2024 Kansas CDL Requirements

To get a commercial driver’s license in Kansas, you must be a Kansas resident, at least 18 years old, and have a clean driving record. Here’s how to get it.
Written by Natalie Todoroff
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
If you’re looking to earn your commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Kansas, you must be at least 18 years of age to drive within the state and 21 to drive across state lines. You must also have a clean driving record, valid Kansas driver’s license, and be a Kansas resident. 
If getting behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler with nothing but you, the open road, and 10,000 pounds in tow sounds like your dream job, there are a couple of steps you’ll need to take before you can get your commercial driver’s license. There are exams to take, paperwork to gather, and i’s to dot and t’s to cross before you can legally operate large vehicles. 
Here to guide you through the Kansas CDL application process from start to finish is
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What is required for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Kansas?

In Kansas, getting your commercial driver’s license (CDL) is a two-phase process. Just like getting a regular driver’s license, you must get a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) before you’re able to earn your CDL. But, let’s backtrack a little. The Kansas Department of Revenue requires CDL applicants to provide proof of identity, a
clean driving record
, and their own commercial motor vehicle to take the skills test in. 
The exact requirement for your CDL depends on the class of CDL you’re applying for, and whichever endorsements you need to operate certain vehicles.  

Kansas CDL classes

There are three main classes of CDL in Kansas: Class A, Class B, and Class C. Class A is considered the most comprehensive: with the right endorsement, a Class A license permits you to drive Class B and C vehicles. 
  • Class A: Any combination of vehicles whose Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) exceeds 26,000 pounds where the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the towed vehicle is over 10,000 pounds 
  • Class B: Any single vehicle with a GVWR over 26,000 pounds or any combination of vehicles where the GVWR of the towed vehicle is under 10,000 pounds
  • Class C: Commercial vehicles designed to transport 16 or more passengers or hazardous materials that don’t meet the criteria for Class A or B 
Class A vehicles typically include truck-tractors, semi trailers, or trailer combinations. For Class B, think straight trucks or buses. And for smaller buses, passenger vans, or any HAZMAT materials, you’ll need a Class C license with the right endorsements. 

Endorsements 

The following six endorsements for Kansas CDLs are more specific than classes, and more to do than just weight. They allow drivers to operate specific kinds of vehicles:
  • P: for passenger vehicles
  • S: for school buses
  • N: for tank vehicles
  • H: for transportation of hazardous materials
  • X: for transportation of hazardous materials in a tank vehicle
  • T: for towing two or three trailers over a specific weight
In Kansas, H, X, and T endorsements all require extra testing. 

Minimum age requirement

Where you can drive with your CDL depends on your age. If you’re only going to drive commercial vehicles within Kansas state lines, you must be at least 18 years old. But, if you want to cross state lines or have passengers in your commercial vehicle, you must be at least 21.

Medical requirements 

Lastly, there are certain
Department of Transportation (DOT)
medical requirements you must meet to qualify for an interstate CDL in Kansas:  
  • Blood pressure of 160/100 or better
  • Blood sugar under 200 controlled without insulin injections
  • At least 20/40 vision 
  • Ability to distinguish colors
  • Ability to hear a forced whisper from at least 5 feet away
  • No use of Schedule 1 drugs, amphetamines, narcotics, or any habit-forming drugs
You will need a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) medical examiner  to certify that you meet these requirements and issue you a medical examiner's certificate. You will need this certificate, along with a Kansas self-certification form in order for your CDL application to be processed. You can print and fill out the self-certification form or fill it out
online
.  

New ELDT requirements

Beginning February 2022, there are some new requirements from the FMCSA for CDL applications. First-time applicants for a Class A or B CDL, those looking to upgrade from Class B to Class A, or first-time applicants for an H, S or P endorsement must complete
Entry Level Driving Training (ELDT)
from a
FMCSA registered training provider
.  
New CDL applications must also complete a
Truckers Against Trafficking (TAT)
course before they can be issued their Kansas CDL.   
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How to apply for a CDL in Kansas

You can think of the CDL application as a two-step process. Just like when you apply for a regular driver’s license, you first need to earn your Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) before you can upgrade to a CDL. Your CLP will allow you practice on public roads with a qualified CDL holder, and you must possess your CLP for at least 14 days before you can switch to a CDL.
However, there are certain things that can disqualify you from getting your commercial driver’s license right out the gate. If you have a suspended, revoked, or canceled license in any state, you will not be eligible to apply for a Kansas CDL. Or, if your driving record is checkered with
multiple DUIs
, reckless driving that resulted in a fatality, or other felonies, you’re automatically ineligible for a commercial license. 
Let’s start with phase one: getting your commercial learner’s permit. First things first, you’ll need to call and schedule an appointment with your local Kansas Department of Revenue office to take a skills exam. You will to bring the following paperwork in with you to your appointment:
  • Two documents that prove Kansas residency
  • Proof of identity 
  • Social Security card 
  • At least one photo document with your photo on it
  • Valid Kansas driver’s license 
  • Valid Medical Examiner’s certificate 
  • $13 fee
From there you will take your knowledge test, must pass a vision test, submit to a driving record check. The knowledge test has 50 questions, you will need to answer at least 80% of them correctly in order to pass. 
The knowledge test covers: 
  • General knowledge 
  • Passenger test 
  • Air brake (if applicable)
  • Combination vehicle test, if you’re applying for Class A
  • Endorsement tests 
If you pass your vision test, driving record check, and the knowledge test—congrats! You’ve earned your commercial learner’s permit. The permit will only be valid for 180 days, so be sure to get enough practice in and schedule your skills test before it expires. 
But remember, before you register for your CDL skills test, complete the ELDT and TAT training courses! 
Now on to phase two: passing the skills test to upgrade your CLP to a CDL. The skills test consists of three parts: vehicle inspection, basic vehicle control, and on-road driving. The test is sequential, meaning you must pass the vehicle inspection first, then basic vehicle control before you can move onto the on-road portion. 
Once you schedule your skills test, bring $31 for the fee test, your CLP, your own commercial vehicle, and your Kansas driver’s license. 
  • Vehicle inspection: tested to know whether or not your vehicle is safe to drive. Asked to perform a vehicle inspection of your truck. Indicate which part you’re inspecting to your examiner and tell them why you’re looking at it.
  • Basic vehicle control: move forward, backwards, and turn within a defined area, like with traffic cones, barriers, etc. 
  • On-road test: if you can safely drive the vehicle in a variety of traffic situations. Includes turns, single or multi-lane roads, and highways. 
Passing the skills test is the final step! Once you’ve passed, you will be issued your Kansas CDL. 

How long is a CDL valid in Kansas?

Your Kansas CDL is valid for four years, just like a regular Kansas driver’s license. When it comes to time renew your CDL, expect to fork over $18 for the renewal fee, $8 for the photo fee, and an additional $10 per endorsement. 

How to save on car insurance in Kansas

Although getting your CDL in Kansas can be confusing and require lots of steps, we hope that this guide from
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