Applying for a New CDL in Oregon
The cross-country road trip: it's something many Americans dream about doing. But did you know there's a way to ride the roads and get paid for the pleasure? You can do it, if you get your commercial driver's license (CDL).
To get one in Oregon, you'll need to follow the licensing process of the Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division (DMV)—a branch of the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT)—which follows national regulations overseen by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
IMPORTANT FEDERAL TRAINING REQUIREMENTS UPDATE
Per new federal entry-level driver training requirements effective February 7, 2022, the OR Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division 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.
CDL Eligibility Requirements in OR
To qualify for an Oregon commercial driver's license, you'll need to:
- Possess a valid, non-CDL driver's license.
- Have at least 1 year of driving experience under your belt.
- Be the proper age for the type of driving you wish to do:
- At least 18 years old to drive intrastate—i.e., within Oregon only.
- At least 21 years old to drive interstate—i.e., between state lines.
- Provide the Oregon DMV with proof of the following:
- Your full legal name.
- U.S. citizenship or lawful permanent residency.
- Date of birth.
- Oregon address.
- Check the OR DMV's list of acceptable documents for examples of what to bring.
OR Commercial Learner's Permit
Just like before getting your regular license, you'll need to get a commercial learner's permit (CLP) before you can get your Oregon commercial driver's license.
The process can get a bit involved, so it might be helpful to look into a CDL educational course, to help ensure you're as successful as possible.
Once you're ready, you'll need to schedule an appointment with your local DMV office, and be prepared to:
- Bring all of the proper identifying documents (see above).
- Have all of your medical paperwork ready (outlined below).
- Complete a Commercial Driver License Application (start application online).
- Pay the $23 CLP application fee.
- Pass a vision screening.
- Submit to a driving record check.
You'll also have to take and pass all written exams at this time for the class of CDL you want, plus for any endorsements you hope to add to your license. There will be additional fees for this, including:
- $10 knowledge test fee.
- Varying fees for endorsements.
When all of the above has been completed, you'll officially have your commercial learner's permit! Congratulations!
CLP Restrictions in Oregon
Practice makes perfect—and that's what this stage of the CDL game is all about. But there are a few rules that apply especially to your commercial learner's permit.
You'll be restricted to using your CLP on public roads only, and only while accompanied by a full CDL holder who is also:
- At least 21 years old.
- Licensed to operate the same class of commercial vehicle.
You'll also need to wait at least 14 days before you can take the skills test to earn your full commercial driver's license in Oregon. You can always take more time, as your commercial learner's permit will be valid for 1 year—but unlike other states, it is NOT renewable, so be mindful of the remaining time you have on it before you test for your CDL.
Getting Your Oregon CDL
You're almost there! Just one more step stands between you and your Oregon commercial driver's license: the skills exam.
In Oregon, you can either take your skills exam at the DMV or through a third-party tester. Third-party testers have their own set of rules and individual testing fees. For more information on that option, check out the DMV's guide to third-party testers.
If you decide to take your test through the Oregon DMV, you'll have to schedule an appointment with your nearest DMV office and:
- Present your medical information.
- Have your Oregon driver's license with you.
- Bring your commercial learner's permit.
- Pay the $70 skills exam fee.
- Additional test completion fees may apply. See our Fees section for more information.
Make sure to arrange a way to take the exam in the same class of vehicle you hope to operate with your commercial driver license. Otherwise, you run the risk of having a restriction placed on your CDL until you can re-test to remove it.
The test itself consists of several parts, including the:
- Pre-trip vehicle inspection.
- Basic control skills.
- On-road driving test.
When all of the above is complete, you'll officially be a full CDL holder! Time to hit the road!
Fees for Oregon CDLs
The Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division currently charges the following for CDLs and related services:
- Commercial learner's permit application: $23.
- Knowledge test: $10.
- Skills test (if taken with the OR DMV): $70.
- Certificate of test completion: $40.
- Commercial driver license:
- If converting an Oregon license: $75.
- If converting an out-of-state license: $135.
The fees for endorsements vary. Check out the OR DMV's guide to testing fees for more information.
CDL Medical Requirements
All applicants for an Oregon commercial driver's license must be deemed physically fit before they can get the job.
To be considered medically certified, you'll need to complete the following forms:
- Medical Examiner's Certificate (Form MCSA-5876).
- Must be completed by a FMCSA-approved physician.
The DMV offers more information on how to self-certify on their website.
Don't forget: you'll need to take care of all of your medical paperwork before you apply for your CLP, and you'll have to bring it with you to your DMV appointment!
Military CDL Testing Waivers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and OR Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division have developed a plan to help certain service members receive a CDL more easily by waiving the skills test.
To qualify, you'll need to:
- Be currently enlisted in a position where you primarily drive military commercial vehicles.
- Have been discharged from said position within 12 months of applying.
To apply, you'll need to complete the Oregon Application for Military Skills Test Waiver (Form 735-7390). Your commanding officer will also need to sign your application.
Bring the form with you when you apply for your commercial learner's permit.
NOTE: Eligible applicants will still need to pass all written exams and pay all applicable fees. Road tests for passenger and school bus endorsements are NOT excepted.
- Application for Military Skills Test Waiver
- Submit to the Oregon DMV to request a CDL skills test waiver if you recently drove a commercial vehicle during your military service. Your commanding officer must sign the form.
- Medical Examiners Certificate
- Certain CDL holders must carry this medical exam certificate and present it when applying for a commercial driver's license in Oregon. Certificate must be completed by a medical professional.