Want to become a truck driver in Idaho?
Then you need a commercial driver’s license (CDL).
Now, getting your CDL is very different from a regular driver’s license.
You have to go through different requirements and steps.
This is why, here, we’re going to give you a complete guide to the Idaho CDL requirements. Just like our “Idaho driver’s license requirements” article, we’ll go through all the steps in detail.
This way, you’ll know everything – from what CDL class you need to finally get hold of your CDL, and everything in between.
There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started right away!
CDL Classes in Idaho
There are 3 CDL classes in Idaho. These are:
- Class A
- Class B
- Class C
Class A CDL
The Class A CDL can operate the biggest commercial vehicles. Class A commercial vehicles are combination vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of more than 26,001 pounds. The towed item should have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds.
Class B CDL
A Class B CDL can operate a single or combination vehicle with a GVWR of more than 26,001 pounds. If towing, the towed item should be 10,000 pounds or less.
Class C CDL
Class C CDL is the classification for trucks that don’t meet Class A or B requirements. To be more specific, it can operate vehicles that have a GVWR of less than 26,001 pounds and a towed item of less than 10,000 pounds.
It can also operate vehicles that carry 16 passengers or hazardous materials.
CDL Endorsements in Idaho
Other than CDL classes, there are also endorsements for driving certain types of commercial vehicles.
In Idaho, you can apply for 6 endorsements, including:
- Hazardous Materials (H) – all CDL classes can apply for this endorsement. This is for commercial vehicles that will transport hazardous materials as stated in 49 U.S.C 5103 or toxins under 42 CFR Part 73. You need to take a written exam for recognizing and handling hazardous materials.
- Tank Vehicle (N) – for Class A and B CDL holders. If you are a Class C CDL holder, the vehicle should be transporting hazardous materials to be eligible for this endorsement.
- Passengers (P) – for all CDL classes. This endorsement is for commercial vehicles that carry 16 or more passengers (including the driver).
- School Buses (S) – for all CDL classes. This endorsement applies to school buses only. You need to pass a written exam for the safety considerations of carrying passengers.
- Double and Triple Trailers (T) – only Clas A CDL holders are allowed to get this endorsement. You also need to pass a special written exam for this.
- Combination Hazardous Materials and Tank Vehicle (X) – for tank drivers that carry hazardous materials and waste. Drivers must take a special written exam for this.
CDL Requirements in Idaho
Now, let’s go over the CDL requirements.
Are you eligible to get a CDL in Idaho?
Well, if you can check all these boxes, then yes, you are:
- You are at least 18 years old (21 if you’re planning to drive a commercial vehicle across states)
- You have an Idaho Class D license valid for at least a year
- You do NOT have driver’s license disqualifications or suspensions
- You have met the medical requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
- You are able to show that you are a resident of Idaho
- You have proof of US citizenship or legal permission to work in the US
So if you meet all of these requirements, you can start applying for a CDL.
How to Get a CDL in Idaho
In Idaho, you have to go through 2stages:
- Get a Commercial License Permit (CLP)
- Get a Commercial Driver’s License (CLD)
Let’s go through each of these stages one by one.
Get Your CLP in Idaho
A CLP is just like an instruction permit. It allows you to practice driving your commercial vehicle on public roads, supervised by a CDL holder who is at least 21 years old.
Now, here are the steps to getting your CLP in Idaho:
- Prepare the following documents:
- Current driver’s license
- Social Security Card
- Proof of identity (birth cert, passport, etc.)
- Proof of residence in Idaho
- Proof of US citizenship or legal presence in the US
- Completed Medical Examiner Certificate
- Complete a Self-Certification on the type of driving you’re doing with your CDL. You can do this at the DMV office OR the Idaho DMV website
- Go to the nearest DMV licensing office and submit all the documents mentioned above
- Pay the written exam fee(s). It costs $5 for each exam, i.e general exam, class exam, endorsement exam…
- Take and pass your written exam(s). You can study for the exam in the Idaho CDL Manual.
- Pay the CLP fee of $29
- Receive your CLP
Your CLP will be valid for 180 days.
Get Your CDL in Idaho
Once you have held your CLP for 14 days, you can now apply for a CDL.
Here are the steps to do that:
- Complete an Entry-Level Driver Training Program. (Get more information about this in the FAQ section below)
- Schedule a skills exam with a CDL Skills Test Examiner. You can find the list of examiners here.
- Bring the commercial vehicle that you plan to drive. The vehicle’s classification should fall under the type of CDL you’re applying for. NOTE: if you don’t have any vehicle, you can rent one in some test examiner locations.
- Submit these documents to the test examiner:
- Valid driver’s license
- Certificate of Completion for the ELDT
- Vehicle insurance
- Vehicle registration
- Pay the skills exam fee. Cost may vary depending on the test examiner and license class, but it will not exceed $190.
- Take and pass the skills exam:
- Vehicle inspection
- Vehicle control
- On-road driving
- Go to your licensing office and get your CDL
- Pay the CDL fee (see table below). You must also pay a $10 skills exam fee to the DMV.
|1-year (20 years old):||$15|
|3-year (18 to 21 years old):||$30|
|4-year (21 years old and above):||$40|
- Receive your temporary CDL. Your official CDL will be mailed to you within 10 business days.
And there you have it.
You are now the holder of a commercial driver’s license in Idaho.
Frequently Asked Questions
Got some questions? Then let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions about CDLs in Idaho.
Who should take the Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT)?
You are required to take the ELDT program only if you are getting any of these CDLs or endorsements:
- Class A CDL
- Class B CDL
- Upgrading from Class B to Class A CDL
- S, P, or H endorsements
Those not included in the list don’t need to fulfill this requirement.
What is the Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT)?
The program trains aspiring truck drivers and makes sure they meet the baseline set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
You need to train under a registered training provider as stated on the FMCSA website.
Once you complete the training, you will be given a Certificate of Completion by the training provider.
How long does it take to get a CDL in Idaho?
It takes at least 2 months to get a CDL in Idaho. This includes the ELDT training, the 14 days to hold your CLP, and the application process.
What disqualifies you from getting a CDL in Idaho?
You cannot qualify for a CDL in Idaho if:
- You have a DUI record
- You have a serious traffic violation
- You have a railroad/highway violation
How much does Idaho CDL training cost?
A CDL training in Idaho can range from $1,700 to $4,500, depending on the school you’re attending and the inclusions in their CDL training.
How many questions are on the Idaho CDL test?
There are 50 questions in the written exam. You need a score of at least 80% to pass, which means, you have to get 40 items right.
That was your complete guide to the Idaho CDL requirements.
If you pass the eligibility requirements, then what are you waiting for?
Go and pick what CDL class and endorsement you need. From there, go through the steps to getting your CLP and CDL.
The sooner you start, the sooner you can operate your commercial vehicle.
So good luck!