Section 14: Commercial Driver License (CDL)

November 18, 2020

1. If I am applying for a commercial learner permit (CLP) for the first time must Entry Level Driving Training (ELDT) be completed before obtaining a CLP?

No, ELDT is not required to be completed prior to obtaining a CLP.

2. When is ELDT required?

Beginning February 7, 2022, License and Permit Specialists must query the Training Provider Registry to determine if ELDT requirements have been met. ELDT is a single, national standard for obtaining a commercial driver's license (CDL). ELDT regulations apply to drivers seeking to obtain a CDL for the first time, upgrading an existing CDL to a Class B or A, or obtain a new hazmat, passenger, or school bus endorsement. Each state must electronically verify that an applicant completed the required training and certification process before administering a CDL skills test or prior to taking the knowledge test for a hazmat endorsement.

3. I was just downgraded to a non-commercial driver license, do I need to test again?

If you were solely downgraded due to an expired medical certificate, your license has not expired, and you have not completed a license transaction since the downgrade, then you do not need to retest. If your license was voluntarily surrendered or downgraded, you will be required to retest.

4. How long am I required to hold a Commercial Learners Permit (CLP) before I am permitted to take a road test?

Texas Transportation Code Section 522.014 requires a CLP to be held for a minimum of 14 days. 

5. I am a CDL holder with a requirement to have an interlock device on my vehicle, what do I do if it cannot be installed on my company vehicle?

You will be issued a license with a P39 restriction. This permits you to operate a company vehicle without an interlock device, provided that driving is essential to the job. When operating the company vehicle, you must carry a letter on company letterhead acknowledging that the employer is aware of the your P39 restriction.

NOTE: This scenario does not apply to a CDL driver who is disqualified, as an occupational driver license cannot be issued to a CDL holder.

6. How much does it cost to obtain a CDL license?

For information on driver license fees, visit our webpage Driver License Division Fees.  Information regarding the cost for a CDL license may be found under Commercial Driver License (CDL) Fees.

7. Can I renew my CDL online?

No.  If you are the holder of a CDL and need to renew, you will need to visit your nearest driver license office location. The most convenient way to locate and schedule an appointment at your closest driver license office is to visit our Get in Line, Online webpage.

In accordance to 49 Code of Federal Regulations Part 383, a CDL holder must undergo a national driver record status check and provide self-certifications that can only be completed in a driver license office. For more information, visit our Commercial Driver License webpage.

8. I drive a recreational vehicle; do I still need a CDL license?

You will need to obtain an exempt class A or B driver license. For further information please visit our Classes of Driver Licenses web page.

9. When a CDL license is downgraded, what is the cost to upgrade the license back to its previous CDL status?

It may cost up to $97 to upgrade your license back to a CDL.

10. How do I obtain a vision waiver?

A vision waiver packet can either be downloaded or obtained from a driver license office. Once completed, the original packet (copies will not be accepted) must be submitted to DPS within 45 days of the physical examination date via:

Mail: Texas Department of Public Safety
        ATTN: CDL
        PO Box 4087
        Austin, TX 78773-0320

Please allow up to 30 business days for processing.

11. Am I able to complete my skills exam through a third party or in another state?

Yes. The third party/out-of-state skills testing location will need to e-mail your exam scores in encrypted form to: CDL OOS Skills Test along with your full name, date of birth, and CDL number.  Please include your telephone number so that we may contact you with any questions during the processing of your test results. 

12. Most medical certificates are issued for a period of 2 years. Why is my medical certificate only good for 1 year or less?

Your medical certificate expiration date is determined by your DOT approved physician.

13. Why does an out of state conviction show up on my driving record when I did not have a Texas CDL at the time?

In accordance to 49 Code of Federal Regulations 384.206(b), when you transfer your commercial driver license to Texas, the Department is required to transfer all of your out-of-state driver history information to your Texas commercial driver license so that you always have a single complete driver record. For more information on federal regulations governing commercial driver licenses, please visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's website.

14. Why did I receive a notice of suspension for an out-of-state conviction?

In accordance to 49 Code of Federal Regulations 383.51, if you are convicted for certain offenses, the Department is required by both state and federal statutes to disqualify your commercial driver license. The period of disqualification is dependent upon the type of violation you were convicted for. For more information on federal regulations governing commercial driver licenses, please visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's website.

15. I still cannot find the answer to my question, what do I do?

If you do not find the answer to your question listed here within our FAQ's, you can always contact our Customer Service Center for assistance.