Pennsylvania CDL Test Requirements and Endorsements
- Various CDL courses to take
- The different DMV fees
- The range of skills you'll need to perfect
Earn a Commercial Driver's License Now
It should come as no surprise that if you plan on operating a commercial vehicle in the State of Pennsylvania, you will need to obtain a Pennsylvania commercial driver's license. Our resource page will help you achieve this goal. You will have to pass a knowledge test, followed by a skills test.
Available CDL Courses
- General Knowledge
- Air Brakes
- Combination Vehicles
- Hazardous Materials
- School Bus
- Passenger Transport
- Pre-trip Inspection
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Do You Need a CDL?
As stated, to legally operate a Class A, B, or C commercial vehicle in the State of Pennsylvania, you will need to obtain a Pennsylvania commercial driver's license. Further endorsements are a must for double/triple trailers, tanker vehicles, passenger vehicles, and vehicles placarded for hazardous materials.
To operate a commercial vehicle in one of the following classifications, you must have a Pennsylvania CDL Endorsement.
- Class A License - This license will let you operate a combination vehicle with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) that exceeds 26,000 pounds, but only if the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed exceeds 10,000 pounds.
- Class B License - This license is for single or combination vehicles where the GVWR of the single vehicle exceeds 26,000 pounds. The vehicle being towed cannot exceed 10,000 pounds.
- Class C License - This license is needed to operate a vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, as well as vehicles placarded for hazardous materials.
Knowledge and Skills
Depending on the type of CDL you wish to gain, you will have to take one or more knowledge tests. If you successfully pass this assessment, you will receive a permit. The permit must be held for 15 days, after which you'll be able to take a skills test. During the skills test, you'll be scored on the following: pre-trip inspection, basic vehicle control, and on-road driving.
- Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection - You need to know if your vehicle is safe to drive. You will be asked to conduct an inspection, as well as explain your actions and findings.
- Basic Vehicle Control - Can you properly control the vehicle? You will be asked to move the vehicle forward, backward, and turn it within a defined area, using lanes, cones, or barriers.
- On-Road Test - You must be able to safely drive the vehicle in a number of traffic situations, including: left and right turns, intersections, railway crossings, and more.
You must pass a physical examination every two years. During this examination, you will be checked to see if you possess good hearing and vision. You must have 20/40 vision, as well as a 70-degree field of vision in each eye. Drivers must not be colorblind.
At the DMV
When going to the DMV, you will need a range of documents, including: a completed application, a valid driver's license, social security card, and proof of identity and residency.
CDL fees are as follows:
- Initial Permit and Four-Year License without Hazmat (assumes 1 permit) - $74.50
- Initial Permit and Two-Year License without Hazmat (age 65+/assumes 1 permit) - $44.00
- Initial Permit and Four-Year License with Hazmat (assumes 2 permits) - $89.50
- Initial Permit and Two-Year License with Hazmat (age 65+/assumes 2 permits) - $59.00
For current CDL licensing and endorsement fees visit the Pennsylvania DMV:
Pennsylvania CDL Manual: Pennsylvania CDL Driver's Handbook
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