Kentucky CDL Requirements
Kentucky CDL Classes
You must be at least 18 years old to operate a commercial motor vehicle within the state of Kentucky (intrastate) and at least 21 years of age to drive a commercial motor vehicle across Kentucky state lines (interstate). You must also be at least 21 years of age to haul materials that are deemed hazardous.
A commercial motor vehicle is defined as any self-propelled or towed motor vehicle used for the purpose of interstate commerce on a highway to transport either passengers or goods.
You need a Kentucky 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 Kentucky Commercial Learner’s Permit
You must already possess a Kentucky commercial learner’s permit (CLP) before you can take the CDL skills test. Before applying for a Kentucky commercial learner’s permit, you must already possess a valid Kentucky Class D driver’s license. You will be issued a Kentucky commercial driver’s license (CDL) when you pass both the written general knowledge test and the CDL Skills Test.
In order to obtain a Kentucky commercial learner’s permit, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old for intrastate driving (within Kentucky state lines).
- Be at least 21 years of age for interstate driving (outside Kentucky state lines).
- Possess a valid Kentucky Class D driver’s license for at least one year.
- Provide your Social Security card.
- Prove you are of legal U.S. status by providing the required documents .
- Provide proof of current Kentucky residency that shows your name and current address (i.e., a utility bill, vehicle registration, etc.).
- Provide your current D.O.T. medical examination (cannot be more than 2 years old).
- Pass the CDL general knowledge written test.
- Pay the $11 fee for the commercial learner’s permit.
The CDL General Knowledge Written Test
The CDL general knowledge written test is given by the Kentucky state police at the local exam stations. The test is made up of 50 questions and covers the following subjects:
- Vehicle operations under various conditions.
- Cargo handling.
- Vehicle inspection.
An additional 20 questions about combination vehicles will be included for Class A applicants and an additional 25 questions about air brakes will be included for any applicants that plan to drive a commercial motor vehicle equipped with air brakes.
If an applicant is planning to add certain CDL endorsements onto their commercial driver’s license, then the following will be added to the written exam:
- 20 questions for the “Double/Triple Trailer” endorsement.
- 20 questions for the “Tanker” endorsement.
- 20 questions for the “Passenger” endorsement.
- 20 questions for the “School Bus” endorsement.
- 30 questions for the “Hazardous Materials” endorsement.
In order to receive a passing score, the applicant must answer at least 80% of the questions correctly. If an applicant fails the basic knowledge test, they may retest as many times as they need to pass without paying any additional fees. However, all applicants must wait at least 24 hours before they can retest.
Be sure to download and study the Kentucky 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 Kentucky driver’s license branch locations that offer the CDL written tests.
Applying for a Kentucky Commercial Driver’s License
In the state of Kentucky, all CDL applicants are required to undergo a background check for any warrants that may have been placed on that applicant. This is called a “hot file” check and is administered by the Kentucky state police. The hot file check is instantaneous and will not delay the applicant from receiving their CDL. The cost is $3.00 and is collected by the Circuit Court Clerk’s office. The local law enforcement agency will be notified if the CDL applicant comes up “hot” and a further investigation will be carried out.
In the state of Kentucky, if you are applying for a Class B or Class C commercial driver’s license with “P” and “S” endorsements only, then you are not required to take the CDL Skills Test.
In order to obtain a Kentucky commercial driver’s license, you must:
- Possess a valid Kentucky commercial learner’s permit.
- Possess a current Department of Transportation medical card.
- Provide proof of vehicle insurance and vehicle registration (must be verified before you can take the test).
- Provide a passenger with a valid Kentucky CDL to ride with you in your commercial vehicle to the test site.
- Pass the CDL general knowledge test.
- Pass the CDL Skills Test.
- Pass the vision exam (FMSCA regulations requires applicants to have at least 20/40 vision in each eye).
- Complete and submit the Kentucky Commercial Driver License Application.
- Pay the skills testing fee of $50 (if the applicant has held a Kentucky operator license for 30 days or more).
- Pay the skills testing fee of $150 (if the applicant has held a Kentucky operator license for less than 30 days).
- Pay the $24 application fee for the commercial driver’s license ($9 for Class B/C with P & S endorsements only).
- Pay the $40 fee for the commercial driver’s license.
The CDL Skills Test
The CDL Skills Test consists of a Pre-trip inspection, a Basic Vehicle Control test, and an On-Road Driving test 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 Skills Test in a commercial motor vehicle that is not equipped with air brakes, then you will have an air brakes restriction attached to your commercial driver’s license.
All applicants must wait a minimum of ten days, after they receive their commercial learner’s permit, before they can contact the Kentucky state police to set up an appointment for the CDL Skills Test.
The CDL 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 Road Test will be driven on a route that is predetermined by the examiner and will most likely include the following:
- Left and right turns
- Railway crossings
- Up grades
- Down grades
- Rural roads
- Semi-rural roads
- City streets
- Multi-lane streets
- Expressway driving
- Merging into traffic
- Lane changes
- Changes in speed
- Searching for road hazards
- Lane positioning
- Controlling your speed
The CDL Skills Test can be taken up to four times before the applicant is required to pay an additional $50 to retest. The combination air brake and endorsement tests require a $5 retest fee for each time the test is taken if you fail the first test.
Be sure to download and study the Kentucky Commercial Driver License Manual as it contains the information you need to pass the CDL Skills Test.
Click here to see a map and clickable list of Kentucky CDL Skills Test sites (all CDL Skills Test sites are marked with a double asterisk).
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
The Medical Examiner’s Certificate must be dated within the previous two years and attached to the Medical Examination Report (Form 649-F). The Kentucky Division of Driver Licensing will only accept a Medical Examination Report (Form 649-F) that has 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 in order to be certified to operate a commercial motor vehicle. Under certain conditions, you may be able to be waived from these requirements.
You can submit your completed and signed Medical Examiner’s Certificate, Medical Examination Report (Form 649-F), and Kentucky Commercial Driver License Self-Certification Form by doing any of the following:
- Fax your completed and signed documents to: (502) 564-3250
- Scan and email your completed and signed documents in PDF format to: KYTC.CDL@ky.gov
- Mail your completed and signed documents to:
Division of Driver Licensing
200 Mero Street
Frankfort, KY 40622
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.
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 Kentucky, if you are currently serving in the military or have been honorably discharged within the last 90 days, and you have driven military vehicles in the same class as the vehicle you plan to drive once you obtain your CDL 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 CDL 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.
Farm Related Services Restricted CDL
In the state of Kentucky, employees of the following may qualify for a restricted commercial driver’s license:
- Farm Retail Outlets
- Agrichemical Business
- Custom Harvesters
- Livestock Feeders
The farm related restricted CDL is valid for up to 60, 120, or 180 days in any 12 month period. The CDL holder may only operate a commercial motor vehicle within 150 miles of the land being serviced. The restricted CDL does not apply to any Class A vehicles transporting the following:
- Fertilizer (within any organic substance)
For more details about the farm related restricted CDL, see your local Circuit Court Clerk.
Kentucky 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.
Kentucky CDL Restrictions
The following CDL restrictions are based on the driver passing the necessary commercial driver’s license written knowledge tests or CDL Skills Tests. The following restrictions may be added or removed from the commercial driver’s license:
- E – Automatic Transmission Commercial Motor Vehicle
- K – Vehicles not Equipped with Air Brakes
- L – Except Class A Bus
- J – Except Class A and Class B Bus
- O – Vehicles other than Tractor Trailer
- I – Intrastate Driving Only
Important Kentucky Commercial Driver’s License Resources
Kentucky Commercial Driver License Manual
Kentucky CDL Practice Tests
Letter for First Time CDL Applicants
Kentucky Commercial Driver License Application TC 94-32
Kentucky Commercial Driver License Self-Certification Form TC 94-169
TSA HAZMAT Endorsement Threat Assessment Program F.A.Q.
TSA Application for a Hazardous Materials Endorsement
Application for Military Skills Test Waiver
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 Kentucky 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 Kentucky CDL Test Sites
Title Address 1. Columbia DMV Judicial Center, 500 Public Square Columbia, KY 42728 2. Scottsville DMV Justice Center, 200 W. Main Street, Scottsville, KY 42164 3. Lawrenceburg DMV 151 S. Main Street, Lawrenceburg, KY 40342 4. Wickliffe DMV 132 4th Street, Wickliffe, KY 42087 5. Glasgow DMV** Courthouse, 100 Court House Square, Glasgow, KY 42141 6. Owingsville DMV Courthouse Annex, Room 108, 107 W. Main Street, Owingsville, KY 40360 7. Pineville DMV 101 E. Park Avenue, Pineville, KY 40977 8. Middlesboro DMV City Hall, 121 N. 21st Street, Middlesboro, KY, 40965 9. Burlington DMV** Justice Center, 6025 Rogers Lane, Burlington, KY 41005 10. Paris DMV Justice Bldg, 310 Main Street, Paris, KY 40361 11. Catlettsburg DMV 2805 Louisa Street, Catlettsburg, KY 41129 12. Danville DMV 321 W. Main Street, Danville, KY 40422 13. Brooksville DMV Courthouse, 116 Miami Street, Brooksville, KY 41004 14. Jackson DMV Judicial Center, 1137 Main Street, Jackson, KY 41339 15. Hardinsburg DMV Courthouse, 208 S. Main Street, Hardinsburg, KY 40143 16. Shepherdsville DMV Judicial Center, 250 Frank E. Simon Avenue, Shepherdsville, KY 40165 17. Morgantown DMV Courthouse, 110 N. Main Street, Morgantown, KY 42261 18. Princeton DMV Courthouse Annex, 105 W. Court Square, Princeton, KY 42445 19. Murray DMV 312 N. 4th Street, Murray, KY 42071 20. Newport DMV Courthouse, 330 York Street, Suite 1, Newport, KY 41071 21. Bardwell DMV 324 U.S. Hwy 51 North, Bardwell, KY 42023 22. Carrollton DMV Courthouse, 802 Clay Street, Carrollton, KY 41008 23. Grayson DMV 100 E. Main Street, Grayson, KY 41143 24. Liberty DMV Judicial Center, 231 Courthouse Square, Liberty, KY 42539 25. Hopkinsville DMV Judicial Center, 100 Justice Way, Hopkinsville, KY 42240 26. Winchester DMV 34 S. Main Street, Winchester, KY 40391 27. Manchester DMV 316 Main Street, Suite 108, Manchester, KY 40962 28. Albany DMV Courthouse, 100 Cross Street, Albany, KY 42602 29. Marion DMV 107 S. Main Street, Marion, KY 42064 30. Burkesville DMV Justice Center, 112 Courthouse Square, Burkesville, KY 42717 31. Owensboro DMV** Judicial Center, 100 E. 2nd Street, Owensboro, KY 42303 32. Brownsville DMV Courthouse, 110 S. Main Street, Brownsville, KY 42210 33. Sandy Hook DMV Courthouse, 100 Main Street, Sandy Hook, KY 41171 34. Irvine DMV Courthouse, 130 Main Street, Irvine, KY 40336 35. Lexington DMV County Clerk Bldg, 162 E. Main Street, Lexington, KY 40507 36. Flemingsburg DMV Courthouse, 101 N. Main Cross Street, Flemingsburg, KY 41041 37. Prestonburg DMV** Justice Center, 127 S. Lake Drive, Prestonsburg, KY 41653 38. Frankfort DMV Courthouse, 669 Chamberlin Avenue, Frankfort, KY 40601 39. Hickman DMV Courthouse, 114 Wellington Street, Hickman, KY 42050 40. Warsaw DMV Courthouse, 100 W. Main Street, Warsaw, KY 41095 41. Lancaster DMV 54 Stanford Street, Lancaster, KY 40444 42. Williamstown DMV Justice Center, 224 S. Main Street, Williamstown, KY 41097 43. Mayfield DMV** 101 N. 7th Street, Mayfield, KY 42066 44. Leitchfield DMV Courthouse, 500 Carroll Gibson Blvd, Leitchfield, KY 42754 45. Greensburg DMV Justice Center, 203 W. Court Street, Greensburg, KY 42743 46. Greenup DMV Courthouse, 101 Harrison Street, Greenup, KY, 41144 47. Hawesville DMV Courthouse, 200 Court Square, Hawesville, KY 42348 48. Elizabethtown DMV Justice Center, 120 E. Dixie Avenue, Elizabethtown, KY 42701 49. Harlan DMV Justice Center, 129 S. 1st Street, Harlan, KY 40831 50. Cynthia DMV Justice Center, 115 Joe B. Hall Court, Suite 1, Cynthiana, KY 41031 51. Munfordville DMV Justice Center, 200 Main Street, Munfordville, KY 42765 52. Henderson DMV Judicial Center, 5 N. Elm Street, Henderson, KY 42420 53. New Castle DMV Courthouse, 30 N. Main Street, New Castle, KY 40050 54. Clinton DMV Courthouse Annex, E. Clay Street, Clinton, KY 42031 55. Madisonville DMV Courthouse, 120 E. Center Street, Madisonville, KY 42431 56. McKee DMV Circuit Clerk Office, 105 Main Street, McKee, KY 40447 57. Louisville DMV** Bowman Field, 3501 Roger E. Schupp Street, Louisville, KY 40205 58. Nicholasville DMV 102 N. York Street, Nicholasville, KY 40356 59. Paintsville DMV Judicial Center, 225 Court Street, Paintsville, KY 41240 60. Erlanger DMV Stevenson Plaza, 645 Stevenson Road, Erlanger, KY 41018 61. Hindman DMV Judicial Center, 53 W. Main Street, Hindman, KY 41822 62. Barbourville DMV Courthouse, 401 Court Square, Barbourville, KY 40906 63. Brownsville DMV Courthouse Annex, 209 W. High Street, Brownsville, KY 42210 64. London DMV Courthouse, 105 S. Main Street, London, KY 40741 65. Louisa DMV Courthouse, 122 Main Cross Street Louisa, KY 41230 66. Beattyville DMV Courthouse, 256 Main Street, Beattyville, KY 41311 67. Hyden DMV 22010 Main Street, Hyden, KY 41749 68. Whitesburg DMV 156 Main Street, Whitesburg, KY 41858 69. Vanceburg DMV Justice Center, 94 2nd Street, Vanceburg, KY 41179 70. Stanford DMV Courthouse Annex, 101 E. Main Street, Stanford, KY 40484 71. Smithland DMV Judicial Bldg, 100 Adair Street, Smithland, KY 42081 72. Russellville DMV Courthouse, 329 W. 4th Street, Russellville, KY 42276 73. Eddyville DMV Judicial Center, 500 W. Dale Avenue, Eddyville, KY 42038 74. Paducah DMV Courthouse, 301 S. 7th Street, Paducah, KY 42003 75. Whitley City DMV Courthouse, 1 N. Main Street, Whitley City, KY 42653 76. Calhoun DMV Courthouse, 210 Main Street, Calhoun, KY 42327 77. Richmond DMV Court Annex Bldg, 135 W. Irvine Street, Richmond, KY 40475 78. Salyersville DMV Courthouse Annex, 100 E. Maple Street, Salyersville, KY 41465 79. Lebanon DMV Judicial Center, 121 N. Spalding Avenue, Lebanon, KY 40033 80. Benton DMV Judicial Bldg, 80 Judicial Drive, Benton, KY 42025 81. Inez DMV Courthouse, 430 Court Street, Inez, KY 41224 82. Maysville DMV Courthouse, 100 W. 3rd Street, Maysville, KY 41056 83. Brandenburg DMV 516 Hillcrest Drive, Brandenburg, KY 40108 84. Frenchburg DMV Courthouse, 12 Main Street, Frenchburg, KY 40322 85. Harrodsburg DMV Judicial Center, 224 S. Main Street, Harrodsburg, KY 40330 86. Edmonton DMV Justice Center, 201 W. Stockton Street, Edmonton, KY 42129 87. Tompkinsville DMV Justice Center, 300 N. Main Street, Tompkinsville, KY 42167 88. Mt. Sterling DMV** Courthouse, 1 Court Street, Mt. Sterling, KY 40353 89. West Liberty DMV Courthouse, 518 Main Street, West Liberty, KY 41472 90. Greenville DMV Judicial Bldg, 136 S. Main Street, Greenville, KY 42345 91. Bardstown DMV Courthouse, 200 Plaza Drive, Bardstown, KY 40004 92. Carlisle DMV Courthouse, 125 Main Street, Carlisle, KY 40311 93. Hartford DMV Community Center, 130 E. Washington Street, Hartford, KY 42347 94. LaGrange DMV Courthouse, 100 W. Main Street, La Grange, KY 40031 95. Owenton DMV Courthouse, 100 N. Thomas Street, Owenton, KY 40359 96. Booneville DMV Courthouse, 1 N. Court Street, Booneville, KY 41314 97. Falmouth DMV Justice Center, 120 Ridgeway Avenue, Falmouth, KY 41040 98. Hazard DMV Justice Center, 545 Main Street, Hazard, KY 41701 99. Pikeville DMV Old Courthouse, 172 Division Street, Pikeville, KY 41501 100. Stanton DMV Courthouse, 525 Washington Street, Stanton, KY 40380
**The CDL Skills Test is available 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.
Map of Kentucky CDL Test Sites
Title Address 1. Somerset DMV** Courthouse, 100 N. Main Street, Somerset, KY 42501 2. Mt. Olivet DMV Justice Center, 127 E. Walnut Street, Mt. Olivet, KY 41064 3. Mt. Vernon DMV Justice Bldg, 205 E. Main Street, Mt Vernon, KY 40456 4. Morehead DMV Courthouse, 700 W. Main Street, Morehead, KY 40351 5. Jamestown DMV Courthouse, 202 Monument Square, Suite 107, Jamestown, KY 42629 6. Georgetown DMV** Justice Center, 119 N. Hamilton Street, Georgetown, KY 40324 7. Shelbyville DMV Courthouse, 501 Main Street, Shelbyville, KY 40065 8. Franklin DMV Justice Center, 101 N. Court Street, Franklin, KY 42134 9. Taylorsville DMV Courthouse, 27 W. Main Street, Taylorsville, KY 40071 10. Campbellsville DMV Justice Center, 300 E. Main Street, Campbellsville, KY 42718 11. Elkton DMV Courthouse, 202 E. Washington Street, Elkton, KY 42220 12. Cadiz DMV Courthouse, 41 Main Street, Cadiz, KY 42211 13. Bedford DMV Courthouse, 30 Hwy 42 East, Bedford, KY 40006 14. Morganfield DMV Annex Bldg, 121 S. Morgan Street, Morganfield, KY 42437 15. Bowling Green DMV Justice Center, 1001 Center Street, Bowling Green, KY 42101 16. Springfield DMV Judicial Center, 100 E. Main Street, Springfield, KY 40069 17. Monticello DMV Justice Center, 100 Columbia Avenue, Monticello, KY 42633 18. Dixon DMV Courthouse, 35 U.S. Hwy 41 A South, Dixon, KY 42409 19. Williamsburg DMV Courthouse, 100 Main Street, Williamsburg, KY 40769 20. Campton DMV Courthouse, 10 Court Street, Campton, KY 41301 21. Versailles DMV Courthouse Annex, 130 Court Street, Versailles, KY 40383
**The CDL Skills Test is available 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.