Alabama CDL Requirements

Alabama CDL Classes

      You must be at least 18 years old to operate a commercial motor vehicle within the state of Alabama (intrastate) and at least 21 years of age to operate a commercial motor vehicle outside the state of Alabama (interstate). You must also be at least 21 years old to transport materials that are deemed hazardous and to transport passengers using a commercial motor vehicle. You need a commercial driver’s license in order to operate either commercial or non-commercial motor vehicles that fall into the following categories:

Class A
      Any combination of vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 26,001 pounds or more, provided that the gross vehicle weight rating of the towed vehicle is in excess of 10,000 pounds.  The holder of a Class A license, which includes any appropriate endorsements, may operate all vehicles included in Class B, C, and D.

Class B
      Any single vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 26,001 or more pounds, as well as any vehicle towing another vehicle that does not exceed a weight of 10,000 pounds. Class B licensees, with appropriate endorsements, may drive all vehicles in Class C or D.

Class C
      Any vehicle or combination of vehicles that does not meet the criteria of either Class A or Class B, but is designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver), or is used in transporting materials classified as hazardous in the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act. A Class C commercial license holder may drive all vehicles in Class D as well.       

Alabama CLP Requirements

      You must already possess an Alabama commercial learner’s permit (CLP) before you can take the CDL Skills Test. Before applying for an Alabama commercial learner’s permit, you must already possess a valid Alabama Class D driver’s license. You will be issued an Alabama CDL when you pass both the written general knowledge test and the CDL Skills Test. 

      In order to obtain a commercial learner’s permit in the state of Alabama, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old for intrastate driving (within the state of Alabama only).
  • Be at least 21 years of age for interstate driving (outside the state of Alabama).
  • Be at least 21 years of age to transport materials deemed hazardous.
  • Be at least 21 years of age to transport passengers in a CMV.
  • Possess a valid Alabama Class D driver’s license.
  • Not be disqualified from operating a commercial motor vehicle (please see page 1-3 of the Alabama Commercial Driver’s License Manual for details).
  • Provide your current out-of-state driver’s license or I.D. card (if you are not currently licensed in the state of Alabama).
  • Provide original documented proof of your identity and date of birth (i.e., a certified birth certificate, valid U.S. passport, valid I.D. card).
  • Provide original documented proof of your Social Security number (i.e., your Social Security card, W-2 form, pay stub with your name/SSN).
  • Provide original documented proof of U.S. legal presence (i.e., a certified birth certificate, valid U.S. passport, valid I.D. card).
  • Provide proof of your Alabama residency that shows your name and current address (i.e., a utility bill, vehicle registration, etc.).
  • Provide your current Medical Examiner’s Certificate and completed Medical Examination Report (and any applicable medical waivers).  
  • Certify that your privilege to drive any motor vehicle is not currently suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified anywhere.
  • Certify that you currently hold no more than one driver’s license.
  • Self-certify that you intend to drive a CMV in either intrastate commerce or interstate commerce.
  • Pass the physical exam (must be administered by a FMCSA certified physician).
  • Pass the vision exam (you must have at least 20/40 vision in each eye with or without glasses).
  • Pass the color blindness test (you must be able to recognize green, red, and amber colors).
  • Pass the CDL written general knowledge test.
  • Pass any other written tests required for the class and type of vehicle you are applying for.
  • Pass any written tests required for any CDL endorsements you are applying for.
  • Pay the $25 testing fee.
  • Pay the $23.50 fee for the commercial learner’s permit.

Alabama CDL Requirements

      In order to obtain a commercial driver’s license in the state of Alabama, you must meet the following Alabama CDL requirements:

  • Possess a valid Alabama commercial learner’s permit.
  • Possess a valid Alabama Class D driver’s license.
  • Possess a current D.O.T. card (cannot be more than 2 years old).
  • Provide proof of vehicle liability insurance.
  • Self-certify that you intend to drive a CMV in either intrastate commerce or interstate commerce.
  • Certify that your privilege to drive any motor vehicle is not currently suspended, revoked, canceled, or disqualified anywhere.
  • Provide a test vehicle of the same class as the CDL you are testing for that has passed inspection.
  • Provide a passenger that is 18 years of age or older with a valid Alabama CDL to ride with you in your test vehicle to the test location.
  • Schedule an appointment for the CDL Skills Test.
  • Pass the CDL Skills Test.
  • Pay the $20 CDL Skills Test fee.
  • Pay the $53.50 fee for a Class A CDL.
  • Pay the $43.50 fee for a Class B CDL.
  • Pay the $23.50 fee for a Class C CDL.
  • Have your photo taken for the commercial driver’s license.

The Alabama CDL Knowledge Test and Road/Skills Test

      The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires that commercial truck drivers hauling materials from one state to another must be at least 21 years of age. Alabama CDL applicants must pass a written knowledge exam as well as a driving skills test. The three part driving test includes the following:

  • A pre-trip vehicle inspection
  • A basic control skills test
  • An on-the-road driving exam

      The applicant must take the driving test in a vehicle that matches the class of license he or she is trying to obtain. 

      Be sure to download and study the Alabama Commercial Driver’s License Manual, as it contains the information you need to pass the knowledge tests and Skills Test.

      Our Free CDL Practice Tests will help prepare you for the actual CDL knowledge tests administered by the DMV.

Commercial Driver Self-Certification

      In the state of Alabama, all commercial driver’s license holders must self-certify as to what type of driving they will be doing (intrastate or interstate), and whether they meet or exceed the medical and physical standards put forth by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to legally and safely operate a commercial motor vehicle. All CDL applicants must self-certify once they obtain their commercial driver’s license.   

      You are required to self-certify whenever you:

  • Apply for a commercial driver’s license.
  • Renew a commercial driver’s license.
  • Apply for a higher class of commercial driver’s license.
  • Apply for a new CDL endorsement.
  • Transfer a commercial driver’s license from another state.

       All commercial drivers who intend to operate a commercial motor vehicle for the following purposes only, do not require a commercial driver’s license and are considered “exempt” and therefore are waived from self-certification:

  • Persons operating Special Purpose Commercial vehicle with a GVWR of 26,000 lbs. or less. 
  • Fire and emergency vehicles used to preserve life and property or to carry out governmental operations.
  • Vehicles operated by non-civilian operators of military equipment.
  • Recreational vehicles that are being used for personal recreational use only.
  • Any farm vehicle used to transport agricultural products, farm machinery, or farm supplies within 150 air-miles of the owner’s farm and not used in the operation of a common or contract motor carrier.

      If you intend to operate a commercial motor vehicle for any other purpose than those listed above, then you are considered “non-exempt” and are required to hold a valid CDL and must self-certify. You may also need to provide a current Medical Examiner’s Certificate.

      If you operate a commercial motor vehicle in either intrastate or interstate commerce solely for the following purposes, then you are under “excepted” status, and therefore do not need to provide a Medical Examiner’s Certificate, but may need to undergo a medical evaluation:

  • Transporting school children and/or school staff members between home and school.
  • Operating any vehicle as an employee of either Federal, State, or Local government.
  • Operating fire and rescue vehicles for emergency purposes and other related events.
  • Transporting sick, injured, or deceased persons.
  • Primarily transporting propane heating fuel when responding to an emergency condition requiring an immediate response.
  • When responding to a pipeline emergency requiring an immediate response such as a pipeline leak or rupture.
  • When custom harvesting on a farm or to haul farm machinery and supplies to and from a farm or when transporting crops between a farm and a market or storage facility.
  • When operating a farm vehicle that is not a combo vehicle (power unit and towed unit), and is used to haul agricultural products, farm supplies (cannot be materials deemed hazardous), or farm machinery to and from a farm and within 150 air miles of the farm.
  • Transporting bees as an apiarist during beekeeping season.
  • When transporting migrant workers.
  • As a private motor carrier of passengers for non-business activities.

      If you intend to operate a commercial motor vehicle for any other purpose than those listed above, then you operate in either “non-excepted” intrastate commerce, “non-excepted” interstate commerce, or both. “Non excepted” interstate drivers and “non-excepted” intrastate drivers must provide a current Medical Examiner’s Certificate along with a completed and signed copy of the Self Certification Affidavit.

      The Medical Examiner’s Certificate cannot expire within 60 days from the date of submission. Any commercial drivers who self-certify as “excepted” interstate or “excepted” intrastatemust complete, sign, and submit the Self Certification Affidavit only. “Excepted” drivers do not have to submit any medical documents or waivers but, may have to undergo a medical evaluation.

      All CDL applicants and drivers can submit their Self Certification Affidavit online using the Self-Certification Submission Portal. All electronic submissions must be in the pdf, jpeg, or tiff format. Please read over the Self-Certification FAQs for more information. You can also submit the Self Certification Affidavit, along with your medical documents, by mail, fax, or email, no matter what your self-certification status is.

      If you have any questions regarding self-certification you can read over the Self-Certification FAQs, or you can speak to a customer service representative at the Alabama CDL Help Desk by calling (334) 353-1934 during normal business hours. Please have your commercial driver’s license number readily available when you callYou can also email the CDL Help Desk at cdlmedicalmerger@dps.alabama.gov. Please address your emails to Virginia Franks.

      For more information about the Medical Examiner’s Certificate, please continue reading below.

Medical Examination Report for Alabama CDL

      All CDL applicants and commercial drivers must have the Medical Examiner’s Certificate and the Medical Examination Report completed by one of the following:

  • Licensed U.S. doctor of medicine (M.D.)
  • Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O)
  • Licensed physician assistant (P.A.)
  • Advanced practice registered nurse
  • Chiropractor

      The Medical Examiner’s Certificate must be attached to the Medical Examination Report and dated within the previous two years if you are renewing your commercial driver’s license. If you are a first time CDL applicant submitting your Medical Examiner’s Certificate, then the certificate must not expire within 60 days from the date of submission.

      The Alabama Department of Public Safety will only accept your medical forms if they have been completed by a qualified physician who has been certified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You can search for a FMCSA certified physician by using the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

      The FMSCA requires you to have at least 20/40 vision in each eye and a field of vision of at least 140 degrees (70 degrees in each eye) in order to be certified to operate a commercial motor vehicle. Under certain conditions, you may be able to be waived from these and other medical requirements.     

       Once you have completed and signed the Medical Examiner’s Certificate, the Medical Examination Report, the Self Certification Affidavit, and any applicable medical waivers, you can submit your documents by doing any of the following:

  • Fax your completed and signed documents to (334) 353-1980.
  • Email your completed and signed documents in the pdf, jpeg, or tiff format to cdlmedicalmerger@dps.alabama.gov.
  • Mail your completed and signed documents to: 

                              Alabama Department of Public Safety
                              Driver License Division
                              CDL Unit
                              P.O. Box 1471
                              Montgomery, Al 36102-1471

      Please include your name, address, and contact number on all mailings and faxes. Make sure your information is legible and be sure to double check and, if needed, correct any errors before submitting your documents. All CDL applicants are advised to keep copies of these documents for their own records. Failure to comply with state and federal self-certification regulations will result in a suspension, downgrade, or cancellation of your commercial driving privileges.

         If you have any questions about submitting your medical documents, you can speak to a customer service representative at the Alabama CDL Help Desk by calling (334) 353-1934 during normal business hours. Please have your commercial driver’s license number readily available when you callYou can also email the CDL Help Desk at cdlmedicalmerger@dps.alabama.gov. Please address your emails to Virginia Franks.

Hazmat Endorsement for Alabama CDL

      Any person that is applying for a Hazardous Materials CDL endorsement is required to undergo a federal background check and federal fingerprint check according to guidelines set by the Transportation Security Administration. All applicants must also provide the required documents to verify their identification and legal U.S. status.

      For more information, check out the Transportation Security Administration’s F.A.Q. page. You can apply for the security threat assessment on the TSA Hazardous Material Endorsement Enrollment Website. You must begin applying at least 30 days before the expiration of your CDL. You can start the application process on the HTAP Online Application Website. To apply by phone call (855) 347-8371. Use the TSA Enrollment Center Locator to find the nearest TSA approved fingerprint office.

Military Drivers

      In the state of Alabama, if you are currently serving in the military or have been honorably discharged within the last 90 days, and you have driven military vehicles that would require a CDL to operate as a civilian with a 2 year safe driving record, then you may qualify for the waiver of the CDL Skills Test and may be exempt from taking the commercial driver skills test. You will still be required to take the written tests. Certain restrictions apply. Download, print, and complete the Application for Military Skills Test Waiver to start the process. 

Alabama CDL Endorsements

      In order to drive trucks with air brakes, trucks with double/triple trailers, tanker trucks, or school buses, additional endorsements are required. Endorsements are also required in order to transport hazardous materials or transport passengers. A Hazardous Materials endorsement is needed to transport materials, as well as a background check administered by the Transportation Security Administration. The state of Alabama has the following CDL endorsements:

      H      Hazardous Materials      Required to transport hazardous materials under D.O.T. regulations. 

      N      Tank Vehicle      Required to transport liquids in bulk containers of 1,000 gallons or more.

      X      Tanker/Hazardous Materials Combination      Required to transport hazardous materials in a tanker truck.

      M      Motorcycle      Indicates that the CDL holder is authorized to drive motorcycles.

      T      Double/Triple      Indicates CDL holder is authorized to operate multiple trailer haulers.

      P     Passenger      Indicates the CDL holder is authorized to operate a commercial passenger vehicle.

      S      School Bus      Indicates the CDL holder is authorized to operate a school bus. 

Important Resources for Alabama CDL Requirements

Alabama Commercial Driver’s License Manual
Alabama CDL Practice Tests
Application for Military Skills Test Waiver
Self-Certification FAQs
Self-Certification Submission Portal
Self Certification Affidavit
Medical Examiner’s Certificate
Medical Examination Report Form 649-F
National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners

    

      Check out our list of truck driving schools in Alabama that will provide you with the necessary skills to obtain your commercial driver’s license and start your career in the exciting field of commercial truck driving! You may also want to check out our nationwide list of truck driving schools.

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Map of Alabama CDL Testing Locations 

TitleAddress
1. Morgan County Courthouse 302 Lee St. N.E., Decatur, AL 35602
2. Trooper Post 5679 5679 Montgomery Hwy, Dothan, AL 36303
3. Alabama State Troopers Office 1115-A Church Street, Huntsville, AL 35801
4. DMV 1703 Pelham Road, South Jacksonville, AL 36265
5. Driver's License Office 3400 Demetropolis Road, Mobile, AL 36693
6. Driver's License Office 1040 Coliseum Blvd, Montgomery, AL 36109
7. Bevill State College Hwy 78 West, Sumiton, AL 35148
8. Trooper Office 2645 2645 Skyland Blvd East, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405

 

Some CDL testing locations require you to set up an appointment. CDL testing hours may vary. Please call the testing location for more information.

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Alabama CDL Requirements
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