Applying for a Kansas CDL - Class A License

by Joshua on July 20, 2014

The class for each CDL, A, B or C depends on the weight limit of the vehicle. In order for a person to get a CDL, they must take and pass the General Knowledge Test , which is required for all CDLs and additional tests or endorsements required for that license class.

Driver’s Licenses by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

There are separate classes of commercial driver’s licenses given by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. All states issue licenses in these categories: Class A : This class comprises a combination of vehicles that have a gross vehicle weight rating (GWVR) of 26,001+ pounds. That is also if the GVWR of the vehicle being towed is over 10,000 pounds. Class B: This class comprises a single vehicle with GVWR of 26,001+ pounds. Also included are such vehicles towing a vehicle not more than having a GVWR of 10,000 pounds. Class C: This class comprises a vehicle or any combination of them that are not under Class A or Class B, but are designated to transport 16 or more commuters or passengers— inclusive of the driver, or is classified for hazardous materials.
Some states may make exceptions for snow removal vehicles, farm vehicles, some military vehicles and fire and emergency vehicles.
If you are looking to apply for a Commercial Drivers’ License in the state of Kansas , then read below for the complete procedure. The standard requirements for the CDL are drafted along the federal guidelines and each state has the same class of CDL.

Getting a Class A Kansas CDL

In order to get a class A CDL, you must pass the following:

  1. Written Test

In case you aim to drive a certain kind of equipment, then you will be asked to maintain an additional endorsement for that particular equipment. In addition, you will need the following, which require additional testing:

  • S- School Buses (knowledge and skills tests)
  • P- Passenger (knowledge and skills tests)
  • N- Tank Vehicle (knowledge test only)
  • H- Hazardous Materials (knowledge test only)
  • T- Double/Triple Trailers (knowledge test only)

If you vehicle bears air brakes, then you will be required to pass a written knowledge test about them too.
Those CDL holders who also have a hazmat, or a hazardous material endorsement, have to go through a background investigation and fingerprinting which are both undertaken by the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA).
Acquire the Kansas CDL Manual to get all the information you need to pass the tests for your CDL and any or all endorsements. It has all the information you need for the road and written test.

  1. Road Test

Road testing, or driving testing, is a complete check of your skills by a KS DOR examiner who will check for the following:

  • Pre-trip inspection
  • Basic operating skills test
  • Basic driving skills test
  1. Pre-Trip Inspection

In this stage, you will be asked to demonstrate to the examiner what you are looking for in the vehicle and why. This stage is comprehensive and covers each and every component or system under, in or on the truck and trailer unit. They include:

  • The truck cab including emergency equipment, dials, steering, gauges, clutch and brakes
  • Connections like air lines, hitches, hydraulics, fifth wheel coupling or trailer axel placement.
  • Belts, fluids and items below the hood
  • Fuel tank, brakes, wheels and tires
  • Tarps, trailer sides, trailer frame, trailer doors, rigging and tie downs.
  • Steering, seat, cab mirrors, brakes, clutch, cab doors, emergency equipment, gauges and communications equipment.
  1. Basic Skills Test

The following maneuvering skills will have to be performed in the basic skills portion of your test:

1. Back up
2. Drive Forward and stop
3. Parallel Park
4. Alley dock
5. Backward serpentine
6. Make a right turn

You are advised to stay inside the vehicle throughout the basic skills test. Getting out of the driver’s seat to check on your progress is not recommended.

  1. Driving Test

You will be asked to drive on a pre-determined route for the examiner to check your driving skills. The areas to be covered in this test are:

  • Intersections
  • Turning
  • Urban and rural lane changing
  • Urban and rural straight driving
  • Stopping and starting
  • Expressway driving
  • Driving on railroad crossings
  • Driving on curves, downgrades and upgrades
  • Driving on bridges and overpasses (remember to check for a clearance height indicator sign before you drive under a bridge; the examiner may ask you your clearance height after you have passed the bridge).

Combination Vehicles Endorsement

This entails learning driving combinations, Combination vehicle air brakes, anti-lock brake systems, coupling and uncoupling and inspecting combinations.

  1. Fees

The fee varies as per several factors including the addition of different endorsements. You can find the chart for all kinds of fees here

  1. Federal Requirements

You are required to self-certify the type of your vehicle operation with the Kansas Division of Vehicles. You will be asked to self certify in one of these driving categories below:

1- Excepted Interstate
2- Non-Excepted Interstate
3- Excepted Intrastate
4- Non-Excepted Intrastate

You will be asked to provide the Division of Vehicles and a federal medical certificate if you pick the Non-Excepted Interstate.

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