Who Needs a Commercial Driver’s License?

In order to drive a Commercial Motor Vehicle, or CMV, you must have a higher level of experience, physical abilities, skills and knowledge than what is required for the operation of a non-commercial vehicle. If you want to obtain Commercial Driver’s Licenses in Lancaster PA, then you must pass the knowledge and skills testing that is designed to ensure you possess the higher standards that are required.

It is also important to understand that CDL holders will be held to higher standards when operating all types of vehicles on the roads, even non-commercial ones. In fact, a serious road violation committed by an individual with a CDL can affect their ability to hold onto their previous earned CDL certification.


Operating a commercial motor vehicle is considered a huge responsibility. You will have to obtain the CDL license from your home state in order to legally drive these vehicles. You should also understand that having a CDL from more than one state is considered illegal. There may also be special requirements or endorsements if you have company drivers that are operating the following types of vehicles:

     *     Passenger vehicles

     *    Trucks that will be carrying hazardous materials

     *    Trucks with tanks

     *    Trucks that have multiple trailers

Requirements for Commercial Driver’s Licenses

There are several steps involved in obtaining a CDL. In addition to residency and medical requirements and skills and knowledge requirements, the following steps must be taken:

     *    Obtain a copy of the Pennsylvania Commercial Driver’s Licensing Manual to learn the process to follow.

     *    Determine the type of vehicle you will be driving.

     *    There are three different classes for CDLs with additional endorsements for certain, specialized qualifications such as tractor trailers, tank trucks, school buses, etc.

Once you are fully informed about the process and decided the type of license that you want to obtain, there are two additional steps:

Obtain the Commercial Learner’s Permit

This will give you the ability to legally practice on public roads when you have a qualified CDL holder in the vehicle with you. You have to pass the knowledge test prior to being giving this license.

Obtain Your Actual Commercial Driver’s License

You must have the learner’s permit for 14 days before qualifying for the Skills test. Once you have successfully passed this test and provided required information, you will be given your CDL license.

This may seem like a complex process; however, it is well worth it to ensure that the roads are safe for all vehicles.

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