Commercial Driver Education in West Virginia

First Steps

There are so many steps to the process of obtaining your West Virginia commercial driver's license that those who are seeking to obtain their CDLs for the first time may be somewhat intimidated. However, there are ways to educate and prepare yourself for obtaining your CDL.

You can start by studying the CDL Manual, available for download. This manual has all the information you'll need, including contact addresses and phone numbers.

Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986

Although there are currently no state-mandated classroom hours or behind-the-wheel hours, the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 places certain requirements on CMV drivers, employing motor carriers, and on each state.

The goal of the Safety Act is to improve highway safety by making sure that drivers of large trucks and buses are qualified to operate those vehicles, thus removing unqualified, and unsafe, drivers from the highways. The Safety Act requires states to adopt testing and licensing standards specific to the type of vehicle a person plans to operate.

The Safety Act doesn't require drivers to obtain a separate federal license; however, it did require that states upgrade their previous testing and licensing programs to meet the federal minimum standards. The state retains the right to issue a license, but minimum national standards must be met.

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