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 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.
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Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT)
Beginning July 1, 2023, all first time CDL applicants must watch an instructional video on how to recognize, prevent, and report human trafficking. Applicants will be required to attest to having watched the instructional video when applying for a CDL.
Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT) is an organization that exists to educate, equip, empower, and mobilize members of the trucking, bus and energy industries to combat human trafficking. The Truckers Against Trafficking Training Video is available to view on their website at no cost.
Visit truckersagainsttrafficking.org for information on how you can get involved, including the following resources:
- Informational videos
- Training for drivers and industry partners
- Individual partnerships
If human trafficking is ever suspected, please make an anonymous call to the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-3737-888. If you are witnessing a crime in progress, please call 911.
The Bureau of Motor Vehicles is providing this external link to the Truckers Against Trafficking as a convenience and for training purposes. Training on this topic is required as part of House Enrolled Act 1196-2023. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of the external site or for that of subsequent links. Contact the external site for answers to questions regarding its content.
Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT)
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) regulations set the baseline for training requirements for entry-level drivers. The ELDT regulations are effective February 7, 2022.
The regulations affect those who are applying to:
- Obtain a Class A or Class B commercial driver’s license (CDL) for the first time;
- Upgrade an existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL; or
- Obtain a school bus (S), passenger (P), or hazardous materials (H) endorsement for the first time.
The ELDT regulations are not retroactive. If an applicant obtained a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) or CDL prior to February 7, 2022 in the above situations the applicant is not subject to the ELDT requirements.
When applicants visit a branch to complete a hazardous materials knowledge exam, BMV branch staff will verify training prior to administration of the exam.
For applicants for the Class A/B, School Bus or Passenger endorsement the training will be verified by the 3rd Party CDL Skills Test site prior to scheduling the CDL skills test.
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 driver'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 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 your CDL has been expired, disqualified, canceled, revoked, voluntarily surrendered, relinquished, or invalidated for longer than three (3) years, you must meet all application requirements as if you are applying for an initial CDL, including applicable knowledge exams and CDL skills tests. [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.
- How do I submit my medical forms?
Use one of the following options to submit the completed MER and MEC:
- Submit in-person to any BMV branch
- Fax to: 317-974-1613
- Email to: BMVCDL@bmv.in.gov
Please note the file must be in PDF format.
- Mail to:
Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Attn: CDL Programs
100 North Senate Avenue, IGCN, Room N 481
Indianapolis, IN 46204
If you have questions regarding your MER and MEC or want to know the status of your forms, view your Driver Record using your myBMV account or contact the BMV at 888-692-6841.