pounds
  • Vehicles designed to transport 16 or more people (including the driver) or carrying hazardous materials in amounts requiring placarding
Who does not need a CDL?
  • Active duty military (including National Guard) with military licenses operating military vehicles
  • Police officers and firefighters who meet approved training standards and operate authorized emergency vehicles
  • Farmers operating vehicles within a 150 mile radius of their farm. However, an F-endorsement is needed by farmers operating combination vehicles whose towing vehicle has a GVWR of 26,001+ pounds. Also, farmers who carry hazardous materials in amounts requiring placarding while operating combination vehicles with a towing vehicle that has a GVWR of 26,001+ pounds or a single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001+ poundsneed a CDL with a hazardous materials endorsement.
  • Individuals operating motor homes or other vehicles used exclusively to transport personal possessions or family members, for non-business purposes
Obtaining a CDL

Here are the steps you must take in order to obtain your CDL.

1. Visit a Secretary of State branch office. While there, you must provide:

  • Proof of Social Security number (Social Security card, payroll check stub, W-2 Form).
  • Proof of legal presence in the United States
  • If applying for a hazardous materials endorsement, proof of  Federal Security Threat Assessment and U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Permanent Resident

2. Complete an application. You will have to certify at this time that you meet medical and driver qualifications. If you have had any change in your physical condition since your last driver license renewal which may affect your ability to drive, you may need a special form before you can apply for your CDL.

At this point, you will also have to prove that you meet driver record eligibility requirements as determined by Secretary of State branch office personnel.
3. Pass the Knowledge Test and a vision test. You must pass all required knowledge tests to first obtain a CLP, which lets you practice driving with another driver who has a CDL for your vehicle type. You need a CLP to take the CDL skills tests (see Step 5).  If you do not pass a knowledge test on your first attempt, you must wait one day to retake the test.

4. Pay your CDL fees.

5. Schedule your CDL skills test. Note: You must wait 14 days after receiving your CDL to take the skills test and converting your CLP into a full CDL. You must schedule your skills test at least 2 days in advance.

Once you have passed your CDL skills tests, return to the Secretary of State branch office to:

6. Pay a correction fee to add CDL privileges to your license.

7. Receive your CDL.

Idaho

Who needs a CDL?

In Idaho, you must obtain a CDL to operate any of the following commercial motor vehicles:

  • Single vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001+ pounds
  • Combination vehicles towing a trailer or other vehicles with a GVWR of 10,001+ pounds when the GCWR is 26,001+ pounds
  • Vehicles designed to transport 16 or more people (including the driver) or carrying hazardous materials in amounts requiring placarding
Who does not need a CDL?
  • Drivers of vehicles used exclusively to transport personal possessions or family members for non-business or recreational purposes.
  • Military vehicle operators who are considered active-duty military personnel
  • Drivers of firefighting or other emergency equipment used in response to emergencies involving the preservation of life or property
  • Drivers of farm vehicles, including family members and farmhands.
How to Obtain an Idaho CDL

To apply for a CDL, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a valid Idaho non-commercial license (Class D) or have passed all tests required to obtain one.
  • Have one year of driving experience

Application steps:

1. Go to your county driver’s license office and supply

  • Your current driver’s license
  • Social Security card
  • Proof of Idaho residence
  • Money to pay your fees
  • If you are not a U.S. citizen or a U.S. national, you should provide proof of lawful presence in the United States

2. Your driving record will be checked, fees will be collected, and you will take a vision and knowledge test.

3. After passing these tests, you must make an appointment to take the skills test. A list of Examiners is available at the County DMV and online at www.itd.idaho.gov.

When you take your skills test, you will need to provide proof of identification, proof of insurance, and your receipt showing you have passed the written tests and paid the skills test receipt fee.

4. Take your skills tests:  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.

5. Obtain your CDL from the County DMV.

 

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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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