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Alabama CDL Test Requirements and Endorsements

Alabama CDL
  • The various types of CDL endorsements available
  • A variety of ways to prepare for the CDL exam
  • Specific requirements needed to obtain a CDL license

How to Get a CDL

If you are interested in obtaining an Alabama commercial driver's license, you will have to take one or more tests, depending on what specific class and endorsement you want to pursue. You will also have to take the General Knowledge Test. We'll make sure you know what to expect at the DMV.

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Who Needs a CDL in Alabama?

Depending on what type of vehicle you plan on operating, you may need an Alabama commercial driver's license. Endorsements are required for double/triple trailers, tanker vehicles, passenger vehicles, and vehicles placarded for hazardous materials. If you operate a vehicle that falls into one of the following categories, you will need a CDL:

  • Class A License - This type of license applies to combination vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) exceeding 26,000 pounds, if the GVWR of the vehicle being towed exceeds 10,000 pounds. If a Class A license is obtained, the driver can operate all vehicles in Class B, C, and D categories.
  • Class B License - This category refers to single or combination vehicles where the GVWR of the single vehicle exceeds 26,000 pounds. The vehicle being towed can't exceed 10,000 pounds. Those with a Class B license can drive all vehicles in Class C or D.
  • Class C License - This is for vehicles designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, as well as vehicles placarded for hazardous materials. If a vehicle doesn't meet the criteria for Class A or B, they fall into this category and can drive all vehicles in Class D.

The Skills Test

After you pass the knowledge test, you will be permitted to take the skills tests. The skills that will be tested include: pre-trip inspection, basic vehicle control, and on-road driving. These tests will need to be taken in the type of vehicle for which you want to be licensed for driving.

  • Pre-Trip Inspection: You need to know if your vehicle is safe to drive. You need to explain what would you inspect on the vehicle and why.
  • Basic Vehicle Control: You'll be tested to see if you can control the vehicle. You will need to move your vehicle forward, backward, and turn it in a specific area. These areas may be marked with the following: traffic lanes, cones, or barriers.
  • On-Road Test: You will have to be able to safely drive your vehicle in various traffic situations, such as: left and right turns, intersections, railways crossings, and more.

Other Requirements

You will have to pass a physical examination every two years. It's important to have good hearing, 20/40 vision with or without glasses or contact lenses, and a 70-degree field of vision in each eye. You cannot be colorblind.

Required Documents

Before traveling to the Alabama DPS, you'll want to make sure you have all of the required documents. You'll want to bring a current driver's license, a Department of Transportation Physical Examination Form, and your social security card.
Alabama ID and Required Documents

Fees

For current licensing and endorsement fees, you'll want to visit the Alabama DPS. Depending on the particular county you live in, prices may change.
Driver's License Info on Alabama's Official DMV website

More Information

Alabama CDL Manual: Download Alabama CDL Driver's Handbookpdf

For Federal Requirements for a CDL: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration-licensing/cdl/cdl.htm

For Medical Requirements for a CDL: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/medical.htm