Frequently Asked Questions
If your questions are not answered below, you can contact one of our CDL Trainers and we are happy to help with anything you may need.
The short answer is, any person who drives a commercial motor vehicle.
What is the definition of a commercial motor vehicle (CMV)?
- a combination of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds, provided the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds;
- a single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds;
- a vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver;
- a school bus; or
- any vehicle that is transporting hazardous materials and is required to be placarded in accordance with State and Federal regulations.
Commercial motor vehicles do not include:
Self-certification is required by every driver who currently has a commercial driver’s license and every driver applying for a commercial learner’s permit.
They must self-certify the type of driving in which they operate or expect to operate in i.e., Non-excepted Interstate; Non-excepted Intrastate; Excepted Interstate; or Excepted Intrastate.
The self-certification process will identify commercial drivers that operate in Non-excepted transportation, therefore identifying which drivers are required to submit a copy of their valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate to PennDOT.
Yes, there are exceptions.
The below list indicates which individuals are not required to obtain a CDL to drive a specified CMV:
- a firefighter who has a certificate of authorization from his fire chief while operating fire or emergency vehicles registered to the fire department;
- a driver of a farm vehicle which is controlled and operated by a farmer and used exclusively to transport agricultural products, farm machinery, or farm supplies to or from a farm owned or operated by the owner of the farm vehicle. The farm vehicle may not be used in common or contract carriage and may be used only within 150 miles of the farm;
- active-duty military personnel, personnel on full-time National Guard duty, personnel on inactive National Guard duty training or part-time National Guard training and National Guard military technicians who are required to wear military uniforms while operating equipment owned or operated by the Department of Defense.
In accordance with the licensing requirements of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act, the license classifications are:
CLASS A – combination vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more, provided the gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
CLASS B – single vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
CLASS C – single vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 26,001 pounds if the vehicle is: transporting hazardous materials requiring placarding; is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or, is a school bus.
The operation of certain vehicles also requires the drivers to possess commercial endorsements in addition to possessing the proper class of license.
- endorsement H authorizes the driver to operate a vehicle transporting hazardous materials requiring placarding
- endorsement N authorizes the driver to operate tank vehicles
- endorsement X hazardous materials and tank vehicle (H,N)
- endorsement P authorizes the driver to operate vehicles carrying passengers
- endorsement S authorizes the driver to operate a school bus (a School Bus endorsement card will be issued annually)
- endorsement T authorizes the driving of double and triple trailers
- restriction L restricts the driver to vehicles NOT equipped with air brakes
- restriction B/M restricts the driver from a class A bus
- restriction C/N restricts the driver from a class A or B bus
- restriction E restricts the driver from driving manual transmission commercial vehicles
- restriction K limits a driver to only operate in intrastate commerce
- restriction O restricts a driver from driving a truck tractor/semi-trailer combination
- restriction Z restricts a driver from driving a full air-brake equipped vehicle
You will need to pass the Knowledge Tests that are required for the class of license, restriction, and endorsements you wish to possess.
A general knowledge test for the Class A or Class B and C license must be successfully completed by all CDL applicants.
The information needed to pass these tests is contained in the CDL driver’s manual. This manual is available on PennDOT’s website. Please read and study this manual carefully.
|License||Knowledge Test (written)||*Skills Test|
|Class A||70 Questions||YES|
|Class B ||50 Questions||YES|
|Class C||50 Questions||YES|
|Passenger Endorsement||20 Questions||YES (in bus)|
|School Bus Endorsement||25 Questions||YES (must be in a school bus)|
|||(passenger endorsement required)|||
|Doubles/Triples Endorsement||20 Questions||NO|
|Tank Vehicle Endorsement||20 Questions||NO|
|Hazardous Materials Endorsement ||30 Question||NO|
|L/Z Air Brake Restriction Removal||25 Questions||YES (in vehicles equipped with air brakes)|
|C/N Restriction Removal ||NO||YES (in a class B bus)|
|E Restriction Removal||NO||YES|
|K Restriction Removal||NO||NO|
|O Restriction Removal||NO||YES|
Certain Oral and Spanish tests are available (by appointment only).
After obtaining knowledge test authorization(s) and passing the required knowledge test(s), you will also need to take a skills test in the class and type of vehicle you intend to drive. The skills test includes a pre-trip inspection, and off-the-road maneuver, and vehicle parking exercise. Once again, a more detailed description of this test can be found in the CDL Driver’s Manual.
Skills testing cannot be taken until 15 days after the knowledge testing is passed and a permit is issued. However, you may call the number below to schedule skills testing immediately after passing a knowledge test or schedule on-line.
Yes. With the driver shortage in the trucking industry, there are a lot of companies looking for qualified drivers. We work with multiple local trucking companies that offer a variety of trucking opportunities.
Yes, we offer weekend training and evening training when daylight permits.
Accelerated training is offered to qualified applicants. If you currently hold a class B CDL and are upgrading to Class A, you may be qualified for accelerated. If hold either a Class A or Class B CDL with restrictions, you may qualify for accelerated.
Yes, CNS Driver Training Center is now a CDL Third Party Testing site. Whether you need training and a test or just the test we can help.
Yes, we do our best to keep you in the same truck that you trained in.
If you take your test in a hot shot rig, you will have and L restriction which prohibits you from driving a truck equipped with Air Brakes
You will have an E restriction which prohibits you from driving a manual commercial motor vehicle.
You will have an O restriction which prohibits you from driving a semi-tractor trailer truck with a 5th wheel hook up.
No, a drug screen is not performed during a DOT physical.
You can only have one DUI on your record, but a second DUI on your record would disqualify you for life in the state of Pennsylvania.