Hawaii CDL Requirements

You must get an Hawaii commercial driver’s license (CDL) to be able to drive commercial vehicles in Hawaii. For Federal CDL Requirements applicable to every state, click here.


Hawaii adopted the Federal Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986, and is part of a nationally uniform system of classifying, testing, and licensing commercial vehicle drivers.


When is an Hawaii CDL Required

You need an Hawaii CDL when you operate the following vehicles:

CLASS A – Applies only to “combination” vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) more than 26,000 pounds, and the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is more than 10,000 pounds. A driver with a Class A CDL (plus any appropriate endorsements) can also operate all vehicles included in Class B, C, and D (below)

CLASS B – Includes single or combination vehicles where the GVWR of the single vehicle is more than 26,000 pounds. The vehicle being pulled must not be more than 10,000 pounds. A driver with an Hawaii Class B CDL (plus appropriate endorsements) can also legally operate all vehicles in Class C or D.

CLASS C – Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that meets neither the definition of Group A nor that of Group B as contained in this section, but that either is designed to transport 16 or more passengers including the driver, or is used in the transportation of materials found to be hazardous for the purposes of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act and which require the motor vehicle to be placarded under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR part 172, subpart F).

CLASS D – Private passenger, regular operator.

Hawaii CDL Age Requirements

You must be age 21 to drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in Hawaii.

How to Apply for an Hawaii CDL

See CDL Documentation and Identification Requirements for Hawaii here.

When ready to apply for your CDL, go to any of the driver licensing offices listed inside the cover of the Hawaii CDL manual.

  • Show proof of age (birth certificate).
  • Show proof of identity, Hawaii residency and social security number (social security card).
  • Show lawful admission into the United States (for hazardous materials endorsement only).
  • Show your physical examination report that certifies you meet medical and physical qualifications.
  • Fill out an application (DOT 4-764) and attach a current color photograph (passport type).
  • Provide information of previous State licenses, including Washington, D.C., held in the previous ten years.
  • Pass the required vision and knowledge tests to obtain an instruction permit. The instruction permit is valid for one year and allows you to practice driving under supervision of a driver who has a CDL for the type of vehicle you wish to drive.
  • Schedule skills tests and pay the $50 fee. You must pass all three parts of the skills test at the same appointment. Pay all necessary fees.

How much does the Hawaii CDL cost?

The fees are as follows:

  • Base operator license $20-$40 (depending on county)
  • CDL general knowledge test $15
  • CDL endorsement test $5
  • CDL instruction permit $30
  • CDL skills tests $50 (must be paid when scheduling the appointment)
  • CDL $40 (valid for 8 years)
  • Adding CDL privileges, including adding a passenger endorsement, removing a restriction and changing a lower group designation to a higher group designation, requires new skills tests in the appropriate vehicle and fees are charged accordingly.

Sources:
Official Hawaii CDL Handbook
Hawaii DMV/DPS
FMSCA Guidelines