Missouri CDL Requirements (A Complete 2024 Guide)

Missouri CDL Requirements (A Complete Guide)

So, you’re going for a commercial driver’s license — that’s awesome! 

But how exactly do you get a CDL in Missouri?

What are the steps? The requirements? The details?

Welcome to your complete guide to Missouri CDL requirements. 

Here, we’ll talk about everything that’s CDL-related — from knowing the different CDL classes, endorsements, and requirements.

Of course, we won’t forget the actual steps of getting it.

There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get started right away!

CDL Classes in Missouri

Commercial driver’s licenses in Missouri can fall under one of three classes:

  • Class A CDL
  • Class B CDL
  • Class C CDL

So the question is, which one do you need?

Let’s take a look.

Class A CDL

First up is the Class A CDL. You’ll need this if you’re planning to operate a combination commercial motor vehicle (CMV) with a Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or heavier. And, since it’s a combination vehicle, it tows a unit, which must weigh more than 10,000 pounds.

A Class A CDL is the highest license, so, with the proper endorsement, you can operate Class B and Class C vehicles, too. 

Class B CDL

You need this CDL class to operate single CMVs with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of over 26,001 pounds. If your vehicle is towing a unit, it must weigh fewer than 10,000 pounds.

Straight vehicles like box trucks or large buses need a Class B CDL. 

A Class B CDL still provides flexibility as it allows you to drive Class C vehicles with the right endorsement. However, you can’t operate Class A CMVs.

Class C CDL

What sets Class C vehicles apart is the load it carries. 

Remember, not all commercial vehicles are trucks and buses. 

So with a Class C CDL, you can operate a CMV with a GVWR of fewer than 26,0001 pounds AND is used for:

  • Transporting 16 or more passengers (including the driver)
  • Hauling large quantities of hazardous materials (enough to require your vehicle to be placarded)

CDL Endorsements in Missouri

What are endorsements?

To drive specific vehicles or carry specific loads, you need to have the right endorsement on your commercial license. This will show that you received special training for it. 

Now, there are 6 endorsements available in Missouri. These are:

  • T (Double/Triple Trailer) — if you operate combination vehicles towing two or more units.
  •  N (Tank) — if you’re driving a vehicle with tanks permanently or temporarily attached to it. It usually transports liquid or gaseous materials.
  • S (School Bus) — if you’re operating a school bus.
  • P (Passenger) — if you’re transporting passengers using your commercial vehicle.
  • H (Hazmat) — if you’re moving hazardous materials in quantities requiring placarding.
  • X (Combination H & N) — if you’re transporting hazardous materials in a tank vehicle.

You can get three endorsements on a commercial permit — N, S, and P. 

As for the rest (T, H, and X), you can only get it once you have a CDL.

CDL Requirements in Missouri

Before we look at the steps to getting your CDL, let’s see if you qualify.

Like a standard driver’s license, you must meet several requirements before you’re eligible to apply. 

Let’s see the basic requirements:

  • You meet the age requirement
    • 18 if you’re driving within Missouri
    • 21 if you’re crossing state lines
  • You’re a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident
  • You are a Missouri resident
  • You have a Missouri-issued driver’s license
  • Your driving privileges are active
  • You’re compliant with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation’s medical requirements.
  • You are proficient in English (enough to speak and read it)

So, how many boxes did you check off?

All? Great, let’s move to the steps!

Only a few? Focus on that first. Remember, you must check off all boxes to qualify for a CDL.

How to Get A CDL in Missouri

The journey to your commercial driver’s license has two main parts:

  • Getting your permit (CLP)
  • Getting your license (CDL)

Let’s break these parts into detail.

How to Get Your CLP in Missouri

Here are the steps to getting a commercial learner’s permit in Missouri:

  1. Determine the following:
    1. What CDL class to get
    2. Whether or not you need endorsements
  1. Ensure you’re eligible to apply. You can refer to the section above for a checklist.
  1. Visit a Missouri State Highway Patrol Driver Examination Station (click here for locations). 

NOTE: The Missouri State Highway Patrol conducts all driving-related tests. And although you don’t need to schedule an appointment before going, it’s best to know your preferred site’s operation hours. If you arrive too late in the day, you may not be able to take a test.

  1. Bring the following documents when you visit a testing site:
    1. Proof of identity (proof of lawful presence for non-citizens)
    2. Proof of Missouri residence
    3. Proof of Social Security Number
    4. Your active driver’s license
    5. A valid Medical Examiner’s certificate 
  1. Pay $25 for the CDL written test fee.
  1. Pass the CDL written test and any endorsement test (if applicable)
  1. Visit a local Driver’s Licensing Office (click here for locations) and apply for a CDL permit.
  1. Submit the following documents:
    1. Proof of identity (proof of lawful presence for non-citizens)
    2. Proof of Missouri residence
    3. Proof of Social Security Number
    4. Your active driver’s license
    5. A valid Medical Examiner’s certificate 
    6. Your written test passing score
  1. Pay $16 for the CDL permit fee.
  1. Receive your CLP (commercial learner’s permit).

Congratulations! You’ve completed part one.

Now, you can practice how to drive a commercial vehicle under your class. Just remember that you should always have a licensed commercial driver at least 21 years old in the front seat. 

How to Get Your CDL in Missouri

Your CLP remains valid for a year after its issued. That gives you enough time to complete the following steps before it expires:

  1. Complete the Entry-Level Driver Training program. It’s a requirement for all applicants who are:
    1. Applying for a Class A or Class B CDL for the first time
    2. Applying for an H, S, or P endorsement for the first time
    3. Upgrading their CDL from a Class A to a Class B CDL

NOTE: You can begin the ELDT program before you get your CLP. You don’t need a permit to enroll — some schools even help you get your CLP. 

  1. Hold your CLP for at least 14 days before taking the skills exam.
  1. Make an appointment for your CDL skills exam with one of the Missouri State Highway Patrol Test Sites

NOTE: These test sites do NOT accept walk-ins when it comes to CDL skills exams. So make sure you set an appointment before going. 

  1. On your scheduled date, bring the following:
    1. Your valid CLP
    2. A vehicle that’s representative of your CDL class
    3. Your vehicle’s registration and insurance papers
  1. Pay $25 for the CDL skills exam fee.
  1. Pass all three parts of the CDL skills exam.
  1. Go to a Driver’s Licensing Office to apply for a CDL.
  1. Submit these documents:
    1. Proof of identity (proof of lawful presence for non-citizens)
    2. Proof of Missouri residence
    3. Proof of Social Security Number
    4. Your active driver’s license
    5. A valid Medical Examiner’s certificate 
    6. Your skills exam passing score
    7. Your valid CLP
  1. Pay the CDL licensing fee:
    1. 3-year validity – $26
    2. 6-year validity – $52
  1. Get your CDL.

And you’re done! You’re officially a commercial driver in Missouri. 


To give you more information, let’s answer some of the most frequently asked questions about CDLs in Missouri. 

How much does it cost to get a CDL in Missouri?

Prepare between $2,500 to $4,600 when you’re working on your Missouri CDL. 

The fees alone can reach a hundred dollars:

  • Permit fee: $16
  • Written test fee: $25
  • Skills test fee: $25
  • Licensing fee: $26/$52

However, your most significant expense is going to be at CDL school. Tuition can range between $2,500 to $4,500, averaging around $3,800.

Don’t forget to compare rates between CDL schools — it may help keep your expenses manageable.

How long is CDL school in Missouri?

CDL school can be as short as 3 weeks to as long as 3 months. Besides cost, this should be another factor to consider when choosing an approved provider.

What disqualifies you from getting a CDL in Missouri?

Several things can disqualify you from getting a CDL. These are as follows:

  • Driving with a BAC of 0.04% or higher
  • Leaving the scene of an accident
  • Committing a felony using a commercial vehicle
  • Committing serious driving violations such as reckless driving or exceeding the allowable speed limit by more than 15 mph
  • Driving a CMV when you’re supposed to be out Out-of-Service
  • Violating railroad-highway grade crossing laws
  • Having too many violations on your standard license

How many times can you get the CDL permit test in Missouri?

You can take the CDL permit test as many times as you need. However, you can only have 1 attempt per day. And, you will have to pay the test fee again. 

This is why it’s best to arrive prepared. 

To prepare, you can download a copy of the Missouri Commercial Driver License Manual. This manual is the basis of the permit test.

Also, remember that you must get 80% or higher on each exam (assuming you’re taking more than one due to endorsements) to pass.

How much do truck drivers make in Missouri? 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, truck drivers in Missouri earn an average of $50,780 per year. It’s at par with the national annual wage of $50,340.

The Wrap Up

There you have it — all the information you need about Missouri CDL requirements.

It is a lot to take in. But with this complete guide, you now have a roadmap to navigate your journey. And by following the steps one by one, you’ll get everything done in no time. 

Good luck!

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