You must get an Iowa commercial driver’s license (CDL) to be able to drive commercial vehicles in Iowa. For Federal CDL Requirements applicable to every state, click here.
Iowa 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 Iowa CDL Required
- Iowa CDL Age Requirements
- How to Apply for an Iowa CDL
- How much does the Iowa CDL cost?
- Iowa Truck Driving Schools and CDL Resources
When is an Iowa CDL Required
You need an Iowa 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 Iowa 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.
Iowa 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 Iowa CDL
See CDL Documentation and Identification Requirements for Iowa here.
You must be either a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident to apply for a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) or Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), per 49 CFR 383.71. For further information on this requirement, please visit Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
When you apply for a CLP or CDL you must present documents of identification proving your identity, lawful status, Social Security number, and Iowa residency.
How much does the Iowa CDL cost?
The fees are as follows:
- Commercial driver’s license fee chart
Official Iowa CDL Manual