Applying fop a Louisiana CDL - Endorsement P (Passenger)

by Joshua on September 07, 2014

What type of commercial vehicle should you drive for a Passenger Endorsement? In Louisiana, there are five driver’s license classes:

  • Class A includes combination vehicles with gross combination weight ratings (GCWR) of equal to or greater than 26,001 pounds and towed gross vehicle weight ratings (GVWR) greater than 10,000 pounds. A Class A license holder can drive the Class B and C commercial vehicles with the requisite endorsements.
  • Class B is comprised of heavy straight vehicles with GVWRs of at least 26,001 pounds towing a unit less than 10,000 pounds. Straight vehicles, unlike combination vehicles, do not have moveable joints between the driver’s seat and cargo/passenger compartment. A Class B license holder can drive a Class C commercial vehicle with the requisite endorsements.
  • Class C vehicles are light vehicles less than 26,001 pounds GVWR towing units less than 10,000 GVWR. They include vehicles transporting, including the driver, 16 or more passengers. They also include any commercial vehicle that does not belong in Class A or Class B.
  • A Class D vehicle is driven by someone with a Chauffeurs Driver’s License. It includes single motor vehicles with GVWRs greater than or equal to 10,001 pounds but less than 26,001 pounds. It can transport passengers or property.
  • A Class E license is for driving a personal vehicle, usually recreational or farm vehicles.

Only Class A, B, and C vehicles are commercial vehicles you can drive with a commercial driver’s license (CDL). A Class C license would be the most appropriate for a Passenger Endorsement (designated by a “P” on the CDL). With this license, you will also be authorized to drive Class D and E vehicles with the proper endorsements. This article will go over the complete steps and requirements for obtaining a Class C CDL with Endorsement P in the state of Louisiana.

Taking the Class C Knowledge Test

You must take a knowledge test administered by the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) in order to obtain a commercial driver’s permit. Firstly, make sure you are at least 18 years old for intrastate driving and at least 21 years old for driving outside of Louisiana . In addition to the mandatory identity, Louisiana residence, legal presence (US citizenship or legal alien status) and social security number requirements, you must submit medical information:

  • A current Medical Examiner’s Certificate,
  • A self-certification form for one of the four driving categories, and
  • A CDL physical for wellness in body and vision, performed by a medical examiner who has been certified by the National Registry of Medical Examiners.

All of the questions on the knowledge test come from information found in sections 1, 2, 3, 11, 12 and 13 of the Louisiana Commercial Driver’s License Manual . Study section 5 if you are planning to operate a vehicle with air brakes. This will probably be necessary as almost all passenger vehicles have air brakes. A basic Class C knowledge test without Endorsement P or any other endorsements has a $15.00 cash fee.

Taking the P Endorsement Knowledge Test

While you are at the OMV office, you can also take the Endorsement P knowledge test for a cash fee of $5.00. In addition to the sections you should study for the basic knowledge test, more necessary information can be found in section 4, which is titled Transporting Passengers Safely.

Make sure to understand the inner workings of the vehicle, including its access doors and panels, bus interior and roof hatches. Another aspect unique to operating vehicles requiring Endorsement P is being aware of forbidden hazardous materials. Buses should never carry:

  • Liquid poison (a Class 6 hazard) and related irritating material like tear gas.
  • Solid poison greater than 100 pounds.
  • Explosives in space occupied by people, with the exception of ammunition for small arms.
  • Radioactive materials in a space occupied by people.
  • Any class of hazardous material greater than 100 pounds
  • Allowed hazardous materials greater than 500 pounds.

Taking the Skills Test and Getting Your CDL

You can take a skills test with a third party tester approved by the state. Make sure the third party, which is a driving school or private business, offers a test for Endorsement P. For the on-road skills test, drive the passenger vehicle you intend to drive, or another representative Class C vehicle requiring Endorsement P. Upon passing, you can purchase your CDL for a cash fee of $41.00 at the OMV.

You must take on many additional responsibilities when operating a commercial passenger vehicle. Not only is it necessary to protect the safety of yourself and other drivers, it is also essential to protect the safety of the passengers. Those that obtain an Endorsement P have proved that they are able to exercise responsibility for the lives of their passengers.

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