To get a commercial driver's license (CDL) in Vermont, you must be at least 18 years old, have a valid Vermont driver's license, and have a clean driving record.
In Vermont, truckers, bus drivers, and other drivers of commercial motor vehicles must have a commercial driver's license to drive large vehicles that pose unique driving challenges. Even though the process of getting a Vermont CDL can seem complicated, the requirements are pretty straightforward! You need a clean driving record, proof of residency and identity, and registration and insurance for all vehicles you own.
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What is required for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Vermont?
It can be a lot of work to get a commercial driver's license in Vermont. A valid form of identification, a
clean driving record, and access to a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) to take the CDL skills test are the bare minimums needed to obtain a CDL in Vermont.
Additionally, there are particular criteria dependent on the CDL class being acquired and any endorsements that would be necessary for operating certain vehicles for particular purposes.
Vermont CDL classes
In Vermont, there are three classes of CDLs. They are, in order of comprehensiveness, Class A, Class B, and Class C. The following are the vehicle types that each class permits you to operate:
- Class A: Allows you to tow any vehicle combination with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of more than 26,000 pounds and a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds
- Class B: Includes single or combination vehicles with a combined GVWR of greater than 26,000 pounds; the vehicle being towed cannot weigh more than 10,000 pounds
- Class C: Any single vehicle (or combination of vehicles) outside of Class A or B that is either meant to transport 16 or more passengers or utilized in the transportation of hazardous materials
Let’s go through some examples. You would likely need a Class A CDL to drive a tractor-trailer, a triple-trailer, or a livestock carrier. You'd likely need a Class B CDL to drive a regular truck or a school bus. You'll need a Class C CDL and an endorsement to drive certain types of passenger vans, buses, and hazardous material transports.
There are six types of endorsements that can be added to a Vermont CDL to let the driver operate certain vehicles for certain purposes:
- T: for pulling two or three trailers that weigh more than a certain amount (requires knowledge test)
- P: for passenger vehicles (knowledge and skills test)
- N: for tank vehicles (knowledge test)
- H: for transporting hazardous materials (knowledge test)
- X: for using a tank vehicle to transport dangerous materials (knowledge test)
- S: for school buses (knowledge and skills test)
Minimum age requirement
If you only want to operate a commercial vehicle inside state lines (i.e., intrastate commercial driving), the minimum age requirement for a Vermont CDL is 18 years. Vermont drivers who intend to drive outside state lines (i.e., interstate) must be 21 years old.
Lastly, Vermont has
certain medical requirementsto obtain a CDL in most cases, which can include the following:
- Blood pressure of at least 160/100
- Blood sugar under 200; must be under control without insulin injections
- At least 20/40 vision
- Able to distinguish colors
- Able to hear a forced whisper from at least five feet away
- No usage of Schedule 1 substances, amphetamines, narcotics, or any other habit-forming drugs
You must undergo a physical every two years if you are subject to the
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)regulations.
New ELDT requirements
If you're applying for your first Vermont CDL and haven't started the application process yet, you'll need to follow new FMCSA standards for
Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT).
Since February 2022, new CDL applicants have been required to complete this training before taking a skills test or H knowledge test. You can find a training provider through
FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry site.
How to apply for a CDL in Vermont
Once you have a CDL, maintaining that clean driving record will be of utmost importance. Your first major violation—e.g. driving under the influence, leaving the scene of an accident, driving a CMV under a revoked license—committed can result in a one-year disqualification (or a three-year disqualification when you’re transporting hazardous materials that are required to be placarded). A second major violation, whether or not it’s in a CMV, will result in a lifetime disqualification.
After 10 years, a driver may be entitled to reinstatement under certain circumstances.
If your credentials check out, there are some more conditions you’ll have to fulfill. A Vermont Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP) is required before you can apply for a full CDL.
To apply for a CLP, you'll need:
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residence
- Proof of residence in Vermont
- Proof of identity
- A Social Security Number (SSN)
- Valid Vermont registration for each car you own
- Proof of insurance for every car you own
- Your required self-certification and medical records
- A completedCDL application
Just bring these documents and a $15 application fee to your
local DMV officewhen you’re ready to apply.
Before taking the CDL skills exams, you must have held your CLP for at least 14 days. But you can get behind the wheel with a CDL-licensed driver at least 21 years old and practice driving on public roads during this time. The CLP is valid for 180 days and can be renewed once every 18 months for $15.
Taking your test is the last step in the application process for your Vermont CDL. To take the test, contact the Vermont DMV at (802) 828-2000 to set up an appointment. To hold your scheduled appointment time, they require a $24 scheduling deposit fee.
You have to take your driving test in the same type of CMV you intend to operate. If this isn't possible, your license will have a restriction put on it.
Before you can take the road skills test, though, you have to pass a knowledge test. This test will include questions about the type of license (and any endorsements) you want and comes with a $32 fee. Applicants need to get at least 80% of the questions right on the general knowledge in order to pass. The same goes for any endorsement tests.
The CDL road skills test given by the DMV is made up of the following sections:
- Pre-trip vehicle inspection: Find and explain the proper operation of internal and external vehicle components
- Basic vehicle control: Turn, accelerate, and reverse at low speeds
- On-road portion: Demonstrate your ability to drive safely and responsibly in a variety of traffic scenarios
The road skills testing itself will also cost $32, while any endorsement exams you wish to take will cost an extra $14 each.
In Vermont, those who drove a commercial vehicle in the military could be eligible to skip the road skills test. To be able to qualify for a military skills test waiver, you need:
- To have worked in the military in the past year in a job that required you to drive a commercial vehicle
- To have driven a military commercial vehicle, similar to the vehicle you intend to drive with your CDL, for at least two years
- A clean driving record while in the military, with no suspensions or revocations of your license
Give yourself a pat on the back when you pass the DMV's road skills test. You can now call yourself the proud owner of a valid Vermont CDL!
How long is a CDL valid in Vermont?
Once you’ve got your CDL, the period in which it is valid depends on the amount you want to—or are willing to—spend. A CDL valid for 2 years will cost you $60, and if you want your license to last 4 years, then it comes with a fee of $90.
How to save on car insurance in Vermont
The cost to obtain a Vermont CDL can be pretty pricey, but there are plenty of other ways to save when the time comes to get behind the wheel—namely, cutting down on your
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