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Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

Drivers have been required to have a commercial driver's license (CDL) in order to drive certain commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) since April 1, 1992. The types of vehicles and operations requiring a CDL are outlined below. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has developed and issued standards for State testing and licensing of CDL holders. These standards require States to issue CDLs to certain CMV drivers only after the driver passes knowledge and skills tests administered by the State and related to the type of vehicle the driver expects to operate.

Drivers are required to obtain and hold a CDL if they operate in interstate, intrastate, or foreign commerce and drive a vehicle that meets one or more of the classifications of a CMV described below. Restrictions are placed on a CDL when a driver takes the Skills Test in a vehicle which lacks critical equipment present in particular types of CMVs. Therefore, to avoid restrictions, drivers should take the Skills Test in the same type of vehicle for which they are seeking a CDL to operate.

Classes of Commercial License (CDL) and Commercial Learner's Permits (CLP)

Pursuant to Federal standards, Vermont issues CDLs and CLPs to drivers according to the following license classifications:

Class A:  Any combination of vehicles which has a gross combination weight rating or gross combination weight of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more) whichever is greater, inclusive of a towed unit(s) with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of more than 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) whichever is greater.

Class B:  Any single vehicle which has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of 11,794 or more kilograms (26,001 pounds or more), or any such vehicle towing a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight that does not exceed  4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds).

Class C:  Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that does not meet the definition of Class A or Class B, but is either designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver or is transporting material that has been designated as hazardous under 49 U.S.C. 5103 and is required to be placarded under subpart F of 49 CFR Part 172 or is transporting any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR Part 73.

Age Requirements

  • You must be at least 18 years old and hold a valid Vermont Class D  Driver's License to obtain a Commercial Learner’s Permit.
  • You must be at least 18 years old to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License and operate a commercial vehicle within Vermont (Intrastate commerce).
  • You must be at least 21 years old to operate a commercial motor vehicle between Vermont and another state (interstate commerce).

Download the PDF form to your computer and then open it with Adobe Reader

Title ID# Sort descending Description
Commercial License/Permit Application
VL-031
To apply for the issuance of any new, renewal, replacement or correction of any and all CDL licenses/permits/endorsements.
Commercial Driver License Skills Test Scheduling Fee Receipt
VL-056
To record receipt of the commercial driver license skills test deposit scheduling fee.
CDL Manual
VN-111
Commercial Driver's License manual

FAQs

I want a new photo on my license, learner permit or non-driver ID. How can I obtain one?

You must get a new picture taken at least once for every other renewal. You may get a new photo at any time for any reason (for a fee). Complete the required documents and schedule an appointment to visit an office.

What is REAL ID?

Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act enacted the 9/11 Commission's recommendation that the Federal Government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses.” The Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for official purposes licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards. These purposes are:

  • Accessing Federal facilities
  • Boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft
  • Entering nuclear power plants
Can I board a plane with a Temporary License/ID?

TSA will NOT accept a Temporary License/ID as a standalone document. It will accept the expiring or expired card with the Temporary License/ID as proof of the renewal. Customers should visit TSA’s website which contains detailed information on the identity documents they will accept: tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification

Will CDL drivers be required to surrender their unexpired license if they renew early?

No. The current license will be voided and handed back. You should carry the old license with your temporary until the new license arrives. 

Can a driver holding a valid out-of-state license (either CDL or non-CDL) drive a Type II School Bus in the State of Vermont?

If the driver meets all qualifications for a Vermont Type II School Bus endorsement a card will be issued to the individual allowing them to drive a Type II School Bus in this state. These requirements include attending a Vermont school bus clinic, passing all required tests (knowledge, vision, and skill tests), and submitting a medical form.

Can an "S" (school bus) endorsement be added to an out-of-state CDL?

No, the "S" (school bus) endorsement must be added by the state of issue.

Can a driver holding an out-of-state CDL drive a school bus for a Vermont school?

Yes, if their license has both an "S" (school bus) and "P" (passenger) endorsement. There are no additional requirements.