What is a CDL?
Idaho’s Commercial Driver’s License (CDL License Idaho) program is designed to improve the safety of all drivers on our highways. Idaho Commercial Driver’s Licenses are issued by the state, however they are regulated by the FMCSA to ensure truck and bus drivers nationwide meet a minimum standard of skills and knowledge.
(Note: These are the Idaho CDL Requirements, click here to see your state’s CDL requirements.)
Do I Need An Idaho CDL?
You are required to have an Idaho Commercial Drivers License to operate any of the following commercial vehicles:
- Combination vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, provided that the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is more than 10,000 pounds.
- Single vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds,
- Vehicles designed or used to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver),
- Any size vehicle that transports hazardous materials requiring a placard.
Note: The gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of a vehicle is determined by the manufacturer of the vehicle, not how the vehicle is registered. On motor vehicles, the GVWR is usually found on an ID plate on the inside of the driver’s door. Trailers will have their GVWR listed anywhere on the frame or hull of the unit.
CLASS A LICENSE – Required for any combination vehicle with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, provided the GVWR of the vehicle/unit/trailer being towed is greater than 10,000 pounds.
For Example: Most 18-wheelers.
CLASS B LICENSE – Required for any single vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds; or combination vehicles provided they are towing a vehicle/trailer/unit with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less.
For Example: Dump trucks, water trucks, most buses.
CLASS C LICENSE – Required for any vehicles with a GVWR of 26,000 pounds or less. Class C is required strictly for vehicles designed to carry 16 or more passengers (including the driver), or carry hazardous materials requiring placards.
For Example: Any vehicle under 26,000 pounds carrying hazardous materials or passengers (16 or more).
Requirements For Idaho CDL Endorsements
Endorsements are required to operate certain types of vehicles/trailers or transport hazardous or liquid cargo.
Idaho CDL Endorsements include:
- (H) – Hazardous Materials – Required to operate a vehicle transporting hazardous materials or waste requiring placards per the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act. (Knowledge test and security threat assessment test are required.)
- (T) – Double/Triple Trailers – Required to drive vehicles towing two or three trailers. (Knowledge test required)
- (N) – Tank Vehicles – Required for drivers of vehicles designed to transport liquids or liquid gases within a tank that is either permanently or temporarily attached to the vehicle or chassis. This endorsement is not required to transport portable tanks having a rated capacity under 1,000 gallons. (Knowledge test required)
- (P) – Passenger Vehicle – Required for operators of vehicles designed or used to carry 16 passengers or more, including the driver. (Knowledge and skills test required)
- (S) – School Bus – Required for drivers of vehicles transporting pre-primary, primary or secondary school students to and from school, or school sponsored events. (Knowledge and skills test are required)
IMPORTANT: To receive an unrestricted Idaho CDL, you need to be able to pass all of the general knowledge, air brakes endorsement, combination vehicles, and pre-trip/skills/road test section exams. (Refer to sections 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13)
*The air brake exam is required to remove the (L) air brake restriction from your Idaho CDL.
Idaho CDL Requirements
In order to qualify for a Idaho Commercial Drivers License, you must meet all of the following requirements:
1. You must be at least 18 years old or older to apply for a Idaho CDL, however you will be restricted to driving within the state boundaries (intrastate). You must be at least 21 years old to apply for a non-restricted interstate CDL.
2. You must be able to obtain a Medical Examiners Report, which verifies that you meet the physical requirements set by FMCSA.
3. You must possess a valid Class D Idaho Driver’s License.
4. You must one year driving experience with an unrestricted Class D license.
5. You must have a government issued social security card.
How To Get A CDL License In Idaho
Below are the steps for applying for your CDL License in Idaho:
1. Study each of the sections in the official Idaho Commercial Drivers License Handbook that apply to the class of license you’d like to receive PLUS any endorsements.
2. Make an appointment at you local DMV office for the written examinations. Be sure to bring with you:
- A valid Idaho Class D license.
- Proof of legal Idaho residence.
- A original social security card.
- Your Medical Examiners Certificate or DOT Physical Card.
3. Pass all of the knowledge tests required for the class of license you wish to receive. You’ll receive an Idaho CDL Permit valid for 180 days, which you may use to train with a licensed CDL driver in a vehicle representative of the class of license you tested for (trainer must be sitting in the passenger seat).
4. Contact your local CDL skills tester to schedule a CDL License Idaho road test. Be sure to bring with you:
- Proof of identification.
- Proof of insurance.
- A receipt showing you passed your knowledge test and paid for the skills test.
5. Pass your road/skills test.
- Pre-Trip Inspection – You will be tested on your ability to show your vehicle is safe to drive. (Section 11 of the CDL Handbook)
- Basic Vehicle Control – You will be graded on on ability to control your vehicle in a variety of closed course tests. (Section 12)
- On-Road Test – You will be tested on your ability to drive your commercial motor vehicle safely on public roadways. (Section 13)
How Much Does A CDL In Idaho Cost?
The fees for applying for and obtaining your Idaho CDL are as follows:
- DOT Physical Card – $50-100 dollars depending on your physician/insurance.
- CDL Knowledge Test Fee – $3.00 each
- CDL Permit Fee – $29.00
- CDL Skills Test – $70.00
- Idaho CDL License – $40.00 (Valid For 4 Years)
- Endorsement Tests – $15.00 each
TOTAL: $198 – 331.00 DOLLARS
Official Idaho CDL Handbook: http://itd.idaho.gov/dmv/DriverServices/documents/cdl_manual.pdf
Idaho Driver’s Services: http://itd.idaho.gov/dmv/driverservices/cdl.htm
FMCSA Guidelines: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration-licensing/cdl/cdl.htm
FMCSA Medical Report: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/safetyprograms/Medical-Report.pdf