Indiana CDL Information
To receive a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Indiana, you must meet all federal and state regulations before you can apply. Federal regulations require that applicants are at least 18 years of age (21 if you plan to drive outside of Indiana state lines). Before the state will issue you a CDL, you must first test for and receive a commercial learner’s permit (CLP). The test for a CLP is a written test that covers basic commercial driving knowledge, as outlined in the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles handbook. When you receive your CLP, you must hold it for at least 14 days while you practice driving with a licensed commercial vehicle driver in the vehicle with you. After the 14-day period, you may begin the CDL application process.
There are three classes of commercial driver’s licenses, as classified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). You will need to apply for the appropriate class of CDL based on the type of vehicle you plan to drive:
Class A: Class A vehicles are the largest and heaviest, typically including tractor-trailers (combination vehicles) with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) exceeding 26,000 pounds, with the trailer having a GVWR exceeding 10,000 pounds. A Class A CDL is required to operate these vehicles.
Class B: Class B vehicles are smaller than Class A and often include single vehicles with a GVWR exceeding 26,000 pounds or buses designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) and with a GVWR exceeding 26,000 pounds. A Class B CDL is required to operate these vehicles.
Class C: Class C commercial vehicles are typically used to transport hazardous materials or to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) but do not meet the weight criteria for a Class B vehicle. A Class C CDL may be required, depending on specific use.
In addition to your CDL, you may need certain endorsements depending on the type of vehicle you'll be driving and the cargo you'll haul. These include:
- T for double or triple trailers
- P for passenger vehicles
- N for tank vehicles
- H for hazardous materials
- X for hazardous materials and tankers.
- S for school buses
Be sure you know which endorsements the vehicle you will be driving requires, so you can take the appropriate tests and pay the required additional fees.