North Dakota CDL Requirements

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


North Dakota 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 North Dakota CDL Required

You need an North Dakota 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 North Dakota 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.

North Dakota 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 North Dakota CDL

In order to obtain a CDL, you must:

  • Be 21 years old to cross state lines, 18-20 years old to apply for an intra-state CDL, or at 16 years old, you may test for a CDL restricted to custom harvesting operations only.
  • Read, write and speak English.
  • Must meet all Federal Medical Requirements in 49 CFR 391. Some of the medical conditions which may disqualify an individual are:
    • Heart condition
    • Hearing impairment
    • Worse than 20/40 visual acuity in either eye
    • Diabetes controlled with insulin
    • Epilepsy
    • Loss of or loss of use of a limb
    • Seizure disorder requiring anti-seizure medication
  • Apply in person at a North Dakota ND Drivers License Site, pass the required knowledge test(s) for the CDL Class to be driven, and purchase a Commercial Learners Permit (CLP). Prior to testing, you will always need to present your current North Dakota Driver License, proof of legal presence, proof of residence address, make an application, and pass an eye examination.
  • Demonstrate your ability to operate the vehicle by passing a road test in a representative commercial vehicle. A road test cannot be scheduled without a valid CLP.

More information here.

How much does the North Dakota CDL cost?

What is the fee for a commercial driver’s license?

  • Knowledge Test $5 per attempt (One attempt allowed per day)
  • Commercial Learner Permit $15 ($20 for non-domiciled)
  • Endorsements $3 Each
  • Road Test $5

Sources:
Official North Dakota CDL Manual
North Dakota DMV
FMSCA Guidelines