Applying for a Kansas CDL - Class B License

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by Joshua on September 03, 2014
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A commercial driver’s license is usually required for driving large trucks, buses, and vehicles carrying hazardous materials. A Class B CDL is required for any vehicle or vehicle combination with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of greater than 26,000 pounds, towing equal to or less than 10,000 pounds. The most common examples of Class B vehicles are straight trucks, buses, and trucks towing smaller units. This article will go over how to apply for a Class B CDL in Kansas, including some of the special conditions and requirements a commercial vehicle driver will have to take note of.

Kansas Reciprocity Agreements

The state of Kansas , in agreement with three other states, makes exceptions for farmers in CDL licensing. Because it has entered reciprocity agreements with Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma, farmers operating commercial vehicles interstate are exempt from having to obtain a CDL, provided they transport exclusively farm supplies and agricultural products. They must also travel no more than 150 miles from their farms, within the boundaries of the states in the agreements. Farmers only need a non-commercial license in this case. However, drivers with semi-trailer combinations (also known as truck-trailers) need a Class A CDL when driving in the state of Nebraska.

Getting Your CDL

You can obtain a Class B CDL at 18 years of age for intrastate travel and at 21 years of age for interstate travel. All of the required examinations will be done with the Kansas Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). In order to obtain your permit, a requirement before getting the CDL, you must pass both a knowledge exam and a vision screening. Everything on the knowledge exam will have questions taken from information in the Kansas CDL Manual . The manual can be purchased for $1.00 from the DMV. For a Class B CDL, you should study sections 1, 2, 3, 11, 12 and 13, as well as section 5 if you intend to operate vehicles with air brakes. Additional studying may be required for the separate endorsement knowledge exams. The fee for a Kansas CDL permit is $13.00, and $10.00 for each endorsement.

After passing the tests for acquiring a permit, you need to pass a skills test driving the vehicle you plan to operate. The test must be scheduled ahead of time. It can take anywhere from sixty to ninety minutes. On the test, there will be three general skills you must familiarize yourself with:

  • A pre-trip vehicle inspection will test whether you know your vehicle is safe for driving. You should be able to clearly explain your decisions to the examiner.
  • Basic vehicle control tests your ability to move the vehicle forward and backward, as well as your ability to turn it within a marked area.
  • On-road driving will examine on-road driving proficiency.

Upon passing all of the tests, you will be able to apply for a Class B license at a fee of $18.00 plus $8.00 for the mandatory photo, for a total cost of $26.00. The license will be mailed to your address. It must be renewed after 4 years.

Medical Certification

Because different commercial drivers in Kansas can have different traveling or transport needs, individual drivers should be aware of the minimum requirements for driving in their area. Medical certification must be completed for all CDL applicants. The four certification categories are as follows:

  • Non-excepted interstate is commercial vehicle usage between states, and includes any drivers who do not fall under any of the other categories.
  • Excepted interstate includes the interstate travel of school buses, passenger vans below Class B vehicle weight, government vehicles, emergency transportation, and farm vehicles (given the conditions dictated by the reciprocity agreements).
  • Non-excepted intrastate is categorized by only driving within the state of Kansas. Those given a State Waiver for a medical condition are valid for this category.
  • Excepted intrastate designates not only a driving limitation in Kansas, but also a requirement to only participate in operations approved by the state’s driver medical qualification.

A medical examiner’s certificate should be sent to the State’s Driver’s License Agency before or upon the time the CDL is issued.

If your certificate expires while you have a CDL, you will no longer be authorized to drive a commercial vehicle. Therefore, you must acquire a new certificate from a new medical examination before the old certificate expires.

Commercial Motor Vehicle Office and Central Permit

The Commercial Motor Vehicle Office and Central Permit register motor carriers and issue cab cards, license plates, and temporary permits for them. Permits are for circumstances like:

  • Oversize vehicles
  • Overweight vehicles, which, in the case of Class B vehicles, will include single axle vehicles greater than 20,000 pounds
  • Oversized loads
  • Special cargo such as livestock, special mobile equipment, or structural building components.

Many specific qualifications and responsibilities are expected for a Class B vehicle driver. While a CDL license may qualify its owner with the benefit of operating a commercial vehicle, each person should be aware of his own position regarding the extent of his driving privileges.

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