Iowa CDL Requirements

Iowa CDL Classes

       You must be at least 18 years old to operate a commercial motor vehicle within the state of Iowa (intrastate) and at least 21 years of age to drive a commercial motor vehicle across Iowa state lines (interstate). You need an Iowa CDL 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.  

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 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. Each applicant must also have a passenger or hazardous materials endorsement in order to obtain a Class C commercial driver’s license. 

Applying for an Iowa Commercial Learner’s Permit

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

      In order to obtain an Iowa commercial learner’s permit, you must:

  • Provide a valid Iowa noncommercial Class C driver’s license (operator’s license).
  • Prove that you are at least 18 years old.
  • Provide proof of your legal U.S. status.
  • Provide your current DOT medical examination (cannot be more than 2 years old).
  • Pass the vision exam (you must have at least 20/40 vision in each eye) 
  • Pass the CDL general knowledge written test. 
  • Pay any applicable fees. 

      Be sure to download and study the Iowa Commercial Driver License Manual as it contains the information you need to pass the CDL knowledge tests, including some sample test questions.

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

      Click here to see a map and clickable list of Iowa CDL test locations that offer the CDL general knowledge written tests.

Applying for an Iowa Commercial Driver’s License

      You will need the following in order to obtain a commercial driver’s license in the state of Iowa:

  • A valid Iowa commercial learner’s permit or a valid commercial driver’s license from another state.
  • Your Social Security card
  • A current Department of Transportation medical card.
  • Proof of vehicle insurance and vehicle registration (must be verified before you can take the test).
  • A passenger with a valid Iowa CDL to ride with you in your commercial vehicle to the test site.
  • Proof of your current Iowa residency that shows your name and current address (i.e., your utility bill, vehicle registration, etc.).
  • The necessary funds to cover the cost of the CDL Road/Skills Test.
  • The necessary funds cover the cost of the commercial driver’s license. 

The CDL Road/Skills Test

      The CDL Road/Skills test is a three part test and consists of the following:

  • Pre-trip Inspection: Before you can take the CDL driving tests, you will first be tested on your knowledge of the class of vehicle you plan on driving once you obtain your CDL. The Pre-trip inspection also determines if your commercial vehicle is safe enough to drive on public roads.
  • Skills Test: Before you can take the CDL Road Test, you will first need to prove that you have the skills to operate a commercial motor vehicle on public roads. This test consists of various off-road maneuvers such as backing up your vehicle. 
  • Road Test: Once you pass the first two tests, you will be required to drive your commercial vehicle on public roads in various traffic situations. You will be required to operate the same class of commercial vehicle you plan to drive once you obtain your CDL.

      The CDL Road/Skills Test must be taken in the same class and type of motor vehicle you plan to drive once you obtain your CDL. If you take the CDL Road/Skills Test in a commercial vehicle that is not equipped with air brakes, then you will have an air brakes restriction attached to your commercial driver’s license.

      Once you obtain your Iowa commercial driver’s license, it will be valid for up to five to eight years from the date it is issued. 

      Be sure to download and study the Iowa Commercial Driver License Manual as it contains the information you need to pass the CDL Road/Skills test.

      Click here to see a map and clickable list of Iowa CDL test locations that offer the CDL Road/Skills Test.

CDL Pre-Trip Inspection

Medical Examination Report for Commercial Driver’s License

      In order to apply for a commercial driver’s license, you must have a medical form 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 dated within the previous two years and attached to the Medical Examination Report. You can search for a qualified physician by using the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

      Once you have completed the initial self-certification process and have submitted your Medical Examiner’s Certificate for the first time, you can submit all future Medical Examiner’s Certificates by doing any of the following:

  • Fax the completed certificate to the Office of Driver Services at: (515) 239-1837
  • Email a scanned copy of the completed certificate to the Iowa Department of Transportation at: (the certificate must be scanned and attached to the email in PDF format)
  • Bring the completed certificate to any Iowa Driver License Station or participating Treasurer’s Office.
  • Mail the completed certificate to:
                              Iowa Department of Transportation
                              Office of Driver Services
                              P.O. Box 9204
                              Des Moines, IA 50306-9204 

      Please include your name, address, and contact phone 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.

Hazmat Endorsement

      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 Iowa, 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 test. Download, print, and complete the Application for Military Skills Test Waiver to start the process.

Iowa CDL Endorsements

      H      Placarded Hazmat      Required to transport hazardous materials under DOT regulations. 

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

      X      Tanker/Hazardous Materials Combination   Required to transport hazardous materials in tank vehicles   

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

      P     Passengers      Indicates the CDL holder is certified to operate passenger vehicles.

      S     School Bus      Indicates the CDL holder is authorized to operate a school bus. The “P” endorsement is also required.

Important Iowa Commercial Driver’s License Resources

Iowa Commercial Driver License Manual
Iowa Truck Information Guide
Iowa CDL Practice Tests
Iowa D.O.T. CDL Application Changes Brochure
Iowa Driver’s License Types and Fees
Application for Military Skills Test Waiver
Self-Certify Using myMVD
Medical Examination Report Form 649-F
Medical Examiner’s Certificate
National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners


      Check out our list of truck driving schools in Iowa 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.

If you found this article helpful, feel free to share it on Google Plus and Facebook using the buttons below.

Map of Iowa CDL Testing Locations 

1. Adair County Treasurer's Office 400 Public Square, Suite 2, Greenfield, IA 50849
2. Adams County Treasurer’s Office** 500 9th Street, P.O. Box 266, Corning, IA 50841
3. Allamakee County Treasurer's Office Allamakee County Courthouse, 110 Allamakee Street, Waukon, IA 52172
4. Appanoose County Treasurer's Office** Courthouse, 201 N. 12th Street, Centerville, Iowa 52544
5. Audubon County Treasurer's Office 318 Leroy Street, Suite 5, Audubon, IA 50025-1255
6. Belle Plaine Driver’s License Station 1309 5th Avenue, Belle Plaine, IA 52208
7. Waterloo Driver's License Station 2060 Crossroads Center, Suite 103, Waterloo, Iowa 50702
8. Boone County Treasurer’s Office 201 State Street, Boone, IA 50036
9. Bremer County Treasurer's Office 415 E. Bremer Avenue, Waverly, IA 50677
10. Buena Vista County Treasurer’s Office** 215 E. 5th Street, P.O. Drawer 149, Storm Lake, IA 50588
11. Butler County Treasurer's Office Butler County Courthouse, 428 6th Street, Allison, IA 50602
12. Calhoun County Treasurer's Office alhoun County Courthouse, 416 4th Street, Suite 2, Rockwell City, Iowa 50579
13. Carroll Driver's License Station 510 N Carroll Street, Suite 1, Carroll, Iowa 51401
14. Cass County Treasurer’s Office Main Floor, 5 W. 7th Street, Atlantic, IA 50022
15. Cedar County Treasurer's Office 400 Cedar Street, Tipton, IA 52772
16. Mason City Driver's License Station Southport Shopping Center, 1622 S Federal Avenue, Mason City, Iowa 50401
17. Cherokee County Treasurer's Office 520 W. Main Street, Drawer E, Cherokee, IA 51012
18. Chickasaw County Treasurer's Office 8 E. Prospect Street, P.O. Box 186, New Hampton, IA 50659
19. Clarke County Treasurer’s Office 100 S. Main Street,P.O. Box 157, Osceola, IA 50213
20. Spencer Driver's License Station Gateway N. 1900 Grand Avenue, Suite B4, Spencer, IA 51301
21. Clayton County Driver's License Office County Office Building, 600 Gunder Road NE, Suite 4, Elkader, IA 52043
22. Clinton Driver's License Station 316 S. Second Street, Clinton, Iowa 52732
23. Crawford County Treasurer's Office 1202 Broadway, Suite 7, Denison, IA 51442
24. Dallas County Driver’s License Department 918 Court Street, Suite B, Adel, IA 50003
25. Davis County Treasurer’s Office 100 Courthouse Square, Suite 8, Bloomfield, IA 52537
26. Decatur County Treasurer's Office 207 N. Main Street, Leon, IA 50144
27. Delaware County Treasurer’s Office Room 200, 301 E. Main Street, Manchester, IA
28. Burlington Driver's License Station Fairway Shopping Center, 2700 Mount Pleasant Street, Burlington, Iowa 52601
29. Dickinson County Treasurer's Office 1802 Hill Avenue, Suite 1101, P.O. Box AD, Spirit Lake, IA 51360
30. Dubuque Driver's License Station 2460 Gateway Drive, Dubuque, Iowa 52003
31. Emmet County Treasurer’s Office** 609 1 Avenue N, Suite 8, Estherville, IA 51334
32. Fayette County Treasurer’s Office 114 N. Vine Street, P.O. Box 273, West Union, IA 52175
33. Floyd County Treasurer's Office 101 S. Main Street, Suite 303, Charles City, IA 50616-2792
34. Franklin County Treasurer's Office** 12 1st Avenue NW, P.O. Box 178, Hampton, IA 50441
35. Fremont County Treasurer's Office 506 Filmore Street, P.O. Box 299, Sidney, Iowa 51652
36. Greene County Treasurer's Office 114 N. Chestnut Street, Jefferson, IA 50129
37. Grundy County Treasurer's Office 706 G Avenue, Grundy Center, IA 50638
38. Guthrie County Treasurer's Office 200 N. 5th Street, Guthrie Center, IA 50115
39. Hamilton County Treasurer's Office** Courthouse, First Floor, 2300 Superior St. Ste. 7 P.O. Box 160, Webster City IA 50595
40. Hancock County Treasurer's Office 855 State Street, P.O. Box 70, Garner, IA 50438
41. Hardin County Treasurer's Office** 1215 Edgington Avenue, P.O. Box 391, Eldora, IA 50627
42. Harrison County Treasurer’s Office** 111 N. 2nd Avenue, Suite 7, Logan IA 51546
43. Henry County Treasurer's Office** Henry County Courthouse, P.O. Box 146, 100 E. Washington Street, Mount Pleasant, IA 52641
44. Howard County Treasurer's Office 137 N. Elm Street, Cresco, IA 52136
45. Humboldt County Treasurer’s Office 203 Main Street, Dakota City, IA 50529
46. Ida County Treasurer's Office** 401 Moorehead Street, Ida Grove, IA 51445
47. Iowa County Treasurer's Office 901 Court Avenue, Marengo, IA 52301
48. Jackson County Treasurer's Office 201 W. Platt Street, Maquoketa, Iowa 52060
49. Jasper County Treasurer's Office 101 1st Street North, P.O. Box 1387, Newton, IA 50208
50. Jefferson County Treasurer's Office 51 W. Briggs Avenue, Fairfield, IA 52556
51. Iowa City Driver's License Station Eastdale Mall, 1700 S. First Avenue, Iowa City, IA 52240
52. Jones County Treasurer’s Office 500 W. Main Street, Room 106, P.O. Box 79, Anamosa, IA 52205-0079
53. Keokuk County Treasurer's Office 2nd Floor, 101 S. Main Street, Sigourney, IA 52591
54. Kossuth County Treasurer's Office 114 W. State Street, Algona, IA 50511
55. Lee County Treasurer's Office 933 Avenue H, Fort Madison, IA 52627
56. Cedar Rapids Driver's License Station 3726 Queen Court SW, Suite 204, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404
57. Louisa County Treasurer's Office** 117 S. Main Street, P.O. Box 207, Wapello, IA 52653
58. Lucas County Treasurer’s Office 916 Braden Avenue, Chariton, Iowa 50049
59. Lyon County Treasurer’s Office 206 S. Second Avenue, Rock Rapids, IA 51246
60. Madison County Treasurer’s Office** 112 N. John Wayne Drive, P.O. Box 152, Winterset, IA 50273
61. Mahaska County Treasurer's Office** 106 S. 1st Street, Oskaloosa, IA 52577
62. Marion County Treasurer's Office P.O. Box 515, 214 E. Main Street, Knoxville, IA 50138
63. Marshalltown Driver's License Station Marshalltown Mall, 2500 S. Center Street, Marshalltown, IA 50158
64. Mills County Treasurer's Office Mills County Courthouse, 418 Sharp Street, Glenwood, IA 51534
65. Mitchell County Treasurer's Office 117 Plaza Lane, Osage, IA 50461
66. Monona County Treasurer's Office 610 Iowa Avenue, P.O. Box 415, Onawa, IA 51040
67. Monroe County Treasurer's Office 10 Benton Avenue, Albia, IA 52531
68. Montgomery County Treasurer's Office 105 Coolbaugh Street, P.O. Box 469, Red Oak, IA 51566
69. Muscatine Driver's License Station Muscatine Plaza, 1903 Park Avenue, Muscatine, IA 52761
70. O’Brien County Treasurer's Office** Courthouse, 2nd Floor, 155 S. Hayes Avenue, P.O. Box 310, Primghar, IA 51245
71. Osceola County Treasurer's Office Osceola County Courthouse, 300 7th Street, P.O. Box 166, Sibley, IA 51249
72. Page County Treasurer's Office 112 E. Main Street, Clarinda, IA 51632
73. Palo Alto County Treasurer’s Office 1010 Broadway, P.O. Box 77, Emmetsburg, IA 50536
74. Plymouth County Treasurer’s Office 215 4th Avenue SE, Le Mars, IA 51031
75. Pocahontas County Treasurer's Office** Pocahontas County Courthouse, 99 Court Square, Pocahontas, IA 50574
76. Ankeny/Des Moines Driver's License Station Iowa Motor Vehicle Division Building, 6310 SE Convenience Blvd, Ankeny, IA 50021
77. Council Bluffs Driver's License Station Mall of the Bluffs, Suite 330, 1751 Madison Avenue, Council Bluffs, IA 51503
78. Poweshiek County Treasurer's Office** Montezuma Courthouse, 302 E. Main Street, P.O. Box 700, Montezuma, Iowa 50171
79. Ringgold County Treasurer’s Office** 109 W. Madison Street, Suite 200, Mount Ayr, IA 50854
80. Sac County Treasurer’s Office 100 NW State Street, Sac City, IA 50583
81. Davenport Driver's License Station Village Shopping Center, 902 W. Kimberly Road, Suite 6D, Davenport, IA 52806
82. Shelby County Treasurer’s Office 612 Court Street, P.O. Box 110, Harlan, IA 51537
83. Sioux County Treasurer’s Office 104 1st Street SE, P.O. Box 77, Orange City, IA 51041
84. Ames Driver's License Station West Hy-Vee Plaza, 3708 Lincoln Way, Ames, IA 50014
85. Tama County Treasurer's Office** 104 W. State Street, Toledo, IA 52342
86. Taylor County Treasurer’s Office 405 Jefferson Street, Suite 2, Bedford, IA 50833
87. Union County Treasurer's Office 300 N. Pine Street, Creston, IA 50801
88. Van Buren County Treasurer's Office** 404 Dodge Street, P.O. Box 473, Keosauqua, IA 52565
89. Ottumwa Driver's License Station 2830 N. Court Street, Ottumwa, IA 52501
90. Warren County Treasurer's Office 301 N. Buxton Street, Suite 102, P.O. Box 217, Indianola, IA 50125
91. Washington County Treasurer's Office 222 W. Main Street, P.O. Box 889, Washington, IA 52353
92. Wayne County Treasurer's Office** 100 N. Lafayette Street, P.O. Box 435, Corydon, IA 50060
93. Fort Dodge Driver's License Station 2313 First Avenue South, Fort Dodge, IA 50501
94. Winnebago County Treasurer's Office 126 S. Clark Street, Suite, 4 Forest City, IA 50436
95. Winneshiek County Treasurer's Office Winneshiek County Courthouse, 201 W. Main Street, Decorah, IA 52101
96. Sioux City Driver's License Station Market Place Mall, 3005 Hamilton Blvd, Sioux City, IA 51104
97. Worth County Treasurer's Office** 822 Central Avenue, P.O. Box 257, Northwood, IA 50459
98. Wright County Treasurer's Office 115 N. Main Street, P.O. Box 226, Clarion, IA 50525


**The CDL Road/Skills Test is not offered at this location.

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

Please Note: Some of the documents linked on this page are in the Adobe Portable Document Format, also known as “PDF.” Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view, fill out and print forms. If you have problems with Adobe Acrobat Reader, see the Adobe Troubleshooting page for possible solutions.

Copyright © 2017 Truck Driving Schools Info. All Rights Reserved | Home | Contact | About | Terms | Privacy

Iowa CDL Requirements
4.5 (90%) 2 votes