Getting your CDL in Pennsylvania

Getting your CDL in Pennsylvania

To get a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Pennsylvania, you must meet certain requirements and complete several steps. Here is an overview of the process and prices:

1. Meet the eligibility requirements: You must be at least 18 years old (21 years old for interstate driving), have a valid Pennsylvania driver’s license, pass a physical examination, and have no disqualifying medical conditions.

2. Obtain a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP): To get a CLP, you must pass a written knowledge test and pay a fee of $75. This will allow you to practice driving under the supervision of a licensed CDL holder.

3. Complete CDL training: You must complete a CDL training program from an approved provider or receive employer-sponsored training. The cost of training varies based on the provider and the length of the program.

4. Pass the CDL skills test: You must pass a skills test that includes pre-trip inspection, basic control skills, and a road test. The fee for the skills test is $50.

5. Obtain your CDL: If you pass the skills test, you will need to pay a fee of $133.50 to obtain your CDL.

The cost of getting a CDL in Pennsylvania ranges from around $1,500 to $10,000 depending on the provider and other factors such as endorsements and additional fees. It is important to research your options and choose a reputable provider that meets your needs and budget.

In summary, the process of getting a CDL in Pennsylvania involves meeting eligibility requirements, obtaining a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP), completing CDL training, passing the CDL skills test, and obtaining the CDL by paying the necessary fees.

To obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in Pennsylvania, 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 Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Here is a general outline of the CDL process in Pennsylvania:

  1. Determine the CDL Class: Pennsylvania 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 PennDOT. You must be at least 18 years old for an intrastate CDL (within Pennsylvania) 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 PennDOT 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 Pennsylvania may vary. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the base fee for a CDL in Pennsylvania is $102.50 for a four-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 PennDOT 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 Pennsylvania, please refer to the official website of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation or contact their office directly.

Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT)


Effective February 7, 2022, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) established federal regulations requiring entry-level drivers to complete entry level driver training (ELDT) when they are seeking a Class A or B Commercial Driver License (CDL) for the first time, upgrading to a Class A or B CDL or obtaining a passenger (P), school bus (S) or a hazardous material (H) endorsement for the first time. FMCSA’s Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) regulations set the baseline for minimum training requirements for entry-level drivers.
Entry-level driver applicants must obtain training from a training provider listed on the Training Provider Registry (TPR).  The training requirements are not retroactive and do not apply to individuals holding a valid CDL or an H, P, or S endorsement issued prior to February 7, 2022.  Individuals who passed required knowledge tests and obtained a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) before the compliance date of February 7, 2022 are also not subject to ELDT requirements as long as they obtain a CDL before the expiration date of the CLP or renewed CLP.  Customers who applied for a Pennsylvania Knowledge Test Authorizations (KTA) that did not successfully complete required core knowledge testing prior to February 7, 2022, are subject to and must comply with ELDT requirements. 
Any individual who meets one of the exceptions for taking a skills test in 49 CFR Part 383Opens In A New Window is also exempt from the ELDT requirements.
For the most updated information regarding ELDT federal regulations, please visit the FMCSA websiteOpens In A New Window.  The information above is subject to change based on guidance from the FMCSA or any amendment to the federal rules and regulations.

For a complete list of federal requirements, visit the FMCSA’s ELDT main pageOpens In A New Window for details.

For organizations that train entry-level CDL drivers, see the Entry-Level Driver Training Rule Implementation ChecklistOpens In A New Window.

For more information regarding required training, visit the FMCSA’s ELDT Curriculum SummaryOpens In A New Window.
For more information on becoming an entry-level CDL driver training provider, please visit the PA Department of Education Website.

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