Commercial Driver FAQs in West Virginia
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Why do I need a CDL?
You need a CDL if you are going to drive any class A, B, or C vehicles.
- Class A: Any vehicle combination with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 lbs. or more, as long as the GVWR of the towed vehicle(s) is over 10,000 lbs.
- Class B: A single vehicle with a GVRW of 26,001 lbs. or more; or such a vehicle towing another that is less than 10,000 lbs.
- Class C: A vehicle with a weight rating of under 26,001 lbs. or such a vehicle towing another that is less than 10,000 lbs., comprising:
- Vehicles that are designed for 16 passengers or more, including the driver, and
- Vehicles used to transport hazardous materials.
When do I not need a CDL?
You do not need a West Virginia CDL if you are a non-resident, and have a valid CDL from another state. Farmers, military personnel, and operators of firefighting or rescue vehicles are exempt as well. More detailed information can be found in the CDL Manual.
Where can I get training for a CDL?
Third party examiners can not only train you for your CDL, but they can test you, as well.
Where, and how, do I apply for a CDL?
Complete information on applying for a CDL, as well as age and fitness requirements and medical waivers, can be found in our Applying for a New CDL section.
Can I get an instruction permit?
Yes. Complete information on applying for a commercial driver's instruction permit, as well as other age and fitness requirements and medical waivers, can be found in our Applying for a New CDL section.
What if I'm younger than 21?
If you're younger than 21 years old, you may not operate a commercial vehicle outside of the state of West Virginia and you may not obtain passenger or HAZMAT endorsements.
How much does it cost to get a CDL?
Below are a few of the most upfront fees regarding CDLs.
- Testing Fees: $25, plus the licensing fees
- Endorsement Fees: $10 for each endorsement at the time of application. To add endorsements later, they are $10 each plus $7.50 for a duplicate license (adding air brake/combination vehicles, endorsement fees are $25 plus the $7.50 duplicate fee and a road test is required).
- Road Test Fees: $100, to be paid to the third party examiner
- Fingerprint/Background Check Fees: $86.50 needed when seeking to obtain or renew your HAZMAT endorsement
What are the endorsements, and how do I get them?
The endorsements are as follows:
- F: Motorcycle
- H: Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT)
- N: Tank
- P: Passenger
- T: Doubles/Triples
To get an endorsement, you must complete the Application for Commercial Driver's License and/or Endorsements (Form DMV-CDL-1), both front and back. You must also take any knowledge tests that are required. Fees are $10 for each endorsement and $7.50 for a duplicate license.
To add an air brake or combination endorsement after you've been issued your CDL, you must complete a road skills test. The fee is $25, plus the $7.50 duplicate license fee.
What are the restrictions?
The restrictions are as follows:
- K: Intrastate driving only, meaning you can only drive in the state of West Virginia (drivers younger than 21 years old and drivers with medical waivers)
- L: Restricts the driver to vehicles not equipped with air brakes
- N: Restricts the driver to Class C buses (buses 26,000 lbs. or fewer)
What are the knowledge and skills exams?
All applicants must take either a written or oral knowledge test and pass with at least an 80% accuracy (HAZMAT testing must be a written test).
You must test for the endorsements listed on the test card at the time you test for general knowledge, but you may get a test card for other endorsements at a later date if you wish to add them to your license.
If you fail any portion of the knowledge exam you may not retest for 7 days, and you may take 3 attempts of the test on the original fees.
Third party examiners administer the skills (driving) exams, and the vehicle with which you are testing must be in safe condition and legally equipped before they will do so. You must also have taken and passed all other exam parts and have been issued a commercial driver's instruction permit for the type of vehicle with which you are testing.
I lost my CDL. How do I replace it?
Complete information can be found in our Replacing a Lost CDL section.
I just moved here. How do I transfer my CDL?
If you have a CDL in another state and want to transfer it to West Virginia, you must apply for transfer within the first 30 days of residency. The DMV will obtain your driving information through the Commercial Drivers License System (CDLIS), the National Driver Register (NDR) and from all states in which you have been licensed to drive. Take with you your:
- Certified birth certificate
- Social Security card
- Valid DOT long form physical, unless you work for a city, county, state or federal government and are exempt. In that case, you must submit a letter from your employer stating you are exempt from the DOT physical requirement
- Proofs of your WV physical address
- Certified documents proving any name changes since birth (such as marriage certificates, divorce decrees, or court orders stating name changes)
- Out-of-state license or a certified driving record (you must surrender your out-of-state license)
Note that the same procedures for HAZMAT renewal apply during the transfer process, as well..
How do I change my current class of license?
To change your current class of license, you must first have taken all required tests. Complete the Application for Commercial Driver's License and/or Endorsements (Form DMV-CDL-1), and indicate that you're applying for a license update in the transaction area (fees are $5). You'll receive a CDL instruction permit until you pass the required skills test(s).
Note that if you want to add air brakes or combination, testing for these must be completed before the road skills test.
How do I voluntarily surrender my CDL?
Check with your official local DMV office about completing a letter indicating that you wish to voluntarily surrender your CDL. Once you do this, you will have to start all over with all exams before you can obtain your CDL again.