Applying For a Virginia CDL - Class B License

by Joshua on July 14, 2014

In order to apply for a new Virginia commercial driver’s license , you should be the age of 18 or over and must exceed all the requirements for a customary Virginia driver’s license. You must be at least 21 years of age in order to carry hazardous materials, drive across state lines in a commercial vehicle or haul throughway freight inside the state.

CDL Classes for Every State

All states issue licenses in these categories. These class designations are from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

  • Class A : Vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GWVR) of 26,001 or more pounds. There is a provision that the GVWR of the vehicle being towed exceeds 10,000 pounds.
  • Class B : A vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001+pounds. Another such vehicle which tows a vehicle should not be over 10,000 pounds GVWR.
  • Class C : A vehicle or a combination of them which do not come under Class A or Class B, and transports 16 or more passengers. This includes the driver, or is allocated for the carriage of hazardous materials.

If you currently a class B license and you have the right endorsements, by law, you may also operate motor vehicles listed in class C.
Some states may make exceptions for snow removal vehicles, farm vehicles, some military vehicles and fire and emergency vehicles.

Applying for a CDL in Virginia

When applying for a CDL in Virginia , you need your CDL training permit. There is an application form available online , but you can have it mailed to you by writing to the DMV a request for the same. The license and permit have to be applied for by you in particular at a DMV Customer Service Centre. This permit will let you drive the commercial vehicle under supervision until you fully learn to drive it single handedly. If it is your first CDL, you will need this permit for 30 days prior to taking the on-road driving test. You could also take the CDL specific drivers’ education course and hold on to your permit for over 14 days.
To get your permit , you need to present one proof of legal presence in the USA, two proofs of identification, one residency proof for Virginia and a proof of your Social Security number. The Department of Motor Vehicle will not accept altered, forged or photocopied documents, along with those that they believe are faked.
Then you must pay a fee of $3 for the permit, followed by passing one or more knowledge tests, which may be verbal or written, along with a vision screening test. After you pass these tests, you will get your instruction permit.
You must turn in all other licenses you possess including your Virginia’s driver’s license. Your Virginia CDL will now be your only driver’s license—both for personal and commercial vehicles.

Getting the Class B CDL

In order to get a Class B CDL , you will have to pass the following exams:

  • General Knowledge Test- This will test your basic control of the vehicle, vehicle inspection, gear shifting, seeing hazards and communicating accordingly, anti-lock braking systems, etc.
  • Air Brakes Test- This will test your knowledge of air brakes system parts, dual air brakes systems, inspection of air brakes, usage of air brakes, etc.
  • Pre Trip Inspection- This test entails internal and external inspection, emergency exit and evacuation, special safety considerations.
  1. Basic Skills

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.
In order to take these tests, you should have had in your possession a CDL instruction permit for a minimum of 30 days or prove that had held a CDL in the past or have finished a CDL driver’s education course.
Other exams applicable for desired endorsements may also be required.

  1. Fees

Majority of the CDLs are valid for a period of 8 years and cost approximately $8 per year, and an extra $1 per year for every endorsement. Your license fee will be calculated based the number of years it’s valid for before you renewing again.

  1. Federal Requirements

You are required to self-certify the type of your vehicle operation in one of these driving categories below:

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