Getting your CDL in Hawaii

Trucking School Near Hawaii

Getting your CDL in Hawaii

To obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in Hawaii, you need to meet specific requirements and complete a series of steps. The process involves gathering documentation, passing written and skills tests, and paying the necessary fees. Here’s a general overview:

1. Eligibility Requirements:
– You must be at least 18 years old to drive within Hawaii and 21 years old to drive across state lines or transport hazardous materials.
– You should hold a valid Hawaii driver’s license.
– You must provide proof of your Social Security Number.

2. Documentation:
– Gather the required documentation, including proof of identity (e.g., birth certificate, passport), proof of residency, and proof of Social Security Number.
– You may also need to provide documents verifying your legal presence in the United States.

3. CDL Written Test:
– Study the Hawaii Commercial Driver License Manual thoroughly.
– Visit a local Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) office to take the written CDL exam.
– The exam covers general knowledge, specific vehicle classes, air brakes (if applicable), and any additional endorsements you seek.

4. CDL Skills Test:
– Schedule an appointment at a HDOT office or an authorized third-party testing location to take the CDL skills test.
– The skills test consists of three parts: pre-trip vehicle inspection, basic vehicle control, and on-road driving.
– You’ll need to provide the appropriate vehicle for each test, such as a commercial vehicle of the appropriate class.

5. Medical Examination:
– Obtain a medical examination from a certified medical examiner.
– The medical examiner will complete the Medical Examination Report (MER) and provide you with a Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC).

6. Fees:
– The fees for obtaining a CDL in Hawaii can vary. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the fee for a Class A, B, or C CDL was $66.
– Additional fees may apply for endorsements, duplicates, and other services.

Please note that the fees and specific procedures may have changed since my last update. To get the most accurate and up-to-date information, please visit the official website of the Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) or contact your local HDOT office in Hawaii. They will provide you with the current requirements and fees for obtaining a CDL in Hawaii.

Where is the Commercial Driver Licensing Office (CDL) located in Oahu?
The CDL office is located at 897 Second St., Pearl City, HI 96782

***The mailing address is P.O. Box 30360, Honolulu, HI 96820-0360***

How can I apply for a duplicate commercial driver’s license by mail?

Send us a letter requesting a duplicate of your Hawaii Commercial Driver’s License if it has been lost or stolen. You will be sent a duplicate driver’s license to the current mailing address in Hawaii. 

To process your application, the following information must be included in your letter:

Name (as it appears on the license)
Mailing address
Social Security Number (last four digits) or Hawaii driver’s license number
Date of birth
Email address
Signature and date
Reason for requesting a duplicate driver’s license (lost or stolen)
Complete and sign CDL application form

Fee of $15.00 (A certified check or money order payable to City & County of Honolulu. Do NOT send cash.)

Send your signed and dated letter, application, and payment to the following address:

City and County of Honolulu
Commercial Driver’s License Section 
P.O. Box 30360

Honolulu, HI 96820-0360

No fax or email requests will be accepted.

What are your hours of operation?
Hours are 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Monday thru Friday except for Federal and State Holidays. Written test hours are administered from 8:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

What are the requirements or documents needed to obtain a CDL Permit?

  • Applicants for a CDL permit must be at least 18 years of age (must be 21 years old to obtain CDL license).
  • Submittal of the DOT Certificate (Form MCSA-5876), which verifies that you meet the Medical and Physical requirements.
  • Pass the required vision test with a minimum of 20/40 in both eyes.
  • Possess a valid basic Hawaii Driver’s License.
  • Certified United States Birth Certificate.
  • Original Social Security Card. (Note: Effective June 18, 2021, presenting Social Security Number (SSN) documentation is optional.)
  • Pass all required written tests for the class of license you wish to drive.
  • 2 Proof of Residence Documents.

What are the various types or classification of commercial driver licenses?

  • Class A: any combination of Truck/Tractor and trailer that exceeds 26,001 GCVWR with a trailer GVW that exceeds 10,001 GVWR.
  • Class B: any single vehicle that has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001.
  • Class C: any single vehicle that does not meet the GVW of Class B but requires a passenger or hazardous endorsement.

What are the different types of written tests I need to pass to obtain a CDL?

  • The general knowledge test.
  • The air brake test for any vehicle equipped with air brakes.
  • Passenger endorsement test, for those that carry 16 or more passengers including the driver.
  • Hazardous material test, for those who will carry hazardous material with amounts that require placarding.
  • Tanker endorsement test if the vehicle or trailer tank carried exceeds 1,000 gallons.
  • Combination test if you will be driving a combination vehicle.
  • Double/triples test if you will be pulling double or triple trailers.
  • School bus endorsement test if applicable.
  • NOTE: After completing the appropriate written tests required for the class/type of license of vehicle applying for, and provided there are no other eligibility requirements, a CDL permit is issued with the appropriate endorsements.

Are there any other tests required before obtaining my CDL?
You will need to make an appointment to be tested with a representative vehicle class and pass the following:

  • Pre-trip: The first test to complete is the Pre-trip vehicle test. It will demonstrate your knowledge of the commercial vehicle of the category you intend to drive and determine if the vehicle is safe to operate on the public roadways.
  • Skill test: This test consists of various backing manoeuvres and tests your skills to operate a commercial motor vehicle of the category you intend to drive under different simulated off-road situations. You must pass this test before taking the road test.
  • Road test: This test will demonstrate your ability to operate a commercial vehicle of the category you intend to drive, through various traffic situations on the public roadways.

NOTE: Should you fail any required test, there is a minimum one week waiting period to be eligible for a retest. Appropriate fees apply.

What fees do I pay?

  • $30 application fee for a permit.
  • $5 fee per year or a fraction thereof for a new or renewed license.
  • $15 fee for a duplicate license or any change to the information on the license.
  • $15 fee to take the general knowledge test.
  • $5 fee to take each special knowledge test.
  • $15 additional fee to take the aural test.
  • $41 to reinstate or $66 if reinstating and renewing.
  • $50 fee in advance to schedule an appointment to take the skills tests. Only drivers with prepaid appointments and proof of payment will be allowed to test. If an applicant misses an appointment, he or she forfeits the prepaid fee.

What are the requirements to renew my Hawaii CDL?

  • If you want to have the Veterans Designation added, please provide an original DD214, Blue retired military ID, or Veteran Affairs ID Card.
  • If you possess a valid Hawaii CDL without a Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME), you will need to submit your current DOT Certificate; and pass the required vision test, with a minimum of at least 20/40 in both eyes corrected.
  • Certified United States Birth Certificate.
  • Original Social Security Card. (Note: Effective June 18, 2021, presenting Social Security Number (SSN) documentation is optional.)
  • 2 Proof of Residence Documents.
  • If you possess a valid Hawaii CDL with a Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME) besides meeting the above requirements, you need to pass the hazardous materials written test for each renewal.
  • For HME holders, register with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). TSA will perform a background check on all persons applying for a Hazardous Material Endorsement (HME).
  • Hazardous Material Endorsement (HME) is valid for up to five (5) years from the approval date issued by TSA. The CDL license will expire on the same date.
  • For further information regarding the background check, please visit the TSA Hazmat website at The toll free TSA driver help desk number is 1-855-347-8371.
  • You must not have any outstanding violations.
  • You must not have any suspensions, revocations, cancellations, withdrawals, or convictions that would affect your eligibility or result in the disqualification of your CDL privileges.
  • Pay the appropriate fee(s).

Am I allowed to hold another valid license or CDL from another state, if applying for a Hawaii CDL?
No. You may only hold one valid driver’s license at any one time

What are the requirements or documents needed to transfer my valid out-of-state CDL to a Hawaii CDL?

  • You have 30 days from the time you arrive to transfer your current CDL to a Hawaii CDL.
  • Current DOT Certificate.
  • Certified United States Birth Certificate.
  • Original Social Security Card. (Note: Effective June 18, 2021, presenting Social Security Number (SSN) documentation is optional.)
  • Acceptable proof of residency ( utility bill, rental contract)
  • HAZMAT written test with a minimum of 1 year left on current HAZMAT clearance.

May I use an out-of-state CDL Permit to test here in Hawaii?

No. An out-of-state CDL permit is not acceptable.

Will I lose any of my endorsements when I transfer my out-of-state CDL?

  • No. Provided the endorsements can be verified by the previous state of record.
  • For Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME), you must pass a hazardous materials written test. And with a minimum of 1 year left on current HAZMAT clearance

Can I renew my Hawaii CDL by mail?

  • No. You must visit the CDL office to renew your CDL.
  • You must also show proof of your current DOT Certificate.
  • A Hawaii CDL cannot be issued without a current photo affixed to your CDL.

Is there a grace period after my Hawaii CDL has expired?

  • You have ninety (90) days after the expiration date to renew your CDL. After 90 days, a $5 late fee is assessed for every month (even partial months). After one year past the expiration date, you must start over and take the written test as well as the road test. Under state law, an expired license is invalid for driving.
  • If you are in the Armed Services and deployed overseas during the time of your CDL expiration date, you have up to 90 days upon return to Hawaiʻi to renew your CDL without penalty, with acceptable proof of service. It does not matter what the expiration date is.

What if I have an out-of-state CDL, do I have any grace period?
No grace period allowed on any expired out-of-state CDL.

How do I notify the CDL office if I changed my address?

  • You can fax us at (808) 768-1405 or send a letter with your name, previous address, new address, license number as it appears on your driver’s license, date of birth, and your signature to: Commercial Driver’s License Section P.O. Box 30360, Honolulu, Hawaii 96820-0360.
  • Upon receipt, we will update the information in our driver record database.
  • If you would like to update your license plastic, you will need to visit our CDL office. The duplicate fee is $15.00.

If I have a CDL, where can I apply for a motorcycle permit or license?

  • You may go to any Driver Licensing Office to obtain a motorcycle permit.
  • Adding a motorcycle endorsement (category 2) to your CDL may only be completed at the Commercial Driver Licensing Office.
  • Any changes that affect your CDL will need to be completed at the Commercial Driver Licensing Office.

Where can I get a duplicate CDL permit or license?

  • You must visit the CDL office to obtain a duplicate CDL permit or license.
  • The CDL office is required to perform various verification and background checks pursuant to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. The CDL staff is prepared to process these checks.
  • Always remember to bring your current DOT Certificate with you.
  • 2 principle residence documents if there are any changes to current address

I just completed a new physical examination, is it necessary to bring in my new DOT card?

  • Yes.
  • However, you or your doctor’s office may fax or email the completed DOT Certificate to the CDL office. The fax number is 808-768-1405 and email address is Please be sure to leave a contact phone number in case there are any questions regarding your medical certificate. Please do NOT mail your certificate to the physical address.

How do I schedule a road test appointment with the CDL Office?

Appointments for skills testing must be done in person only. Appointments can be made 14 days after permit has been issued and paid for at the CDL OFFICE prior to test date. The $50 fee is not refundable. This skills fee covers the pre-trip inspection, basic skills, and road test for the scheduled date. FIRST AVAILABLE APPOINTMENT IS SCHEDULED.  No rescheduling will be allowed once the appointment has been made and payment is received. Available test appointments times are 8 a. m., 10 a.m., and 1 p.m; Monday through Friday. Lost receipts will result in another $50 fee. You will need to provide two documents with your name and new address.

Can I renew a non-commercial Hawaii driver’s license at the CDL office?

Effective March 1, 2022, renewal of non-commercial Hawaii driver’s licenses at the Pearl City Licensing Office (inside the CDL Office) has been temporarily discontinued.  All previously scheduled AlohaQ appointments for the Pearl City Licensing Office will be redirected to the Kapalama Driver Licensing Center, Kapolei Driver Licensing Center, or the Pearlridge Satellite City Hall.  The CDL Office continues to offer all CDL-related services.