Getting your CDL in Washington

To obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in Washington, you need to follow a specific process. Here is an overview of the steps involved and the associated prices:

1. Eligibility Requirements: You must meet certain criteria to qualify for a CDL in Washington. These include being at least 18 years old for intrastate driving or 21 years old for interstate driving. Additionally, you must have a valid Washington driver’s license and provide proof of US citizenship or lawful permanent residency.

2. Study the CDL Manual: Obtain a copy of the Washington CDL Manual, available online or from the Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL). Thoroughly study this manual to understand the rules, regulations, and procedures related to operating commercial vehicles.

3. Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP): Visit a local DOL office and apply for a CLP by passing the written knowledge tests specific to your desired CDL type. The fee for obtaining a CLP in Washington is around $51.

4. Training: Consider enrolling in a CDL training program offered by a truck driving school to gain the necessary skills and knowledge required to pass the CDL skills test. The cost of training programs varies depending on the school and program you choose.

5. Skills Test: Schedule an appointment with the DOL to take the CDL skills test. This test typically includes a pre-trip vehicle inspection, basic control skills, and an on-road driving examination. The approximate fee for the skills test in Washington is $100.

6. Background Checks and Endorsements: Depending on the type of CDL and endorsements you seek, you may need to undergo additional background checks and pass specialized knowledge tests. Fees for these tests vary based on the specific endorsement.

7. License Issuance: Upon successfully completing all necessary tests, paying the required fees, and meeting additional requirements, the DOL will issue you a CDL. The license fee for a five-year CDL in Washington is approximately $105.

It’s important to note that the prices mentioned are approximate and subject to change. For the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding CDL application fees and procedures in Washington, it is recommended to visit the official website of the Washington State Department of Licensing or contact them directly.

To obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in Washington, 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 Washington State Department of Licensing (DOL) for the most accurate and up-to-date information.

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

1. Determine the CDL Class: Washington 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 Washington DOL. You must be at least 18 years old for an intrastate CDL (within Washington) 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 Washington DOL 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 Washington may vary. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the base fee for a CDL in Washington is $75 for a six-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 Washington DOL 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 Washington, please refer to the official website of the Washington State Department of Licensing or contact their office directly.

Getting a Commercial Driver License (CDL)

If you are over 18 years old and have a valid Washington driver license, you can apply for a CDL.

How to apply for a CDL

  1. Make an appointment at a driver licensing office location that offers knowledge testing.
  2. Prepare the required documents:
    • Current driver license
    • Social Security number
    • Proof of U.S. Citizenship, Lawful Permanent Residency, or non-domicile document. See a list of approved documents for ID purposes.
      • We’re required to verify your status under Federal law 49 CFR 383.71 and Washington State law (RCW 46.25.070). This requirement also applies to drivers who already have a CDL
  3. Self-certify the type of operation you will be conducting and provide your valid medical examiner’s certificate.
  4. Pass the Knowledge test for the type of vehicle you’ll be licensed to operate.
    • You must have a hazmat training course completion on record before taking the hazmat knowledge test.
  5. Get a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP).
  6. Complete training requirements for the type of CDL you’ll be issued.
  7. Call us to schedule and pay for your skills test.
  8. Conduct and pass the skills test.
    • Training course completion must be recorded before a skills test can be taken.
  9. Make an appointment at a driver licensing office to have the CDL issued.
    • Valid skills test and training course completion must be on record prior to CDL issuance. If it isn’t, you may be asked to contact the skills tester and/or training provider to have them enter your results.

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