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Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP)

A CLP is required for:

  • Drivers testing for an original CDL
  • CDL holder upgrading their commercial license for:
    • A higher commercial class
    • Adding endorsements that require a skills test:
    • Passenger endorsement
    • School bus endorsement
    • Tank vehicle endorsement (only if testing and or training in tank vehicle)
    • Removing an air brake
    • Removing no manual transmission restriction
    • Removing non tractor trailer restriction.
  • Agribusiness Restriction

Who can apply for a CLP

Any driver over 18 years old with a valid WA driver license. To operate commercial vehicles from state to state (interstate) you must be at least 21 years old.

How to apply for a CLP

  1. Make an appointment to apply for a CLP at a driver licensing office.
  2. Bring your:
    • Current license
    • Social Security number
    • Proof of U.S. Citizenship, Lawful Permanent Residency, or non-domicile document. See list of approved documents for ID purposes. We're required to verify your status under federal law 49 CFR 383.71(ecfr.gov) and WA state law RCW 46.25.070.
  3. Self-certify. Depending on your situation you might need to submit your Medical Examiners Certificate.
  4. Pass the knowledge test(s) for the CDL Class and endorsements you want to be licensed for. The fee is $35.
  5. Pay the $40 CLP fee.

How long a CLP is valid

A CLP is valid for 180 days from the date issued, and another 180 days if you renew the CLP within 30 days of your original CLP expiring. Double, triple, and hazardous materials cannot be renewed with CLP and expire 180 days from the date passed.

A CLP expires at 12:01 a.m. of the expiration date listed on the CLP document.

If you don't renew the CLP within 30 days of original CLP expiring, you'll have to retake all previously passed knowledge test(s).

You have to wait 14 days before taking a skills test anytime you:

If you're taking a skills test or training in a tanker vehicle you'll need to pass the tanker knowledge test before you get your CLP.

You need to pass all 3 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:

  1. 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.
  2. Complete all 3 components of the skills test again.

CLP driving restrictions

After we've issued 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 and 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 for the purpose of giving instruction.
  • You can't operate any:
    • Commercial vehicle classified or placarded for hazardous materials. CLP holders with an N endorsement are prohibited from operating any tank vehicle that previously contained hazardous materials that hasn't been purged of any residue.
    • Passenger or school bus vehicles with unspecified passengers. For more information, visit: 383.25: Commercial learner's permit (CLP) (ecfr.gov).
    • Vehicle that you don't have a CLP for with the proper endorsements and restrictions.

Related information

Questions? Need help?

Call us: 360.902.3900 (TTY: Call 711)

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