Applying for a New CDL in Pennsylvania

by Joshua on July 09, 2014

When applying for a new CDL in Pennsylvania you must follow the given steps from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. The basic steps are to obtain a DL-31CD and no doubt, a Pennsylvania’s Commercial Driver’s License handbook or Manual, visit the local Driver’s License Center with the appropriate forms, upgrade your driving privilege from a non-commercial driver’s license to a commercial driver’s license, and request a learner’s permit . Then after fifteen days you can take the commercial road test. You can also apply for a hazardous materials endorsement once the above steps are completed which requires finger printing and also completing a Federal Security Threat Assessment.

Requirements in Obtaining Your CDL

In Pennsylvania, the Department of Transportation does not require you to have a specific amount of training hours in order for you to obtain your Commercial Driver’s License. However, you must pass all the examinations to achieve obtaining your CDL . The bottom line is that only the exams matter. It can be extremely helpful to take formal training to pass your exams. It is not mandatory but can help you be a safer driver, have a more professional edge, and also make taking the exams much easier as a formal education will prepare you for the particular exam questions.

H2. Steps to Acquiring Your PA CDL

Listed below are the detailed procedures to obtain your Commercial Driver’s License:

  1. Step One) obtain a DL31-CD along with a PA Commercial Driver’s License handbook. The DL31-CD is the application for a Commercial Learner’s Permit. It is a two page form and asks you basic questions about your information. Do not forget to sign the document. You will also need to have a DL11-CD along with this document when you turn in your paperwork. A DL11-CD is a Self Certification form. It is a two page form and asks you basic questions about your information. It also asks you about your Medical Examiners Certificate. You can find both the DL31-CD and also the DL11-CD on this website

You will also need to study your Pennsylvania Commercial Driver’s License Manual. In this manual you will find everything you need to know for passing the CDL examination . This includes the laws, guidelines, rules, regulations, definitions, and driving tips for the road. It is very important that you study this manual in order to pass the test. This could be overwhelming as there is so much information. Remembering it all can be stressful and not knowing what they will ask on the test makes it even harder. This may be a good reason to receive formal Commercial Driver’s License training as it will prepare you for the type of questions they may ask. You can obtain a copy of your Pennsylvania Commercial Driver’s License Manual at your local Department of Motor Vehicles or you can find it online here

  1. Step Two) Visit your local Pennsylvania Driver License hub and bring the following documentations:
  • Completed Application
  • Proof of Identity
  • Your Valid Pennsylvania Driver’s License
  • Social Security Card
  • Proof of Residency
  • Proof of any name changes

Pennsylvania , along with most other states in America, is tightening up their requirements for what are acceptable forms of documentation for proof of identity and residency. You will be required to have one form of identity from list A, which are:

  • Birth Certificate with raised seal (foreign birth certificates are not accepted)
  • Certificate of U.S. Citizenship
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Valid U.S. Passport

You will then need two forms of proof of residency from list B:

  • W-2 Form
  • Current Weapons Permit
  • Current Utility Bills
  • Tax Records
  • Lease Agreements
  • Mortgage Documents

On top of all these items you will also need to provide your social security cards. Please note that these steps are for people over the age of 18 and also American Residents.

For the fees, you can find the fee tables here . Please note that the Department of Transportation does not accept cash so be prepared with a check or money order.

  1. Step 3) You will need to submit the DL-31CD form to bring your driving standards up from your Non Commercial Driver’s License up to a Commercial Driver’s License, along with your self-certifying document DL-11CD for explanation of the category of driving that you intend to do.
  1. Step 4) A Knowledge Test Authorization may be issued if any of the required privileges require one. Once you complete the Knowledge Test you will then be issued a CDL Learner’s Permit.
  1. Step 5) You can now schedule your Road Test to obtain your Commercial Driver’s License. It is a requirement that you have had your Learner’s Permit for fifteen days before taking the test.

Good luck on your journey to obtaining your Pennsylvania’s Commercial Driver’s License!

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