West Virginia CDL Requirements

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


West 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 West Virginia CDL Required

You need an West 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 West 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.

West 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

How to Apply for an West Virginia CDL

To qualify/apply to obtain a Commercial Driver’s Instruction Permit:

  • A commercial driver’s instruction permit (CDL instruction permit) may be issued to an applicant who holds a valid operator’s or class D license who has passed the vision and/or physical standards, and knowledge tests required for issuance of a CDL.
  • The CDL instruction permit may not be issued for a period to exceed 180 days. Only 1 renewal on re-issuance may be granted within a 2 year period from issue date. In the event the applicant has been issued 2 CDL instruction permits, before the applicant may obtain an additional CDL instruction permit he/she must reapply and re-test on all parts of the knowledge exam.
  • The holder of a CDL instruction permit may drive a commercial motor vehicle on the highway only when accompanied by the holder of a commercial driver’s license valid for the type of vehicle who occupies a seat beside the individual for the purpose of giving instruction or testing. The permit must be valid for the type of vehicle being driven also.
  • A CDL instruction permit may only be issued to an applicant who is at least 18 years of age and has held an operator or junior operator license for at least 2 years.
  • Upon completion of all tests, the person will receive a CDL instruction permit. When operating a commercial vehicle you must have your CDL instruction permit and regular operator’s license.
  • Applicants must hold a CDL instruction permit for a minimum of 14 days before they are eligible to take the road skills test. Applicants whom are ready to take the road skills test must contact a Third-Party Examiner to schedule an appointment.

After you’ve been issued a CDIP:

  • Visit the WV DMV icensing page to see all required documentation for all first time, duplicate, and renewal license applicants.
  • Complete in full, front and back, of the Application for Commercial Driver’s License and/or Endorsements (CDL-1).
  • Submit a copy of your current DOT Medical/physical certification (Long Form Physical) and DOT Medical card (valid for 30 days or more), or for city, county, state, or federal government agency employees a verification of employment on agency letterhead.
  • Pay Applicable Fees (see below)
  • Submit the application, a copy of your current DOT Medical/physical certification (Long Form Physical), DOT Medical card or for city, state, or federal government agency employees a verification of employment on agency letterhead, and required fees to DMV, PO Box 17010, Charleston WV 25317 or deliver in person at the DMV Driver Services window, adjacent to the Kanawha City Regional Office, at 5707 MacCorkle Ave, SE in Kanawha City (Charleston) WV.
  • Upon receipt of the application and fees, a test card will be mailed to the applicant which will include the regional CDL testing sites.
  • Once all tests are successfully completed a CDL instruction permit will be issued. The permit will be for a period of 180 days and can only be renewed one time. When the applicant is ready to take the road skills test, they should contact one of the third party examiners (names and telephone numbers in front of the CDL manual) to schedule an appointment. Most skills tests are given on weekends and evenings. The cost of the skills test is $90.00 which should be paid to the Third Party Examiner at the time of the test. The applicant must provide the vehicle in which the test will be given. The vehicle must be representative of the class of license for which the applicant is testing.
  • Upon completion of the skills test, the applicant should submit the passed form to one of the DMV offices or the Driver Exam Center for processing. The applicant will receive a CDL license at this time.

More information from West Virginia DMV about Getting a CDL or CLP.

Documentation Requirements

  • New Applicants, Transfers, and Expired License Applicants are required to provide one proof of identity, one proof of Social Security number, two proofs of WV residency with name and physical address, and proof of legal name change document(s) if your name has changed or is different than the provided proof of identity document.
  • Applicants who have never held a driver’s license or ID card, who are transferring a license from out-of state, or who have a West Virginia license that has been expired for more than six (6) months are considered first-time applicants.
  • Applicants who are applying for a West Virginia driver’s license and are transferring a license from another state, must also submit their current license from the previous state or present a current certified driving record from their previous state, dated 30 days or less from the date of the application. New residents who want to drive in WV must apply for a WV driver’s license within 30 days.

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 West Virginia driver license
  • Other state’s driver license (if transferring from another state)
  • Military ID card

More information on documentation required here.

How much does the West Virginia CDL cost?

Commercial Driver’s License Fees


Step-by-Step Procedures to Obtain a Commercial Driver’s License
Applications and study manuals are available at any Designated Examination Center, DMV Regional Office, or on the web.
To Apply:
1) Complete DMV Form CDL-1 (Application for Commercial Driver’s License and/or Endorsement).
2) Submit a copy of your current DOT Medical/Physical (long form) and Medical Card or CDL DLAB-II. With a CDL DLAB II, you must provide written verification of employment with a city, county, state, or
federal government.
3) Application fee: (See chart on page XV). The CDL testing fee for general knowledge, air brakes, and combination is $30.00. Please note: Commercial Driver’s License Fees are non-refundable.
4) Endorsement fee: $10.00 (if applicable). If endorsements are needed, a $10 fee is required for each endorsement at the time of the application, plus a $5 duplicate license fee.

CDL Fee Chart
To figure out your “calculated age”: subtract your birth year from the current year, for example: If you were born in 1980, your calculated age would be 25 (2015-1980 = 35). Therefore, your fee would be $43.75 for five years (to carry you to age 40). If your birthday is on or after December 1, your fee will be calculated using the next calendar year.

  • Last Digit of Calulated age:1 or 6
    License will be valid for: 4 years
    The fee will be: $35.00
  • Last Digit of Calulated age:2 or 7
    License will be valid for: 3 years
    The fee will be: $26.25
  • Last Digit of Calulated age:3 or 8
    License will be valid for: 7 years
    The fee will be: $61.25
  • Last Digit of Calulated age:4 or 9
    License will be valid for: 6 years
    The fee will be: $52.50
  • Last Digit of Calulated age:5 or 0
    License will be valid for: 5 years
    The fee will be: $43.75

UNDER 21 YEARS FEE CHART

  • Under 21 Age in Current Year: 18 The fee will be:$26.50
  • Under 21 Age in Current Year: 19 The fee will be: $17.50
  • Under 21 Age in Current Year: 20 The fee will be: $8.75

More information about fees from this WV DMV.

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