Getting your CDL in North Dakota

Getting your CDL in North Dakota

To obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in North Dakota, you need to follow several steps. Firstly, you must obtain a CDL learner’s permit, which requires passing a written exam and costs $5. After that, you need to complete a CDL training program either through a truck driving school or with an employer who offers training. The cost of the training program varies but typically ranges from $3,000 to $7,000.

Once you complete the training program, you can apply for a CDL at any North Dakota DMV office. You will need to take a skills test that includes a pre-trip inspection, a basic control skills test, and an on-road driving test. The fee for the CDL skills test is $50.

If you pass the skills test, you can then pay for your CDL license, which is currently $60. You may also need to pay additional fees for endorsements, depending on your career path.

The total cost of obtaining a CDL in North Dakota can range from around $3,000 to over $7,000, depending on the cost of your training program and any additional fees for endorsements or other requirements.

To obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in North Dakota, you need to go through a process that includes meeting specific requirements, completing training, passing written and practical exams, and paying the necessary fees. Please note that the information provided is based on the knowledge available up until September 2021, and there may have been updates or changes since then. It’s always best to consult the official website of the North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Here is a general outline of the CDL process in North Dakota:

1. Determine the CDL Class: North Dakota offers several classes of CDL, including Class A, Class B, and Class C, depending on the type of vehicle you plan to operate.

2. Eligibility Requirements: Ensure you meet the basic requirements set by the NDDOT. You must be at least 18 years old for an intrastate CDL (within North Dakota) or 21 years old for an interstate CDL (across state lines). You must have a valid regular driver’s license and provide proof of legal presence in the United States.

3. Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP): Before obtaining a CDL, you will need to obtain a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP). To get a CLP, you need to pass a written knowledge test specific to the class of CDL you’re seeking. The test covers topics like general knowledge, air brakes (if applicable), combination vehicles (if applicable), and any endorsements you may need. You must also pass a vision screening and provide proper identification.

4. CDL Training: While not mandatory, it is highly recommended to complete a CDL training program to receive professional instruction and hands-on training. CDL training programs can be found at commercial driving schools or community colleges. These programs help prepare you for the CDL skills test and provide valuable knowledge and experience.

5. Skills Test: Once you’ve obtained your CLP and completed your training, you can schedule an appointment with the NDDOT to take the CDL skills test. The skills test typically includes a pre-trip inspection, basic vehicle control, and an on-road driving test. You may also need to complete additional tests for specific endorsements.

6. Endorsements: If you plan to operate vehicles with additional features or requirements, such as carrying hazardous materials, transporting passengers, or driving a tanker, you may need to obtain specific endorsements. Endorsements require additional written tests and possibly additional skills tests.

7. Fees: The fees associated with obtaining a CDL in North Dakota may vary. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the base fee for a CDL in North Dakota is $45 for a five-year license. There may be additional fees for specific endorsements or other services. These fees are subject to change, so it’s best to check the NDDOT website or contact their office directly for the most current fee information.

It’s important to note that additional costs may arise, such as those related to CDL training programs, medical examinations, and background checks.

For the most accurate and up-to-date information on CDL requirements and fees in North Dakota, please refer to the official website of the North Dakota Department of Transportation or contact their office directly.


In order to obtain a CDL, you must:

  1. Be 21 years old to cross state lines, 18-20 years old to apply for an intra-state CDL, or at 16 years old, you may test for a CDL restricted to custom harvesting operations only.
  2. Read, write and speak English.
  3. Must meet all Federal Medical Requirements in 49 CFR 391. Some of the medical conditions which may disqualify an individual are:
    1. Heart condition
    2. Hearing impairment
    3. Worse than 20/40 visual acuity in either eye
    4. Diabetes controlled with insulin
    5. Epilepsy
    6. Loss of or loss of use of a limb
    7. Seizure disorder requiring anti-seizure medication
  4. ND Driver License Sites, apply in person, pass the required knowledge test(s) for the CDL Class to be driven, and purchase a Commercial Learners Permit (CLP). Prior to testing, you will always need to present your current Driver License, proof of legal presence, proof of residence address, make an application, and pass an eye examination. ID Checklist .
  5. Prior to being eligible to complete your road test you are required to complete the federally required Entry Level Driver Training. For more information on this requirement visit: Training Provider Registry (
  6. Demonstrate your ability to operate the vehicle by passing a road test in a representative commercial vehicle. A road test cannot be scheduled without a valid CLP which must have been earned at least 14 days prior.
  7. Online Commercial Driver License Guide

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