Virginia CDL Requirements

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


Virginia 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 Virginia CDL Required

You need an Virginia 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 Virginia 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.

Virginia 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 across state lines (interstate)

How to Apply for an Virginia CDL

To qualify/apply to obtain a Commercial Instruction Permit:

A Virginia Commercial Learner’s Permit allows a person to receive commercial driving instruction and behind-the-wheel driving experience on public highways. While driving on the road, the holder of a Commercial Learner’s Permit must be accompanied by a person who holds a valid CDL for the type of vehicle driven, including any endorsements, and who occupies a seat beside the individual, or
in the case of a vehicle designed to transport more than 15 passengers, occupies a seat directly behind, or in the first row behind the driver, for the purpose of giving instruction in driving the
commercial motor vehicle.

A Commercial Learner’s Permit will be valid for 6 months from the date of issue. A second six-month permit may be obtained any time within the ensuing 18-month period, but only one renewal or reissuance
is allowed within 24 months from original date of issue.

You must carry your Virginia Class D Operator’s License along with your Commercial Leaner’s Permit.

Note: You must acquire and hold a Commercial Learner’s Permit for 14 days before you can obtain a Commercial Driver’s License.

More information from Virginia DPS about Getting a CDL or CLP.

Documentation Requirements

You will need to provide proper identification when you apply for your CDL. Some acceptable forms are:

  • Birth Certificate
  • Social Security Card (or proof of the number)
  • U.S. Passport
  • Birth Certificate
  • A Virginia driver license
  • Other state’s driver license (if transferring from another state)
  • Military ID card

More information on documentation required here. https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/apps/documentbuilder/intro.aspx

How much does the Virginia CDL cost?

Commercial Driver’s License Fees

  • Commercial driver’s license $8.00 per year, $20 minimum
  • CDL endorsement(s) (per year) $1.00
  • CDL instruction permit $3.00
  • CDL skills test missed appointment $50.00

More information about fees from this VA DMV Fees Chart.

Sources:
Official Virginia CDL Manual
Virginia DMV/DPS
FMSCA Guidelines