CDL - Commercial Driver's License
All drivers of Commercial Motor Vehicles (CMV’s) are required to obtain a Commercial Driver License (CDL). In order to get a CDL, you must first take and pass required knowledge and skills test. The CDL Test consists of a general test, one or more endorsement tests, and an air brakes test. The tests that you will take depend on the license classification that you are obtaining (Class A, B, or C) and the type of vehicle that you will be driving (e.g., Tanker, Double/Triple, Passenger Bus).
The best way to prepare for your CDL exam is with our free CDL practice tests.
The CDL Test consists of a general test, one or more endorsement tests, and an air brakes test. The tests that you will take depend on the license classification that you are obtaining (Class A, B, or C) and the type of vehicle that you will be driving (e.g., Tanker, Double/Triple, Passenger Bus).
Endorsement Test Overview
You must pass endorsement tests depending on the type of CMV that you will be driving. The endorsement tests are described below.
Tank endorsement – to drive a commercial tank vehicle (over 26,000 pounds) designed to transport any liquid or gaseous material within a tank that is permanently or temporarily attached to the vehicle or chassis. Does not include portable tanks having a rated capacity under 1,000 gallons.
Double and triple trailer endorsement – to pull double and triple trailers.
Passenger endorsement – to drive any vehicle, except a school bus, designed to carry 16 or more persons, including the driver.
School bus endorsement – to drive a vehicle designed to carry 16 or more persons, including the driver that is marked with or displays the words “school bus” and is used to transport students to or from school and may be used to transport students to or from authorized school activities. A school bus manufacturer, dealer or mechanic is not required to have the endorsement while operating a school bus that is not transporting students. A driver must qualify for a passenger endorsement before obtaining a school bus endorsement.
Hazardous materials endorsement – to drive any vehicle carrying hazardous materials that require placards or transporting any amount of material listed in the Federal Department of Health and Human Services regulations as a select agent or toxin.
Air Brakes Test
If you plan on driving any CMV equipped with air brakes, you must take and pass the air brakes test to remove the air brakes restriction from your CDL. The air brakes test is different than the endorsement tests because the air brakes test works as a restriction instead of an endorsement. If you do not pass the air brakes test, your CDL will bear a mark of restriction which means that you are not authorized to drive a CMV with air brakes.
For more information on obtaining your Commercial Driver's License, see more of our CDL articles.