Before you get started
Any driver over 18 years old with a valid WA driver license can apply for a CLP. You must be at least 21 years old to operate commercial vehicles from state to state (interstate).
You must have a Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP) if you:
- Are taking a test for your first CDL
- Want to upgrade your commercial license for:
- A higher commercial class
- Removing an air brake
- Removing no manual transmission restriction
- Removing non-tractor trailer restriction
- Are adding endorsements that require a skills test:
- Passenger endorsement
- School bus endorsement
- Tank vehicle endorsement (only if testing and/or training in tank vehicle)
- Have an agribusiness restriction
How to apply for a CLP
Follow these steps to apply for a CLP:
1. Make an appointment to apply for a CLP at a driver licensing office
- Current license.
- Social Security number.
- Proof of U.S. Citizenship, Lawful Permanent Residency, or non-domicile document.
See a list of documents approved for ID purposes. We're required to verify your status under federal and state law.
2. Self-certify or submit a medical examiner's certificate
Self-certification and valid medical certificates help prevent medically unqualified drivers from operating commercial vehicles.
A licensing office cannot process:
- State waivers
- Federal Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE)
- Federal medical waivers
We must add these types of CDL medical documents to your drive record before issuance.
3. Pass the knowledge test(s)
Take and pass the CDL knowledge test(s) for the CDL Class and endorsements you want to include on your license. The fee is $35.
The knowledge test is available in four languages (interpreters aren't allowed):
4. Pay the fee
The fee for a CLP is $40.
How long is a CLP valid?
A CLP is valid for 180 days from the date issued. It's valid for another 180 days if you renew the CLP within 30 days of it expiring. It expires at 12:01 a.m. of the expiration date listed.
Double, triple, and hazardous materials don't get renewed with your CLP. They expire 180 days from the date passed.
If you don't renew your CLP within 30 days of expiration, you'll have to retake the knowledge test(s). This applies even if you've already passed them. You have to wait 14 days before taking a skills test anytime you:
- Get issued an original CLP
- Upgrade your CLP to another class
- Upgrade your CLP and add endorsements or restrictions
- If you're taking a skills test or training in a tanker vehicle, you'll need to pass the tanker knowledge test first
You need to pass all three components of the skills test before your CLP expires.
If your CLP expires before you pass all 3 components you'll have to start over:
- Get your CLP
- If it is an original CLP, you'll need to retake knowledge tests and wait 14 days before you take the skills test(s) again
- If you're renewing your CLP and the CLP expired more than 30 days ago, you'll need to pass the knowledge tests again
- Complete all three components of the skills test again
CLP driving restrictions
Once you get your CLP, a valid CDL holder must be in the vehicle when you drive a commercial vehicle. They must:
- Hold a valid CDL with the proper endorsements
- Have 2 years' experience driving the type of commercial vehicle you're driving
- Have at least 5 years' total driving experience
- Occupy the seat beside you to give instruction
You're not allowed to operate any:
- Commercial vehicle classified or placarded for hazardous materials
- If you have an N endorsement, you can't operate any tank vehicle that isn't purged of hazardous materials residue
- Passenger or school bus vehicles with unspecified passengers
- Vehicle that you don't have a valid CLP for, along with the proper endorsements and restrictions