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  • Applying for a New CDL in Nebraska

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    Age Requirement

    You must be at least 18 years old to apply for a Nebraska CDL. However, only drivers over the age of 21 years old are eligible to receive a license valid for interstate travel.

    Licensing Procedures

    You can apply for your CDL at one of the state's examining locations using the CDL Data form (Form DMV 06-105). To prevent identity theft, you must provide acceptable legal proof of your full name and date of birth in 1 document. You must also present 2 documents showing your principal address. You may be required to show proof of your Social Security number, too.

    A CDL issued for 5 years costs $57.50.

    The testing requirements for CDL applicants include a vision screening, written exam, and supervised driving skills evaluation administered by a third-party tester. Additional tests will be required if you wish to add endorsements for activities such as transporting hazardous materials or driving a school bus (see Federal Guidelines, below).

    Most drivers prepare for the CDL license tests by studying a copy of the Nebraska Manual for Commercial Driver's Licensing. You may also wish to enroll in one of the state's approved CDL training schools to get the hands-on training you need to safely drive a commercial motor vehicle.

    The Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles will send you a postcard with renewal instructions approximately 90 days before your license is scheduled to expire.

    If you have questions about applying for your commercial driver license, please contact the Nebraska DMV at (402) 471-3861.

    New Federal Requirements

    You must self-certify your type of vehicle operation with the Nebraska DMV. This means you must self-certify one of the following driving categories:

    • Non-Excepted Interstate
    • Excepted Interstate
    • Non-Excepted Intrastate
    • Excepted Intrastate

    If you choose Non-Excepted Interstate, you must provide the DMV with a federal medical certificate.

    Questions? The NB DMV has answers.

    CDL Classes for Every State

    To be eligible for a CDL, you must have a clean driving record, and you must also pass a physical exam every 3 years.

    Every state issues licenses in these categories:

    • Class A: Any combination of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GWVR) of 26,001 lbs. or more, provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 lbs.
    • Class B: Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or more, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 lbs. GVWR.
    • Class C: Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that does not meet the definition of Class A or Class B, but is either designed to transport at least or more than 16 passengers, including the driver, or is placarded for hazardous materials.

    Many states make exceptions for farm vehicles, snow removal vehicles, fire and emergency vehicles, and some military vehicles.

    Endorsements

    To be licensed for certain types of commercial vehicles, extra testing is required. If you pass, you will receive an endorsement on your CDL.

    • T―Double/Triple Trailers (knowledge test only)
    • P―Passenger (knowledge and skills tests)
    • N―Tank Vehicle (knowledge test only)
    • H―Hazardous Materials (knowledge test only)
    • S―School Buses (knowledge and skills tests)

    Requirements for Medical Certification

    In the interest of public safety on the highways, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations require interstate commercial drivers to be medically fit to operate their vehicles safely and competently. You are required to have a physical exam and carry a U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) medical certificate if you operate a motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of more than 4,536 kgs. (10,000 lbs.) in interstate commerce.

    You must carry a current copy of your medical examination certificate with you when you drive.

    Minimum Training Requirements

    There are no federal standards in place for on-the-road commercial driver training. The government only requires that you take and pass your CDL knowledge (written) and skills (driving) tests. Longer-combination-vehicle (LCV) drivers must receive training in driver wellness, driver qualifications, hours of service, and whistleblower protection.

    The Nebraska commercial driver's manual is a good place to learn basic information, but you will need to be professionally trained to drive a commercial motor vehicle.

    In order to pass your driving skills tests, you will need to learn how to inspect vehicles before driving, learn how to couple and uncouple tractors and trailers, and have plenty of practice driving. This includes driving in different conditions and on different road surfaces, turning, parking, backing up, and braking.

    Many motor carriers train their employees, while other drivers take courses at private driving schools, vocational or technical schools, and community colleges. Individual states often approve or certify training courses. The Professional Truck Driver Institute (PTDI) has set minimum standards for training curriculums and certifies driver training courses that meet industry and Federal Highway Administration (FHA) guidelines. Many employers require their drivers to take PTDI-approved training.

    Some states may specify minimum training guidelines. Check with the Nebraska DMV to see if there are minimum training requirements to get your CDL.

    Hazmat Background Checks

    Under the USA PATRIOT Act, commercial drivers transporting hazardous materials (hazmat) must pass a background records check and be fingerprinted. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is responsible for conducting the background checks for all commercial drivers with hazmat endorsements or who want to add hazmat endorsements to their licenses. The TSA developed this program to carry out the USA PATRIOT Act mandate and protect citizens from the potential threat of terrorists using hazmat cargo.

    If the TSA disqualifies you because of your background, you can appeal their finding or seek a waiver. However, if you are found guilty of a disqualifying crime, you must declare any disqualifying conditions and surrender your hazmat endorsement (if you already have it) to your state's department of motor vehicles or other licensing agency.

    Applying for a Hazardous Materials Background Check

    After you get a CDL, apply for a background check from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) if you'll be obtaining a hazardous materials endorsement. You may do this online or by contacting a TSA agent. They will ask for:

    • Your CDL or CDL permit number.
    • Proof of legal status.
    • Proof of Identity.

    You'll need to get fingerprints taken and a background check performed, both of which cost varying fees.

    Disqualifying Crimes

    Conviction of any of the following crimes will disqualify you from being eligible for a hazmat endorsement:

    • Terrorism
    • Murder
    • Assault with intent to murder
    • Espionage
    • Sedition
    • Kidnapping or hostage-taking
    • Treason
    • Rape or aggravated sexual abuse
    • Extortion
    • Robbery
    • Arson
    • Bribery
    • Smuggling
    • Immigration violations
    • RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) violations
    • Unlawful possession, use, sale, distribution, or manufacture of an explosive device, firearm, or other weapon
    • Distribution of, intent to distribute, possession, or importation of a controlled substance
    • Dishonesty, fraud, or misrepresentation, including identity fraud
    • Crimes involving a severe transportation security incident
    • Improper transportation of a hazardous material
    • Conspiracy or attempt to commit any of these crimes

    Remember that your state also has its own guidelines that may be stricter than the federal ones. For more information, consult your employer, the DMV, or the Federal Motor Carrier Association.

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