Commercial Driver's License Overview
Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) requirements are stricter than any other Indiana driver's license and are based upon stringent Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations. Individuals who hold an Indiana CDL are permitted to operate the following vehicles:
- Commercial motor vehicles or combinations of vehicles with declared gross vehicle weight ratings in excess of 26,000 pounds
- Vehicles designed to transport 16 or more people, including the driver; and vehicles used to transport hazardous materials.
Frequently Asked Questions About CDLs
- When does my CDL expire, and how much does it cost to renew?
Your CDL expires on your birthday and a late fee will be charged if the license is renewed after that date. If your birthday falls on a day when BMV branches are closed, such as a Sunday or a Monday, your license will remain valid until the end of the next business day.
- When Do I Need a CDL?
You will need to obtain a CDL if you operate a commercial motor vehicle that:
- Has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 pounds; or
- Is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or
- Is any size and is carrying hazardous materials which require placarding
- How Do I Obtain a CDL?
- Have a valid Indiana operator’s license;
- Have a valid United States Social Security number;
- Be a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident or qualify for a Non-Domiciled CDL;
- Pass a DOT physical examination and provide the BMV with an valid Medical Examination Report (MER) and Medical Examiner's Certificate (MEC);
- Obtain a commercial driver’s license learner’s permit; and
- Pass a skills test in a vehicle class you intend to operate.
A CDL skills exam must be taken at one of the authorized CDL driving skills exam sites. There you will demonstrate your knowledge and skills of operating a commercial motor vehicle.
If a driver’s CDL has been expired, disqualified, canceled, revoked, invalidated or voluntarily surrendered for more than one year, the holder must pass all knowledge and skills exams prior to issuance of the CDL license [140 IAC 7-3-17.5(d)].
The DOT Physical Examination forms —Medical Examination Report (MER) and Medical Examiner's Certificate (MEC) — are available from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
Companies and individual drivers can check the processing status of a Medical Examiner’s Certificate by calling 888-692-6841 and selecting option number three.