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  • Commercial Driver Licensing Program


  • The CDL Program is a nationwide effort to ensure that only qualified commercial drivers receive and maintain commercial driver's licenses (CDLs) and to remove unsafe and unqualified drivers from our highways. 

    The CDL program has three federally-defined classes, depending on the configuration of the vehicle the driver intends to operate. Not sure what CDL Class a driver should be licensed in? This flow chart will help you.

    There are numerous endorsements and restrictions that may also be added to the license, some of which are federally prescribed.  Jurisdictions may assign their own endorsements to their CDLs as long as they are explained on the license document. Please refer to your jurisdiction for specific information on additional classifications, endorsements, restrictions and licensing requirements.  

    New Medical Certification Requirements: A Guide for CDL Holders

    Starting Jan. 30, 2012, and no later than Jan. 30, 2014, all CDL holders must provide information to their state driver's license agency (SDLA) regarding the type of commercial motor vehicle operation they drive in or expect to drive in with their CDL. Drivers operating in certain types of commerce will be required to submit a current medical examiner’s certificate to their SDLA to obtain a “certified” medical status as part of their driving record. CDL holders required to have a ”certified” medical status who fail to provide and keep up-to-date their medical examiner’s certificate with their SDLA will become ”not-certified” and they may lose their CDL.

    Resources

     

     

    AAMVA does not develop or provide materials for driver training. However, AAMVA does recommend completion of a recognized driver training program such as a Professional Truck Driver Training (PTDI) certified course. 

    AAMVA CDL Manual

    AAMVA's Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Manual is a comprehensive test preparation resource for CDL candidates. This manual is intended to prepare an applicant for the license and testing process, however it is not a subsititue for a certified driver training program. 

    The content has been approved by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), ensuring that your licensing program will meet all applicable standards.

    To learn more or to place an order for AAMVA Commercial Driver's License Manuals, contact problemsolvers@aamva.org

     

    Other Training Materials

    Formal training materials developed specifically for training entry-level commercial vehicle operators should be used and can be otained from the following organizations.

     

     

    • CDL Systems Training (AAMVA Online Systems Training)
                            
    • Commercial Driver's License Information System (CDLIS)

      A nationwide computer system that enables state driver licensing agencies (SDLAs) to ensure that each commercial driver has only one driver’s license and one complete driver record.       
                     
    • Commercial Skills Test Information Management System (CSTIMS)
       
      An Internet-based tool that provides a consistent way to track the scheduling and entry of test results for commercial skills tests by jurisdiction and third-party examiners. 
                                 
    • Problem Driver Pointer System (PDPS)
       
      A system that is used to search the National Driver Register (NDR), which is maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This is a repository of information on problem drivers provided by all U.S. jurisdictions.

    Military CDL Skills Test Waiver Extended to One Year

    Effective July 8, 2014, the period of time in which a service member may apply for a military skills test waiver has been extended from 90 days to one year from their date of discharge. 

    This extension is applicable to all 51 State Driver Licensing Agencies.  The updated Military Skills Test Waiver form and status map are available on both the AAMVA and FMCSA websites.  All other requirements to obtain a CDL remain intact including the need to have a valid medical, commercial learners permit as well as the applicant’s verification of two years of safe driving in a comparable military vehicle.  

    In May 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration finalized the Commercial Learner's Permit rule. Within that rule is a provision that gives state driver licensing agencies (SDLA) the authority to substitute two years of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) safe driving experience in military equivalents of CMVs, for the skills test portion of the commercial driver's license (CDL) skills test. 

    The regulation, 49 CFR 383.77, provides guidance for SDLAs which requires the applicant to certify: 1) his/her safe driving experience; 2) that he/she has not held more than one license (except a military DL) in the past two years: 3) has not had his/her base state issued driver license suspended, revoked or canceled; and, 3) has not had convictions in any type of motor vehicle for the disqualifying CDL offenses listed elsewhere in the regulations. There are also other requirements that states must recognize in order to take advantage of this Skills Test Waiver, but the process allows states to assist veterans and active duty personnel in their transition from their military occupation to a civilian career. As more and more of our military troops return home from active duty, the Department of Transportation and FMCSA have joined with the Departments of Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs to ease this process.

    AAMVA in collaboration with FMCSA and the US Army - Employment Partnership Office and the Department of Defense, has developed a standardized Application for Military Skills Waiver form. This document addresses all of the issues captured in the new regulation including which violations can deny the waiver; identifying the specific type(s) of vehicle which the service member was licensed to drive; and, an endorsement by the service members commanding officer of the safe driving record. For a list of the states which currently offer the skills test waiver for military drivers see the map

    For additional information contact Karen Morton.

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