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Michigan CDL Test Requirements and Endorsements

Michigan CDL
  • Learn what type of CDL you need
  • Discover the current fees
  • See what skills you'll be tested on

Getting a CDL

Depending on what type of vehicle you plan on operating and for what specific purpose, you may need to obtain a Michigan commercial driver's license. In order to successfully secure this type of license, you will have to go through and complete a specific process. This resource page will help guide you through this procedure.

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Who May Need a CDL?

In the State of Michigan, you will need a Michigan commercial driver's license to operate a Class A, B, or C commercial vehicle. Further endorsements will be required for operating double/triple trailers, tanker vehicles, passenger vehicles, and vehicles placarded for hazardous materials. To legally operate the following commercial vehicles, you will need to have a commercial driver's license:

  • Single Vehicles - Having a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more.
  • Combination Vehicles - Towing a trailer or other vehicles with a GVWR of 10,001 pounds or more when the gross combination weight rating (GCWR) is 26,001 pounds or more.
  • Vehicles - Designed to transport 16 or more people, including the driver.
  • Hazardous Materials - Carrying hazardous materials in amounts requiring placarding.

There are various individuals who could possibly be exempt from needing to earn a CDL, such as: active duty military, police officers, and firefighters. For a complete list, as well as exemption details, visit Michigan.gov.

The Skills Tests

After you've passed the knowledge test, your skills will be tested. You will be graded in the following areas: pre-trip inspection, basic vehicle control, and on-road driving. These tests will need to be taken in the vehicle for which you wish to be licensed.

  • Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection - Can you tell if a vehicle is safe to drive? You will be ordered to do a pre-trip inspection, explaining what you're doing and why.
  • Basic Vehicle Control - It's important to be able to control the vehicle. You need to know how to move the vehicle forward, backward, and turn it within a defined area.
  • On-Road Test - Can you safely drive your vehicle in various traffic situations? These situations may include: intersections, railway crossings, curves, highways, and more.

More Requirements

To drive a commercial vehicle across state lines, you must be 21 years old. However, you may drive a commercial vehicle in Michigan (intrastate) at the age of 18. You will also have to successfully pass a physical examination once every two years. During this exam, your hearing and vision will be tested. Drivers cannot be colorblind.

DMV Documents

Before going to the DMV, make sure you have the required documents. When you go to the DMV, you will need to bring your driver's license, physical examination results, and proof of your social security number.

Various Fees

  • Correction Fee - $9.00
  • Original CDL - $25.00
  • Endorsements - $5.00

Depending on the county you live in, the DMV fees may change. For a current list of fees, visit the Kansas DMV.

Where Can I Get More Information?

Michigan CDL Manual: Download Michigan 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