Kansas CDL Requirements
Kansas CDL Classes
You must be at least 18 years old to operate a commercial motor vehicle within the state of Kansas (intrastate) and at least 21 years of age to drive a commercial motor vehicle across Kansas state lines (interstate) and to haul materials deemed hazardous. You need a Kansas CDL in order to operate either commercial or non-commercial motor vehicles that fall into the following categories:
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.
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.
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 a Kansas Commercial Learner’s Permit
You must already possess a Kansas commercial learner’s permit (CLP) before you can take the CDL Skills Test. Before applying for a Kansas commercial learner’s permit, you must already possess a valid Kansas Class D driver’s license. You will be issued a Kansas commercial driver’s license (CDL) when you pass both the written general knowledge test and the CDL Road/Skills Test. .
In order to obtain n Kansas commercial learner’s permit, you must:
- Provide a valid Kansas Class D driver’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 the $13 fee.
Over 60% of first time CDL applicants fail the written test! Be sure to download the Complete CDL Practice Test Study Package, as it contains practice tests containing questions and answers specifically designed to help you pass the actual CDL written tests administered by the DMV. You may also want to download the Complete CDL Cheat Sheet Study Package as it includes a collection of study guides with key information designed to help you rapidly learn all the sections of the CDL manual you must know in order to pass the CDL written exams.
Our Free CDL Permit Test will help prepare you for the actual CDL knowledge tests administered by the DMV.
Click here to see a map and clickable list of Kansas CDL test locations that offer the CDL general knowledge written tests.
Applying for a Kansas Commercial Driver’s License
You will need the following in order to obtain a commercial driver’s license in the state of Kansas:
- A valid Kansas 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 Kansas CDL to ride with you in your commercial vehicle to the test site.
- Proof of your current Kansas 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.
- $26 to cover the cost of the CDL and mandatory photo fee.
- $10 for each CDL endorsement that you obtain.
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 should take anywhere from one to one and a half hours to complete and 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 Kansas commercial driver’s license, it will be valid for up to four years from the date it is issued. Click here to see a map and clickable list of Kansas CDL test locations that offer the CDL Road/Skills Test.
Be sure to download and study the Kansas Commercial Driver License Manual as it contains the information you need to pass the CDL Driving Skills Test.
Commercial Driver Self-Certification
In the state of Kansas, 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:
- 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. You are considered a “non-excepted” interstate driver if you:
- Cross Kansas state lines while operating a commercial vehicle.
- Transport any cargo that originated from outside the state of Kansas or is headed to a destination that is outside the state of Kansas.
You are considered a”non-excepted” intrastate driver if you:
- Operating a commercial vehicle within the state of Kansas only.
- Transport any cargo that originated within the state of Kansas and is headed to a destination within Kansas state lines.
“Non excepted” interstate drivers and “non-excepted” intrastate drivers must self-certify online using the Kansas CDL Holder Medical Self-Certification Portal and must upload a current Medical Examiner’s Certificate in PDF format as part of the process. 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” intrastate, must self-certify online using the Kansas CDL Holder Medical Self-Certification Portal . “Excepted” drivers do not have to upload or submit any medical documents or waivers but, may have to undergo a medical evaluation. You can also submit a paper copy of the Kansas Medical Self-Certification Form by mail if you choose not to self-certify online.
If you have any questions regarding self-certification, you can speak to a customer service representative at the Kansas CDL Help Desk by calling (785) 296-2013 during normal business hours. Please have your commercial driver’s license number readily available when you call. You can also email the CDL Help Desk at email@example.com. Please address your emails to John Holroyd.
For more information about the Medical Examiner’s Certificate, please continue reading below.
Medical Examination Report for Commercial Driver’s License
All CDL applicants must have the Medical Examiner’s Certificate and the Medical Examination Report or the Kansas Medical Self-Certification Form (including the Medical Examination Report and Medical Examiner’s Certificate sections of the 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
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 Kansas Division of Vehicles 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 Kansas Medical Self-Certification Form (including the Medical Examination Report and Medical Examiner’s Certificate sections) and any applicable medical waivers, you can submit your documents by doing the following:
- Fax your completed and signed documents to (785) 296-5859.
- Mail your completed and signed documents to:
Docking State Office Building
Attn: Medical Cert
P.O. Box 2188
Topeka, KS 66601-2128
Please include your name, address, and contact phone number on all faxes and mailings. 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 medical documents submission, you can speak to a customer service representative at the Kansas CDL Help Desk by calling (785) 296-2013 during normal business hours. Please have your commercial driver’s license number readily available when you call. You can also email the CDL Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please address your emails to John Holroyd.
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.
In the state of Kansas, 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, and the military vehicle driven my the military personnel is of the same class as the commercial vehicle the applicant intends to drive once they obtain their CDL, 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.
Eligible applicants must do the following:
- Download, print, and complete the Application for Military Skills Test Waiver.
- Have your Commanding Officer certify the application.
- Submit the completed form to any Full Service State driver’s License Office.
- Out of state applicants are required to submit a current Motor Vehicle Record from their home state along with the application.
Kansas 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.
Kansas CDL Restrictions
B Corrective lenses
D Prosthetic aid
L No Air Brakes
M No CDL Class A Bus
N No CDL Class A or Class B Bus
J08 Seasonal CDL
J10 Non-Resident CDL
J20 Temporary Resident
Important Kansas Commercial Driver’s License Resources
Complete CDL Practice Test Study Package
Complete CDL Cheat Sheet Study Package
Application for Military Skills Test Waiver
Kansas Medical Self-Certification Form
Kansas CDL Holder Medical Self-Certification Portal
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 Kansas 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 Kansas CDL Testing Locations
**The CDL Road/Skills Test is 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.
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