Training requirements: CDL

Minimum training requirements

Training certificates are not required for CDL upgrades. They are required if you’re getting your first CDL or if you used to have a CDL and want to get it again.

If you’re required to submit a training certificate to get a CDL again:

  • a school training certificate must be from an approved school and dated after January 2009. We may have it on file if you had previously sent to us.
  • an employer training certificate needs to have a current date. We won’t accept an employer certificate from a previous CDL.

Before you get your commercial driver license (CDL), a training certificate is required. If you get one from a school, it must be from an approved CDL training school. Below is the minimum training required by a school:

Class of CDL Minimum training required
Class A 160 total hours, including at least:
  • 40 hours – classroom instruction
  • 18 hours – street driving training
  • 16 hours – training in backing maneuvers
  • 16 hours – proficiency development
  • 70 hours – combined lab training, range training, and observation
Class B 48 total hours, including at least:
  • 20 hours – classroom instruction
  • 14 hours – street driving training
  • 4 hours – training in backing maneuvers
  • 4 hours – proficiency development
  • 6 hours – combined lab training, range training, and observation
Class C 36 total hours, including at least:
  • 20 hours – classroom instruction
  • 8 hours – street driving training
  • 2 hours – training in backing maneuvers
  • 2 hours – proficiency development
  • 4 hours – combined lab training, range training, and observation

After your training is complete you’ll get your training certificate from the school.

When you’ve met all the steps and you’re ready to get your CDL, bring the original training certificate to a CDL/CLP office.

Who’s exempt from training requirements?

Employer-certified drivers

If your registered employer agrees you have the skills and training to drive a commercial vehicle safely, they can complete and sign an employer certification. When you’ve met all the steps to get your CDL, bring the original employer certification to a CDL/CLP office to get your CDL issued.

Drivers with military truck driver training

If you operated a CDL while in the military, you may be eligible for the Military Commercial Drivers License Skills Test Waiver. This waiver excluded passenger and school bus endorsements.

To find out if you’re eligible and learn how to get a military waiver, see Military experience waiver.

Agribusiness

You may get a restricted CDL without meeting the minimum training requirements if you drive a commercial vehicle only for agribusiness purposes. When you get your CDL, we will add a restriction that only allows you to drive an agribusiness commercial vehicle. To remove this restriction, you must present a training or employer certificate.

For more information, see Agribusiness.

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