Getting your CDL In Wisconson

To obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in Wisconsin, follow the step-by-step process outlined below. Please note that prices mentioned are approximate and subject to change. For the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding CDL application fees and procedures in Wisconsin, it is recommended to visit the official website of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation or contact them directly.

1. Determine Eligibility: Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria to qualify for a CDL in Wisconsin. This typically includes being at least 18 years old for intrastate driving or 21 years old for interstate driving. You will also need a valid Wisconsin driver’s license and must provide proof of US citizenship or lawful permanent residency.

2. Study the CDL Manual: Obtain a copy of the Wisconsin CDL Manual, available online or from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. 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 Wisconsin Department of Transportation service center and apply for a CLP by passing the written knowledge tests specific to your desired CDL type. The fee for obtaining a CLP in Wisconsin is approximately $35.

4. Training: Consider enrolling in a CDL training program offered by a reputable truck driving school to acquire 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 Wisconsin Department of Transportation to take the CDL skills test. This test usually includes a pre-trip vehicle inspection, basic control skills, and an on-road driving examination. The approximate fee for the skills test in Wisconsin is around $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: After successfully completing all necessary tests, paying the required fees, and meeting additional requirements, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation will issue you a CDL. The license fee for a five-year CDL in Wisconsin is approximately $75.

Remember to visit the official website of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation or contact them directly for the most accurate and current information regarding CDL application procedures and fees in Wisconsin.

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

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

1. Determine the CDL Class: Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin DOT. You must be at least 18 years old for an intrastate CDL (within Wisconsin) 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 Wisconsin DOT 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 Wisconsin may vary. As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, the base fee for a CDL in Wisconsin is $78 for an eight-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 Wisconsin DOT 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 Wisconsin, please refer to the official website of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation or contact their office directly.

This is an index page for Commercial Driver License applicants, license holders and employers​ to help you find useful information on the DMV website. Topics are arranged below by subject to help you quickly access the information you need.

How to get a customized list of the requirements you will need to get any class and/or endorsement

The interactive driver licensing guide is a helpful tool for those looking for information on commercial driving requirements. The guide will provide you with a checklist of requirements, and allow you to pre-fill any required application(s) before visiting a DMV Customer Service Center. Depending on your eligibility, you may also be able to use the guide to electronically submit your application(s) and schedule an appointment with the DMV for expedited service.

How to apply for a CDL class or endorsement

If you want to get a CDL class (A, B or C) or a CDL endorsement (F, H, N, P, S and T) for the first time, see these two web​pages:

Basic CDL requirements and CDL classes:


Tier of operation and CDL medical requirements

  • How to apply for a CDL – this webpage has a section on tier of operation and medical requirements, including a link to help you find a Fed Med examiner in your area

Wisconsin CDL manuals

Employer information

​Online services for commercial drivers



​​​Driver Eligibility Unit
Email Wisconsin DMV email service​​​

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