Commercial Drivers License Information

What is the Commercial Driver's License Law?

New federal standards for testing and licensing heavy truck and bus operators are required by law in Kentucky. These minimum standards will guarantee the fitness of commercial motor vehicle operators by requiring demonstrated ability to drive heavy vehicles before a license is issued.  The CDL laws and standards cover drivers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Mexico and Canada. Motor Carriers will be held responsible if their drivers operate a commercial motor vehicle without a valid CDL. 

  1. CDL Skills Testing Sites
  2. CDL Manual
  3. Letter for First Time CDL Applicants.pdf 
  4. CDL Application - Form TC94-32. Please read all instructions.
  5. CDL Self-Certification - Form TC 94-169  -  Word  -  PDF
  6. Hazardous Materials Endorsement Application
  7. Medical Examination Report for Commercial Driver Fitness Determination
  8. Medical Examiner Certificate



Who Needs a License?

Class A CDL
  • For any combination of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more, provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is more than 10,000 pounds.
Class B CDL
  • Any straight truck with two or more axles and a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more;
  • Any vehicle with two or more axles and a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more, pulling a vehicle with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less;
  • A single vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) if the GVWR is 26,001 pounds or more.
Class C CDL
  • Any vehicle with a GVWR of less than 26,001 pounds transporting hazardous materials for which placarding is required;
  • A single vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) if the GVWR is less than 26,001 pounds.

 **Please note that if driving a commercial motor vehicle as defined below, you are required to carry a medical examination certificate, even though you are not required to carry a CDL license.

Commercial motor vehicle means any self-propelled or towed motor vehicle used on a highway in interstate commerce to transport passengers or property when the vehicle:

  1. Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight, of 4,536 kg(10,001 pounds) or more, whichever is greater: or
  2. Is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (incuding the driver) for compensation.
  3. Is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation; or
  4. Is used in transporting material found by the Secretary of Transportation to be hazardous under 49 U.S.C. 5103 and transported in a quantity requiring placarding under regulations prescribed by the Secretary under 49 CFR, subtitle B, chapter I, subchapter C.

Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999

Wants and Warrants check for all CDL drivers
KRS 281A.300
All applicants for a CDL (original and renewal) are required to undergo a "hot file" check conducted by Kentucky State Police. The cost is $3.00 and will be collected by the Circuit Court Clerk's office at the time of issuance. It will be an instantaneous check and will not delay the driver in receiving his/her CDL. If a "hit" occurs, a notice will be sent to the law enforcement agency that originated the warrant for further investigation.
Kentucky Security Threat Assessment
Kentucky drivers need to apply for the Kentucky Security Threat Assessment at least 60 days prior to the expiration date of their license by completing the Hazardous Materials Endorsement Application - PDF format. More information and phone numbers available on this page.
Hazmat Threat Assessment Program
The USA PATRIOT Act requires all drivers who transport hazardous materials to undergo a security threat assessment. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) developed a program to implement this requirement.
Hazmat Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions regarding the Hazmat Threat Assessment Program.
Military Certification for Skills Test Exemption
The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration has extended the time in which military personnel and veterans may apply for the MIlitary Skill Test Exemption from (90) ninety days to (1) one year.  Applicants must complete the CDL issuance process within (1) one year of separation from active duty.  The applicant is required to submit the exemption form, medical card, self certification and commercial application to the CDL section.  Upon approval, they will will receive written notification.  They will then be required to take the written and vision tests prior to being issued the CDL.  Military Certification for Skills Test Exemption