A commercial learner’s permit (CLP) is a permit given by your state that authorizes you to practice driving a commercial motor vehicle.
Before heading to a CDL school or a company’s CDL training program, especially those utilizing CNS Driver Training Center through a company contract training program, you will need to obtain your Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP).
A driver holding a Class A CDL can drive vehicles weighing 26,001 lbs. or greater, or a vehicle towing a trailer weighing more than 10,000 lbs.
Our driver training program will help you earn your Class A CDL. But first, you will need to obtain your CDL Class A permit on your own in your home state.
Requirements to start your CDL Permit process in Pennsylvania
To obtain a CDL permit, you must meet the following requirements:
- 18 years+ for driving only in PA (intrastate driving) or 21+ to drive out-of-state (interstate driving)
- Hold a valid Class C license (license to operate any non-commercial vehicle) or currently hold a ‘junior operator’s license’ for at least two years
- Pass a vision test, if you have a Class C license the vision test is in the DOT physical
- Pass a commercial driver instruction permit test, or the written knowledge test
The required forms that must be filled out are:
- form DL-31CD, Application for Commercial Learner’s Permit
- form DL-11CD, to self-certify the type of driving in which you intend to engage, be sure to submit a copy of your medical card as well
When completing an application for the permits needed to upgrade your non-commercial driver’s license to a CDL, you will need to pay an increased annual license fee and a photo fee, in addition to the permit fees for any privileges requested.
The increase fee required as part of your higher annual fee will be prorated based on how many years, full or partial, are remaining on your current non-commercial driver’s license.
CDL permit requires you to pass a CDL written knowledge test
In Pennsylvania, earning a Class A CDL is similar to earning your regular driver’s license, with a written knowledge test, permit, and skills/road test. However, the new ELDT rule includes theory and behind-the-wheel training.
Then, you have to pass a written knowledge test, which must be taken at the DMV.
Based on the PennDOT CDL driver’s manual, the Class A test contains 70 questions and shows your general knowledge of commercial driving laws.You also need to know combination, air brakes, and more.
Once you pass your written knowledge test, you will receive a commercial learner’s permit (CLP).
Now you can practice driving a commercial motor vehicle with one of our CDL instructors. The CDL permit is valid for up to 180 days.
The Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) rule, which was implemented on February 7, 2022, establishes new minimum training requirements for individuals who want to:
- obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL)
- upgrade a CDL, or
- obtain a passenger (P), school bus (S) or hazardous materials (H) endorsement
Under these new requirements, an entry-level driver must successfully complete a prescribed program of theory and behind-the-wheel instruction. DOT requires 31 theory course topics instead of the original four knowledge topics, which will be accompanied by 19 mandated behind-the-wheel (BTW) skills, that will be tested with vehicle inspection skills at the state department of motor vehicles.
Prior to taking the knowledge test or the state administered CDL skills or hazmat endorsement tests, training must be provided by an entity listed on FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry (TPR).
Receive professional CDL training to pass the skills/road test
Now is the time to receive one-on-one CDL training with CNS Driver Training Center and get your CDL license.
If you are considering out-of-state CDL training from where you received your CDL permit, follow these steps:
- Take the written test for your CDL Permit in your home state
- Travel to another state for CDL Training or Skills Test while your home state CLP is still valid
- Take the CDL skills test in their state
- You will then go home to obtain your CDL license as the passing results of your skills test are transmitted via the AAMVA CSTIMS portal from the out of state testing agency to your home state’s DMV who then issue you a CDL in your home state. Note: Your home state is required to issue a CDL based upon the test results from another State.