Applying for a Virginia CDL - Class C License w/ Passenger License

by Joshua on August 10, 2014

In this article, we’ll go through everything you’re going to want to know about getting a Class C commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Virginia, as well as your Passenger license. Before you even step into the DMV, know there are a few prerequisites: a clean driving record is mandatory; and you must be 18 years or older with a standard Virginia driver’s license; or at least 21 years old to drive a commercial vehicle with hazardous materials, interstate freight, or cross state lines.

Along with these prerequisites, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations require commercial drivers to be medically fit for the safe and competent operation of their vehicles. Thus, a physical exam and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) medical certificate are required if you operate a commercial motor vehicle above 4,536 kgs. (10,000 lbs.) and must be carried when you drive.

Earning Your Permit

Surely, you want to apply for your commercial driver’s license , but first, you must apply for a permit. You can do this by submitting a written application at a DMV customer service center. Requirements for a permit are one proof of residency, two verifications of identity in the state of Virginia , confirmation of Social Security number, and one proof of legal presence in the U.S. No temporary, altered, or photocopied documents will be accepted, so leave them behind.

If you’ve brought all the correct documents, then there’s a fee of $3 for the permit. You’re given a vision screening, and (verbal or written) general knowledge exam. At least 80% of the general knowledge questions must be answered correctly to pass. These questions which determine your familiarity with commercial vehicles are taken from the Virginia Commercial Driver’s Manual. Thus, it is highly recommended you stop by a DMV customer service center and study thoroughly before taking your exam. For more info

Additional Tests

In addition to the general knowledge exam , those who wish to acquire a Class C license — allowing for the operation of any vehicle not included in Classes A or B, but is designed to transport 16 passengers or more, and fit for carrying hazardous materials will also be given knowledge tests on Section 6: Transporting Cargo of the Virginia CDL Manual. The P – Passenger vehicle endorsement, which permits you to drive a passenger-carrying vehicle, requires a special knowledge exam based on Section 8: Transporting Passengers.

It’s important to keep in mind, the CDL knowledge exam can only be taken once per business day. A $2 re-examination fee is charged if you retake the exam within 15 days. A third time failure of the general knowledge exam will result in the mandatory attendance of the classroom portion of a Driver Training School program from which the certification of completion must be presented to a Department of motor vehicle customer service center to be eligible for re-examination. Any instance of cheating will result in the immediate termination of your exam, and you must wait until the next day to re-test.

Learn to Steer

Now that you have obtained your instruction permit, and passed the additional exams , you need to learn how to operate a Class C commercial vehicle. Several options exist for you: private driving schools, vocational or technical schools, community colleges, and trucking companies almost always offer training to their employees. The skill test is taken in the type of vehicle you want to be licensed, Class C, and comprised of three parts: basic vehicle control, on-road driving and a pre-trip inspection. If this is your first or initial CDL, the permit must be held for a 30 days period before you’re able to take the behind the wheels driving test; however, if you take a Commercial driver’s license specific driver’s education course, then the wait can be reduced to 14 days.

An appointment must be scheduled for the CDL skills test by contacting a Customer Service Center. A DMV representative administers the skills test in the vehicle you provide, given that it has a valid safety inspection sticker, working brakes, safety belts, lights, turn signals, mirrors, speedometer, license plates, local decals, and registration card. This test may only be taken once per business day. Upon successful completion of the road test, you pay the fee accompanying your CDL. Typically, licenses cost $8 a year, plus an additional $1 for each endorsement. This fee will be charged based on the number of years before it needs to be renewed, which is usually eight years. Your photograph is taken, and you wait to get your license. For more info

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