2024 Delaware CDL Requirements Guide

To get a Delaware CDL, all applicants must be over 18, legal full-time residents of the state, and pass several tests.
Written by Patrick Price
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
To get a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in
, you must be at least 18 years old, have at least one year of driving experience, and have obtained your commercial learner’s permit (CLP). You’ll also need to be either a U.S citizen or a legal resident living in Delaware full-time. 
In Delaware, drivers are required to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) before they can operate commercial motor vehicles (CMV) that weigh more than 26,000 pounds. To get one of these CDLs, you’ll first need to meet the Federal CDL Requirements and the state-specific requirements set by the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles.
These requirements dictate that potential CDL applicants must be over 18, have one year of driving experience, own a valid non-commercial driver’s license, be a legal state resident, and pass several tests.
Needless to say, keeping track of all the Delaware CDL requirements can be a bit confusing. Fortunately,
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When you’re done reading up on Delaware CDL requirements, don’t forget to download the Jerry mobile app and use it to reduce the cost of your
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What is required for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Delaware? 

Obtaining a CDL in Delaware requires applicants to meet numerous state and federal requirements. 
To begin with, applicants must meet all the same federal requirements established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). These requirements are:
  • Applicant must already have a valid state-issued Class D driver’s license—the standard non-commercial driver’s license that most drivers have 
  • Must be either a U.S citizen or a legal permanent resident—and be able to provide proof 
  • Must have obtained a commercial learner’s permit no more than 180 days before receiving their CDL
  • Must pass all applicable background screenings, written tests, skill tests, and road tests
  • Must not have had their license suspended or revoked in any state 
  • Must not be subject to any of the CDL disqualifications
  • Must be able to speak and read English
Keep in mind that those specifications are just the federal CDL requirements. The state of Delaware has a few of its own:
  • Must be at least 18 years old to be eligible for an intrastate CDL
  • Must be at least 21 years old to be eligible for an interstate CDL or transport hazardous materials (HAZMAT) 
  • Must be a full-time resident of the state of Delaware 
  • Must complete a medical self-certification 
  • Must pass a Department of Transportation (DOT) medical examination every two years
  • Must complete a Delaware CDL application through the DMV
  • Must be able to provide the necessary paperwork when submitting their application—this includes a valid Type D Delaware driver’s license, a Social Security card (or most recent W-2), proof of DOT medical examination, and proof of self-certification completion. 
Every CDL applicant in Delaware must satisfy all the requirements listed above. Depending on what class CDL you want, as well as any endorsements you’ll need, there may be several additional requirements.  

Delaware CDL classes

Delaware uses the standard driver’s license classification system established by the 1986 Federal Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act. It's the same four-class system that nearly every state uses.
In this system, there are four major classes of driver’s licenses, only three of which are CDLs. Here’s a quick breakdown of the classes:  
  • Class A: The most comprehensive type of CDL. Class A is only required for drivers operating combination vehicles with a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds that are towing vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 10,001 pounds or more.
  • Class B: Allows drivers to operate single or combination vehicles with GVWRs of 26,001 pounds or more. 
  • Class C: The lease comprehensive type of CDL. Class C is for single or combination CMVs that do not qualify as Class A or B vehicles—but are still considered heavy vehicles. 
  • Class D: Not a commercial driver’s license. Class D is the type of driver’s license that drivers are issued as the basic license for everyday private-use vehicles.
The good news is that having a more comprehensive class of license automatically certifies you for all the classes below it. So, having a Class A CDL means you also have a Class B. Similarly, having a Class B means that you are also certified as a Class C driver. And any CDL also serves as your standard Class D license. 
Having the requisite CDL class, however, is not enough to ensure that you’re eligible to drive a given CMV. Some CMVs have special requirements, such as additional training or further tests. In order to operate one of those CMVs, you’ll need to have the appropriate endorsement


Endorsements are additional certifications that can be added to your CDL if you meet certain requirements. Having endorsements allows you to operate specific types of CMV that require special treatment. 
In Delaware, there are six types of CDL endorsements. They are:  
  • H endorsement: authorizes a driver to transport hazardous materials (HAZMAT)
  • N endorsement: authorizes a driver to tow tanker vehicles
  • P endorsement: authorizes a driver to operate a CMV that carries passengers 
  • S endorsement: authorizes a driver to pilot school buses
  • T endorsement: for towing combination vehicles that are over a certain weight
  • X endorsement: a combination of H and N. Allows drivers to transport HAZMATs inside of a tanker vehicle
MORE: How to check for Delaware road closures

Minimum age requirement

As mentioned above, you must be at least 18 years old to qualify for a Delaware CDL. However, between the ages of 18 and 21, you’re only eligible for an intrastate CDL—meaning you can only operate CMVs within the state’s borders. You cannot cross state lines. You also cannot receive an H or an X endorsement. 
When you turn 21, you become eligible for a full interstate license. Depending on which class CDL you have and what endorsements you need, you may need to retake certain tests. 

Medical requirements

To qualify for a Delaware CDL, you must meet certain physical requirements, pass a
Department of Transportation (DOT) medical examination
, and
complete your medical self-certification
When you get your DOT medical examination, the medical examiner (ME)will check for any disqualifying medical conditions. They will complete an examination of your vitals, vision, and overall health. 
If, upon examining you, the ME discovers that you do not satisfy the physical CDL requirements (listed below), then you will not be able to pursue a CDL unless you can correct the situation. 
Physical CDL requirements:
  • You must have at least 20/40 visual acuity without the aid of corrective lenses
  • You must not be a diabetic, unless you do not require insulin injections  
  • At a distance of over five feet, you must be able to hear a forced whisper. In other words, you cannot have hearing loss of 40 dB or more. 
  • If your blood sugar is dangerously elevated, you may not be considered eligible for a CDL.
Assuming that you pass the medical examination, you’ll receive a medical examiner’s certificate as proof. Remember to keep this certificate and take it with you when you apply for a CDL. 

New ELDT requirements

Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT)
requirements are the minimum training standards for CDL drivers, as established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). 
As of 2022, the ELDT has been updated. The updated regulations require new applicants to complete their training while working with a registered trainer. You can find a list of all the registered trainers on the
FMCSA’s registry

How to apply for a CDL in Delaware

Assuming that you meet all the requirements mentioned above (and your background checks don’t uncover any serious crimes or traffic violations), you’ll begin applying for your Delaware CDL. 
The first step is to apply for a commercial learner’s permit (CLP). Make sure that you read and study the
Delaware CDL Manual
before applying for your CLP. When you’re sure that you know the manual well enough, head to the DMV and turn in your CLP application. You’ll then be required to complete the CLP written test. If you pass the exam, you’ll be issued your CLP!  
Once you have your CLP and you’ve gotten some driving hours under your belt, the next step is to apply for your CDL. When applying for a CDL, you’ll be required to present all the following documents:
  • A valid Delaware Class D driver’s license
  • Proof of your status as a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident
  • Proof of full-time residence in Delaware (official pieces of mail or formal documents that list you by name and the address of your Delaware home) 
  • Valid identification 
  • Your Social Security card or most recent W-2
  • Proof that you have the proper registration and car insurance for any private-use vehicles that you own
  • Medical self-certification form
  • DOT medical examination certification
Present these documents at your local DMV location. You’ll have to pay a $5 application fee. Make sure that you don’t try to submit your CDL application too early. You need to have had your CLP for at least 14 days before applying for a CDL. 
Don’t wait too long, either. Your CLP will expire after 180 days—at which point you would have to restart the entire process. 
If your papers are in order and you’ve turned in your CDL application, the next step will be to complete the knowledge tests. For a basic CDL, you’ll only need to complete the General Knowledge test
For each endorsement that you’d like, you’ll need to complete an additional knowledge test. For each test that you take, you’ll need to get an 80% or higher in order to pass. 
Once you’ve passed the written tests, you’ll still need to take the driving test—just like you did when you applied for your first driver’s license. 
You’ll need to demonstrate that you know the proper pre-trip preparation and inspection habits. Once you’re on the road, the test administrator will direct you to perform various tasks and maneuvers (right turn, left turn, merge, park, etc). 
If you’re able to pass the skills test, you’ll be the proud owner of a brand-new Delaware CDL! 

How long is a CDL valid in Delaware? 

Delaware CDLs are valid for five years. After that, you’ll need to renew both your CDL and any endorsements that have also expired. 

How to save on car insurance in Delaware

Getting your Delaware CDL can make you a lot of money down the line. While you’re getting it though, you’ll be paying dozens of small expenses—and they can really add up! 
Prevent CDL application costs from putting a strain on your budget by reducing the cost of your
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