So you’re planning to get a CDL in Kansas?
However, because different states have different requirements, it can get a bit confusing.
And, you might be wondering, “where do I even begin?”
Well, in this article, we’re going to give you a complete 2023 guide on the Kansas CDL requirements. We’re going to give you all the details, from CDL classes to the steps to getting a CDL.
With this, you’ll know exactly what to do.
So shall we begin?
CDL Classes in Kansas
Before you even begin the process, you need to know what type of CDL class to get.
In Kansas, there are three CDL classes, namely:
- Class A CDL
- Class B CDL
- Class C CDL
To help you determine which one you need, let’s take a close look at the three classes.
Class A CDL
You need this class of CDL if you’re driving heavy combination vehicles, such as a tractor-trailer. You may know them better as semis or big rigs.
Now, your commercial motor vehicle (CMV) must have a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or heavier. The unit its towing must weigh more than 10,000 pounds.
Carrying a Class A CDL allows you to drive Class B and Class C vehicles (with the right endorsements).
Class B CDL
A Class B CDL is needed if your CMV has a GCWR of over 26,000 pounds but tows a unit weighing less than 10,000 pounds.
A Class B CDL also allows you to drive single CMVs, such as straight trucks, large buses, box trucks, and segmented buses — as long as the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) remains above 26,000 pounds.
What’s more, you can operate Class C vehicles (again, you have to have the right endorsements). However, you cannot use a Class B CDL to operate Class A vehicles.
Class C CDL
The last CDL type is Class C.
You must carry it to drive single vehicles with a GVWR of less than 26,001 pounds. And, if towing, the unit should weigh less than 10,000 pounds.
You must also have a Class C CDL to operate any vehicle capable of carrying 16 or more passengers, including the driver. The same applies to vehicles that transport hazardous materials in quantities that require placarding.
CDL Requirements in Kansas
Before we get into the steps on how to get your CDL, you first have to see whether or not you’re qualified.
Read through the list of requirements and see how many boxes you can check off:
- You must be at least 18 (to drive within Kansas) or 21 (to drive to other states).
- You must be a U.S. citizen or at least prove lawful presence in the country (permission to work must accompany the latter).
- You must be a resident of Kansas.
- You must have a valid Kansas non-commercial class C driver’s license.
- All your driving privileges must be active (these cannot be suspended, canceled, revoked, or disqualified at the time of your application).
- You must be in good health and comply with the medical requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations.
- You must be proficient in English (written and verbal)
If you can check all the boxes, then you’re qualified to get a CDL in Kansas.
How to Get a CDL in Kansas
The process of getting your CDL in Kansas involves two stages:
- Earning Your Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP)
- Earning Your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)
Let’s break down each stage into steps.
How to Get Your Kansas CLP
The first thing you need to work on is your permit. Here’s how to do that:
- Ensure you meet all the requirements as stated in the previous section.
- Decide which CDL class you need.
- Make an appointment for the CDL knowledge exam. Call your local commercial driver’s license office to set a schedule. Click here to see a complete list of locations and phone numbers.
- At the office, submit these necessary documents:
- One document proving your identity
- One document showing your Social Security Number
- Two documents proving your residency in Kansas
- Your non-commercial Class C driver’s license
- A medical self-certification form. You can also submit this form online.
- A medical certificate from an FMCSA-approved Medical Examiner (if applicable)
- Pass a vision test.
- Pass the knowledge exam(s).
- Undergo a driving record check.
- Pay the necessary fees:
- CLP fee: $5
- Photo fee: $8
- Have your photo taken.
- Get your CLP.
With a CLP, you can now practice driving your CMV. But just like a regular learner’s permit, you must have a licensed CDL driver at least 21 years old in the front passenger seat.
How to Get Your Kansas CDL
The next stage is getting your official CDL!
Here are the steps to get it:
- Hold your CLP for at least 14 days.
- Complete the required CDL training:
- Truckers Against Trafficking (all CDL applicants).
- Entry-Level Driver Training (only for those who are first-time applicants for a Class A or B CDL, upgrading their Class B CDL to a Class A, preparing to take a written exam for an S or P endorsement, first-time applicants for an H endorsement).
NOTE: Ensure your Entry-Level Driver Training provider is an approved 3rd-party CDL school.
- Pass all 3 parts of the CDL skills exam — the pre-trip inspection, the basic skills test, and the road test.
NOTE: You must bring your own CMV for the skills test. It must be representative of the CDL class you’re getting.
- Pay the necessary fees:
- CDL fee: $18
- Testing fee: $15
- Photo fee: $8
- Have your photo taken.
- Surrender your CLP.
- Get your CDL.
You now have a Kansas CDL.
CDL Endorsements in Kansas
Once you have your CDL, you can apply for an endorsement.
Now, an endorsement allows you to drive specific CMVs or use your CMV for a certain task.
In Kansas, there are 6 types of endorsements. The table below details each of these.
NOTE: You can have 3 of these endorsements on your CLP. The rest can be acquired if you already have a CDL.
|Endorsement||Definition||Available with CPL?|
|(P)Passenger||For drivers who want to drive vehicles that carry 16 or more passengers, including the driver.||Yes|
|(S)School Bus||For drivers who want to operate a school bus.||Yes|
|(N)Tank Vehicle||For drivers who want to drive vehicles with tanks permanently attached to it. These are used to transport liquid or gaseous materials in vessels with individual capacities of 119 gallons or an aggregate capacity of 1,000 gallons or more.||Yes|
|(T)Double and Triple Trailers||For drivers who want to operate trucks towing double or triple trailers.||No|
|(H)Hazardous Materials||For drivers who want to drive vehicles transporting hazardous materials in quantities requiring placarding.||No|
|(X)Combination Hazardous Material and Tank Vehicle||For drivers who need to operate vehicles that haul waste or hazardous materials using tank vehicles that need placarding.||No|
Remember, each endorsement requires a separate written test on top of the CDL knowledge exam.
Need more information? Then let’s check out the most frequently asked questions about CDLs in Kansas.
How many questions are on the Kansas CDL test?
The CDL knowledge exam consists of 50 questions, all multiple choice. You have one hour to answer everything.
You need a score of 80% to pass. That means you have to get 40 questions right.
How long is a Kansas CDL permit good for?
A CLP remains valid for 180 days. You should complete your CDL training and earn your CDL during this time.
How much does CDL training cost in Kansas?
The cost of CDL schools in Kansas varies depending on the provider. A trucking school program from North Central Kansas Technical College Beloit only costs $800. Despite having a small instructor-to-student ratio (1:3), it only lasts a week.
In comparison, Johnson County Community College charges $4,249 for a 35-week program. They offer 1:1 instruction and provide financial aid for qualified students.
Do truckers make a lot of money in Kansas?
You can earn an average of $50,960 per year as a trucker in Kansas. This is slightly higher than the annual national average of $50,340.
That said, your salary may vary depending on several factors, such as experience, CDL class, and industry.
What felonies disqualify you from getting a CDL in Kansas?
Some felonies may disqualify you from getting your CDL. These include the following:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance
- Committed first or second-degree manslaughter
- Reckless driving resulting in a fatality
The Wrap Up
And there you have it — your step-by-step guide on the Kansas CDL requirements.
As you can see, the process isn’t too complicated. Just make sure to take it one step at a time.
If so, then you’ll be well on your way to getting ahold of your CDL in Kansas.
So what are you waiting for?
Get started today!