Nevada CDL Requirements
There is a minimum 14-day commercial learner's permit (CLP) requirement in the state of Nevada, which you must fulfill before taking the skills test for the full CDL. During this period, you must be accompanied by a driver in the front seat who is at least 25 years of age and licensed to drive the same type of vehicle for which you are testing. The permit is valid for up to 180 days if you feel you need more training time before taking the skills test. If you let your permit expire for more than 30 days, you must retake all the knowledge tests to obtain a new permit. Nevada law states that permit holders can only hold the P, S, and N endorsements until they receive their CDL.
Drivers wishing to take their CLP written knowledge test can fill out the Nevada Commercial Driver’s License Application, then visit a Department of Motor Vehicles CDL office. To take the test, you must provide a medical examination card and be at least 21 years of age if you plan to drive outside the state of Nevada or receive a passenger or hazardous materials endorsement. Effective February 7, 2022, you are now also required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) to provide proof of completed applicable entry-level driver training from a registered training provider. Details of this requirement can be found at the FMCSA website.
Drivers who are 18-20 years of age may apply for their CLP and, after at least 14 days of passing, apply for their CDL but are only permitted to drive within the state of Nevada and may not drive any commercial vehicle combination that is more than 70 feet in length.
The CDL office will require that you submit a list of all states in which you have previously held a commercial or personal driver’s license in the last 10 years. You will also be required to pass a background check and provide proof that you are medically approved to drive a commercial vehicle. The CDL office cannot provide a medical examination. You must provide documentation from your exam given by a physician who is on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.
Valid and unexpired identification is required to take your exam. Acceptable forms of identification include:
- Driver’s license or ID card from a state outside of Nevada that meets Department of Homeland Security Real ID requirements
- Certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate
- Consular Report of Birth Abroad
- U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport card
- Permanent resident card
- Certificate of naturalization
- Certificate of citizenship
In addition to your proof of identification, you will be required to provide proof of residency in Nevada (via a current utility bill, vehicle registration, insurance card or similar), pass a vision test, and pay the test and permit or license fees.
Commercial drivers are only permitted to have a CDL from one state. If you are applying in Nevada with an out-of-state license, your previous license must be cancelled when you receive your Nevada license. It must be current and in good standing, with no open traffic cases that may result in suspension, revocation, or cancellation.
To take your road skills test, you must bring the type of commercial vehicle you intend to drive with you, along with current insurance registration.
Commercial Driving Laws in Nevada
Traffic violations committed in a commercial vehicle in Nevada may result in a temporary or permanent loss of your license, depending on the type and severity of the violation. The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles assigns fines, demerits, and other penalties for violations, which increase with each subsequent violation. If you receive a ticket for any type of violation, minor or major, it’s important to contact an attorney experienced in commercial driving laws. In most instances, they can help you get the number of demerits reduced by the judge and work on your behalf to help you keep your job safe.
Moving violations are the same for both commercial and personal vehicles, but the fines and penalties are more severe for commercial drivers. The State of Nevada classifies speeding and failing to stop at a red light or stop sign as moving violations.
There are also CDL-specific violations, which range in severity. Some of the most common offenses for commercial drivers are violating weight, lane, and grade restrictions and not following logbook rules. Fines vary for these violations, but also result in a temporary suspension of your CDL. Currently, the Nevada DMV enforces a 60-day suspension for first offenses, a 120-day suspension for second offenses, and a suspension of one year for a third offense.
There are also offenses that are classified as major and serious, and being convicted of one or more of these in the state of Nevada can have serious consequences for your driving record and career. Always contact a professional experienced commercial driving law immediately if you receive a ticket for any violation.
Serious violations for commercial drivers in the state of Nevada include:
- Speeding 15 mph or more over the speed limit
- Improper lane change
- Following too closely
- Running a red light or stop sign
- Driving a commercial vehicle without a proper CDL or without your license in your possession
- Any traffic violation involving a fatality
- Texting while driving
Drivers who are convicted of violations classified as serious will face a license suspension of up to 60 days for a first offense and 60 to 120 days for multiple violations within a three-year period.
The following major offenses will result in a disqualification from driving for one year if the offense occurs in a regular commercial vehicle and for three years if the offense occurs in a hazmat vehicle. A second offense will result in lifetime CDL disqualification.
- Refusal to take a chemical blood, breath, or urine test to identify the presence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving a CMV with a blood alcohol count (BAC) of 0.04% or higher or driving any vehicle with a BAC of 0.08% or higher
- Leaving the scene of an accident
- Using a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony
- Driving a commercial vehicle with a suspended, revoked, or canceled CDL
- Violating an out-of-service order
- Negligence in a commercial vehicle that results in a fatality
NOTE: CDL drivers who are convicted of using a motor vehicle in the production or transportation of controlled substances will automatically receive a lifetime CDL disqualification.
Drivers who are convicted of major offenses will receive a one-year license suspension for the first offense or 3 years for a first offense if transporting hazardous materials. A second violation will result in a lifetime suspension of your license.
You are required by law to notify your employer within 30 days if you receive a traffic offense conviction. If you have your CDL disqualified for any reason, you must notify your employer by the end of the next business day.
The state of Nevada takes driving under the influence (DUI) offenses very seriously and drivers are subject to strict penalties and fines. A first DUI conviction will result in a license suspension for one full year, or three full years if transporting hazardous materials. A second or subsequent offense will result in a lifetime suspension.
It’s important to note that every commercial license consists of both a commercial side (CDL) and a non-commercial side (NCDL). If your NCDL is revoked or suspended, it also affects your CDL. Regarding DUI, if you are convicted of a first-time DUI offense in your personal vehicle, your NCDL will be revoked for a minimum of 185 days and your CDL suspended for at least one year. Always contact a legal professional with experience in trucking law if you are arrested for DUI. It’s critical to your driving record and future driving career that you have a professional on your side.