Applying for a New CDL in Missouri
Driving a commercial motor vehicle can be a great way to make a living, but in order to do it, you will first need to get a commercial driver's license (CDL). Since semi-trucks, school buses, and other commercial vehicles are larger and more difficult to drive than average cars and trucks, getting a CDL has some additional steps, compared to obtaining a regular driver's license.
The process is regulated nationally by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and it's overseen in Missouri by the Department of Revenue (DOR).
IMPORTANT FEDERAL TRAINING REQUIREMENTS UPDATE
Per new federal entry-level driver training requirements effective February 7, 2022, the MO Department of Revenue now mandates new CDL applicants complete an entry-level driver training course through an authorized provider. You’ll need to complete this training prior to applying for your first commercial driver’s license, upgrading your existing CDL class, or applying for a HAZMAT, school bus, or passenger endorsement.
Who Can Get a Missouri CDL?
To get a commercial driver's license in Missouri, you must:
- Already possess a valid, non-commercial driver license from MO.
- Provide proof of U.S. citizenship/permanent residency.
- Contact your local DOR office for a list of acceptable documents.
NOTE: CDL drivers under 21 years old will be limited to driving intrastate—that is, within Missouri—per state and FMCSA regulations.
Missouri Commercial Learner's Permits
Before you can apply for your commercial driver's license, you'll first have to get your commercial learner's permit (CLP). It's not required, but it is recommended, to enroll in a CDL training course, to help prepare you for the various exams and expectations involved in the commercial licensing process.
You'll need to be at least 18 years old to apply for your MO CLP. When you feel ready, schedule an appointment with your local Department of Revenue office to apply for your CLP. Bring with you:
- Your Missouri driver's license.
- Proof of employment in Missouri.
- This should be in the form of an employment letter from your company.
- Your proof of U.S. citizenship/lawful permanent residency.
- Your local licensing office can give you information on acceptable documents to bring.
- The proper medical certification paperwork.
- The $16 commercial learner's permit fee.
- The $25 written test fee.
- You will also be charged an office processing fee of $6.
At the DOR, you will have to take all the appropriate written exams for the type of CDL you want. You will also need to submit to a driving record check, where the past 10 years of your driving record will be examined in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
Once you pass all exams and the record check, you will be issued your Missouri commercial learner's permit.
MO CLP Requirements
Your Missouri commercial learner's permit will be valid for 360 days; however you will be required to have your CLP for at least 14 days before you can schedule an appointment to take your skills/road test at the Department of Revenue.
You will still have to maintain your regular MO driver's license while you have your CLP, and your commercial learner's permit will read, “Invalid unless accompanied by a valid Missouri driver license."
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also restricts all CLP holders to driving only on public roads and only while accompanied by a full CDL holder.
Getting a Commercial Driver License in MO
Once you have waited at least 14 days, and you feel comfortable driving a commercial vehicle, you can take the proper skills tests to get your full CDL. You'll have to schedule another appointment with the Missouri DOR office and bring:
- Your commercial learner's permit.
- The appropriate fees to have your CDL issued.
While at the Department of Revenue, you will have to take the following skills tests:
- Pre-trip inspection.
- Basic vehicle control.
- On-road driving.
Arrange to take the tests in the same type of vehicle that you plan on driving with your CDL. If you can't, there may be a restriction placed on your license.
If you're applying for any endorsements that require a skills test to be taken, you will also have to complete those at this appointment.
Once you've completed all skills tests and paid the appropriate fees, you will receive your commercial driver license from the MO DOR.
Missouri Military CDL Holders
The Missouri DOR allows certain service members to have their CDL skills test waived. To qualify, you must:
- Have at least 2 years of experience operating a commercial vehicle for the military.
- Have had this experience within 2 years of the waiver application date.
- Apply for the waiver within 1 year of being regularly employed by the military.
To apply for the waiver, you will have to complete the Application for Military Commercial Driver License Skills Test Waiver (Form 5140), and bring it with you when you apply for your CLP.
NOTE: Qualified service members will still have to take all knowledge exams and pay all appropriate CDL-related fees.
CDL Medical Requirements
The FMCSA requires all CDL applicants to be considered medically qualified before he or she can receive a commercial driver's license.
To be certified, you must first obtain your Medical Examiner's Certificate. Do so by visiting a nationally registered physician near you and asking them to help you complete the:
You will also have to declare your medical condition to the Missouri Department of Revenue, along with the type of driving you intend to do with your CDL, in a process called self-certification.
For more information on the MO DOR self-certification process, see the Department of Revenue's FAQ page on the topic.
Missouri Commercial Driver License Types
There are actually several different classifications of commercial driver's licenses designated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Each CDL class dictates the type of vehicles the holder is certified to drive, including:
- Class A CDLs—Permits you to drive multiple vehicles that are over a certain weight, such as a tractor trailer.
- Class B CDLs—Allows you to drive a single vehicle over a certain weight, like a box truck.
- Class C CDLs—Covers all other types of commercial vehicles that do not meet the criteria of Class A and Class B CDLs.
Check out our guide to commercial driver license classifications for more information.
MO CDL Endorsements & Restrictions
Endorsements are additional certifications that you can add to your CDL, which will allow you to drive a greater number of vehicles. To receive an endorsement, you'll have to take extra tests with the Missouri DOR and pay additional fees.
Endorsements are available that will allow you to operate:
A restriction will be placed on your commercial driver license in order to limit the number of vehicles you can drive. You may receive a restriction on your CDL for:
- Not taking your CDL test in the proper type of vehicle.
- Not knowing how to operate a manual transmission.
- Having certain medical conditions.
See our guide to endorsements and restrictions for additional details.
Missouri Commercial Driver's License Fees
The Missouri Department of Revenue currently charges the following for CDLs and related services:
- Commercial learner's permit: $16.
- CDL written test fee: $25.
- CDL skills test fee: $25.
- Commercial driver's licenses:
- Valid up to 3 years: $26.
- Valid from 3 years and 1 day - 6 years: $52.
- Office processing fees for CDLs:
- 3 years: $6.
- 3 years and 1 day - 6 years: $12.