Illinois CDL Requirements

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

Illinois 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 Illinois CDL Required

You need an Illinois 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 Illinois 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.

Illinois CDL Age Requirements

You must be at least 18 years of age to drive within state lines (intrastate).

You must be at least 21 years old to:

  • drive commercial vehicles across state lines (interstate)
  • haul hazardous materials

How to Apply for an Illinois CDL

See CDL Documentation and Identification Requirements for Illinois here.

As is required for any driver’s license, CDL applicants are required to show documentation verifying their identity, date of birth, Illinois residency, signature and Social Security number.

Most operators of commercial vehicles with a gross motor vehicle weight of 10,001 pounds or more are required to carry a Medical Examiner’s Certificate with them at all times while operating a second division vehicle. In addition, these drivers are required to maintain a file that contains a written exam verification, driving exam verification and other records. Refer to Section 13 of Illinois CDL manual for the Medical Card information.

How much does the Illinois CDL cost?

The fees are as follows:

  • New applicants not possessing a Class A, B, or C Illinois CDL — $60
  • Additional $5 fee for applicants renewing a L or M license.
  • Applicants renewing a current Illinois CDL — $60
  • Additional $5 fee for applicants renewing a L or M license.
  • Applicants renewing a current Illinois Limited School Bus CDL — $20
  • Applicants possessing a non-CDL upgrading to a CDL — $50
  • Applicants possessing a CDL upgrading to a different class CDL — $5
  • Applicants possessing a CDL adding/changing an endorsement/restriction — $5

Official Illinois CDL Manual
Illinois DMV/DPS
FMSCA Guidelines