Want to drive a CMV in Georgia?
Then you need a CDL.
Now, getting your CDL is very different from getting a regular driver’s license.
This is why, here, we’re going to focus on how to get a CDL in Georgia. Just like our driver’s license guide, we’re going to give you ALL the details.
You won’t be left with any questions after going through this complete guide.
So shall we?
CDL Classes in Georgia
Before anything else, you need to pick your CDL class.
The vehicle you operate or the cargo you haul determines which class you need. Now, there are 3 classes of Commercial Driver’s Licenses in Georgia, namely:
- Class A
- Class B
- Class C
Let’s explore each one.
Class A CDL
Class A licenses can operate combination vehicles with a Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or heavier. The towed unit’s weight must exceed 10,000 pounds.
Vehicles like semis or big rigs require you to carry a Class A CDL.
Since this is the highest form of CDL, Class A allows you to drive Class B and Class C CMVs.
Class B CDL
Class B CDLs can operate straight vehicles. These must have a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more. However, if towing a unit, the unit must weigh less than 10,000 pounds.
A Class B CDL will allow you to operate vehicles like dump trucks with small trailers. You can also drive Class C vehicles, but not Class A vehicles.
Class C CDL
You need a Class C CDL if you’re driving a CMV that meets either of these:
- Has a GVWR of less than 26,001 pounds
- Transports 16 or more passengers, including the driver
- Carries hazardous materials in quantities that require placards
Georgia CDL Requirements
Okay, you now know what CDL class you need.
Up next, let’s see if you’re eligible to get a CDL in Georgia.
Can you check all the boxes below? If so, then you are eligible to get a commercial driver’s license in Georgia.
- You are at least 18 years old (or 21 if you plan to drive across state lines, transport passengers or hazardous materials)
- You are a resident of Georgia
- You have permission to work in the U.S. if you’re not a U.S. citizen
- You hold a valid Class C license
- Your driving privileges are not suspended, revoked, or canceled
- You meet the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations’ medical requirements
- You can read and understand English
Steps to Getting a CDL in Georgia
Just like any other state, you first need a commercial learner’s permit (CLP). From there, you can get your CDL.
To help you through the whole process, let’s detail the steps for each stage.
How to Get Your CLP (Class AP/BP) in Georgia
Here are the steps to getting your CLP in Georgia:
- Go to the DDS website and complete the online License/ID/Permit form.
- Gather the following documents:
- Your Georgia Class C driver’s license
- Proof of identity. NOTE: For applicants who are non-U.S. citizens, you must also show proof of lawful status
- Social Security Number
- Proof of residency in Georgia (requires 2 documents)
- A completed CDL Self-Certification form
- Medical Examiners Certificate (if necessary)
- Medical Examiner Report Form (if necessary)
To see a complete list of documents you can bring, check this list.
- Complete the Commercial Application (CAP) at a DDS customer service center. It costs $35. Veterans or school bus drivers don’t have to pay the fee if they submit a waiver. (Click here for a veterans waiver and here for the school bus driver waiver)
NOTE: The CAP and its fee are valid for 4 attempts of taking the knowledge exam. You must submit a new application and pay again if you do not pass after 4 attempts.
- Submit all the necessary documents and surrender any license, permit, or ID card issued by another state.
- Take and pass a vision exam.
- Take and pass the knowledge tests, including any endorsement exams (if applicable). The test fee is $10, while each endorsement exam is $5.
NOTE: Your payment doubles as your permit fee if you pass everything. If you need to retake the tests, the $10 acts as a testing fee, and you will need to pay for your permit separately.
- Have your photo taken.
- Pay the permit fee of $10 (if necessary).
When you have your CLP or Class AP/BP license, you can now practice driving your CMV. Of course, as with any permit, you need an adult driver with a valid CDL to supervise you.
How to Get Your CDL in Georgia
Once you’ve held your CLP for at least 14 days, you can apply for a full CDL.
Here’s how to do it:
- Complete the required Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) from one of the providers in the FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry.
- Submit the required online License/ID/Permit form.
- Schedule a road test appointment online and pay the $50 testing fee.
NOTE: There are only 10 customer service center locations that administer Commercial Road tests:
- Cumming (does not cover Class A CDL)
- Submit the following documents during your scheduled appointment:
- Your CLP
- Your valid driver’s license
- A hard copy of your CMV’s registration and a valid insurance card. Present a bill of sale if it was recently purchased (within the past 30 days)
- Take and pass all 3 parts of the road test. These include pre-inspection, basic controls, and the on-the-road segments.
NOTE: Arrive at least 20 minutes before your skills test begins. Also, you must have full driving privileges. If you have a suspension, you cannot push through with your road test until you meet the requirements for reinstatement.
- Pay the $32 licensing fee.
Congrats! You are now the holder of a Georgia commercial driver’s license.
Georgia CDL Endorsements
If you need to operate specific vehicle types or transport certain kinds of cargo, you will need to add an endorsement to your CLP/CDL.
There are 6 endorsements for commercial drivers in Georgia. You can add these 3 to your CLP:
- Passenger (P)
- School Bus (S)
- Tanker (N)
For the remaining 3, you can only add them to your CDL. These are:
- Double/Triple Trailer (T)
- Hazmat (X)
- Hazmat and Tanker Combination (X)
Frequently Asked Questions
Before we go, let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions about CDLs in Georgia.
What disqualifies you from getting a CDL in Georgia?
A disqualification means you can no longer operate a commercial vehicle. Several reasons may cause this, including the following:
- Having a Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.04% or higher
- Leaving the scene of an accident after determining a commercial vehicle was involved
- Committing a felony using a CMV
- Severe traffic violations such as driving more than 15 mph faster than the allowable speed limit or tailgating
- Violating Out-of-Service orders
- Violating federal, state, or local regulations regarding railroad-highway grade crossing
- Losing your driving privileges on your Class C driver’s license
How hard is the CDL test in Georgia?
The CDL knowledge test in Georgia has 50 multiple-choice questions. To pass it, you must get 80% correctly (that’s 40 items).
Georgia’s 2021-2022 Commercial Drivers Manual indicates which sections you must study for all CDL classes.
What requires a CDL in Georgia?
To give you an idea, here are examples of CMVs for each CDL Class:
|Class A CDL||Class B CDL||Class C CDL|
Double or triple trailers
Semis, Big Rigs or 18-Wheelers
|Box Trucks, such as delivery or furniture trucks|
Dump trucks with small trailers
Large buses, such as city or tourist buses
|Large passenger vans|
Small HAZMAT trucks
Small trucks towing a trailer
Remember, if you have a Class A CDL, you can also operate Class B and C vehicles. A Class B CDL allows you to drive Class C CMVs but not those that require a Class A CDL.
How long does it take to get a CDL in Georgia?
You can get your CDL in Georgia as fast as 5 and a half weeks. That is, if you complete your CDL training in 4 weeks and apply for a road test as soon as you’ve held your CLP for 14 days.
However, CLPs remain valid for a year. So if you max that out, it can take you almost a year.
The Wrap Up
And that was your complete guide on how to get a CDL in Georgia.
Remember, you first have to pick your CDL class, then check if you are eligible.
After that, you can start taking the steps to getting your CLP. From there, you can change it to a CDL.
Now that you know ALL the steps, what are you waiting for?
You can get started right away!