Commercial Driver FAQs in Utah
Do I apply for a commercial driver's license (CDL) at the Department of Motor Vehicles?
Not in Utah. All driver licenses, including CDLs, are issued by the Department of Public Safety, Driver License Division.
Where do I get training for a CDL?
In Utah, CDL training is provided by private companies (third parties) certified by the Utah Driver License Division. After you have completed your training, these same companies can provide testing as well.
Where do I apply for a CDL?
The Driver License Division has driver license field offices all over Utah where you can apply for a commercial driver license after you have completed your training. In most cases, you need to make an appointment to apply for a CDL and take the required written and road tests. Hours of operation vary widely from office to office. Some offices, but not all, provide both written and road testing.
When do I need a CDL?
If you plan to drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV), you need a CDL. If you drive a CMV without a commercial license, you could go to jail or incur a court fine. In Utah, you need a CDL to operate the following vehicles:
- A single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 lbs. or more
- A trailer with a GVWR of more than 10,000 lbs. if the gross combination weight rating is more than 26,001 lbs.
- A vehicle designed to transport 16 passengers or more, including the driver
- Any vehicle that requires hazardous materials placards
You need a Class A, Class B, or Class C commercial license, depending on the type of vehicle you will be driving.
When am I exempt from needing a CDL?
Not all large vehicles require a commercial license. Generally, RVs driven for personal or family recreation, military vehicles driven by the military, farm vehicles driven by farmers, and emergency vehicles driven by emergency personnel are exempt (see the Utah Commercial Driver License Handbook for specifics).
What if I am under 21?
You can get a commercial license at 18 years old, but federal requirements dictate that you must be at least 21 years old to drive a commercial vehicle across state lines. If you're 18 years old but under 21 years old, you may obtain a CDL with the restrictions that you may operate only within the state of Utah and you are not eligible for the passenger, school bus, or hazardous materials endorsements.
Can I have a CDL or other driver license from more than one state?
No. By federal law, it's illegal for commercial motor vehicle drivers to possess more than one license, and you may have a license only from your state of legal residence. This means that you may not have both a Utah CDL and a regular Utah driver license; you should surrender your regular license when obtain a CDL.
If you have licenses from other states, you must turn them in. All the states share information about CDL drivers, and if you are found to have licenses from more than one state, you might end up with a $5,000 fine or even jail time. Since your Utah CDL allows you to drive cars and drive commercial vehicles across any state, it's the only one you need.
Will I undergo a background check?
Yes. When you apply for a CDL in Utah, the Driver License Division will check your Utah driving record, the nationwide Commercial Driver License Information System, and the National Driver's Register. If the check reveals that your license has been suspended, revoked, canceled, or denied in any other state, then you will not be eligible for a commercial license in Utah until your license has been reinstated in the other state.
How much will it cost to get a CDL?
Training fees are established by the training center you choose. In addition to the cost of training, you will pay application fees when you apply for your CDL. These fees vary based on the number of endorsements you are seeking (each endorsement requires an additional test). These fees include 2 attempts for each test:
- General Knowledge test, including Combination Vehicles test and Air Brakes test, if required (written): $52
- Skills tests (driving): $78
- Endorsement tests: $9 each
- Hazardous Materials
- Tank Vehicles
- School Bus (fee includes driving test)
- Tanker/Hazardous Materials
Note that the testing fees can change, so be sure to verify them with your local testing office.
What is a DOT certificate, and where can I get one?
A DOT (U.S. Department of Transportation) certificate states that you meet federal medical requirements for driving a commercial motor vehicle. You will need to obtain a DOT certificate before you take the written tests. You'll need to bring this certificate when you apply for a CDL and always carry it with you when you're driving a commercial vehicle.
You can get a DOT certificate from a doctor, a transportation company, or an exam center that follows Federal Motor Carrier Safety regulations.
Can I get a learner's permit?
Once you get a DOT certificate and pass the knowledge (written) tests, you may receive a learner's permit, which lets you legally practice for the driving skills test in a commercial vehicle as long as a commercial operator with the appropriate license and endorsements is riding with you.