2022 Georgia CDL Requirements Guide

The basic Georgia CDL requirements include a valid Georgia driver’s license and a clean record with no major driving violations.
Written by James Ellaby
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
To apply for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Georgia, you must be at least 18 years old and hold a valid Georgia driver’s license with a clean driving record. 
A commercial driver’s license is what you need if you intend to drive a truck, a bus, or any other kind of commercial vehicle. These vehicles require different skills to cope with different challenges than a car, so a regular driver’s license won’t suffice.
For everything you need to know about how to apply for a Georgia CDL, here’s the ultimate guide from
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What is required for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Georgia? 

Getting a CDL in Georgia can be a complicated process, but we’ll simplify it for you. The basic requirements for any Georgia CDL include identification documents, a valid regular Georgia driver’s license and to pass a vision exam, and written and road tests.
That said, the exact requirements depend on the class of CDL you’re getting, as well as any endorsements you may need to operate a specific vehicle. 

Georgia CDL classes

Georgia has three types of CDL. Here’s a rundown of the type of vehicles that each one allows you to operate.
  • Class A: Truck trailer or tractor-semitrailer combination with a combined weight exceeding 26,001 pounds and the unit being towed exceeding 10,000 pounds. With the required endorsements, Class A drivers can operate Class B and C vehicles. You need to have a Class C license before applying for Class A.
  • Class B: Single vehicles weighing 26,001 or more pounds and the unit being towed is less than 10,000 pounds. You need to have a Class C license before getting to Class B.
  • Class C: Vehicles designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) or hazardous materials in quantities that require placarding.
For example, a Class C CDL would be appropriate for smaller buses, passenger vans, or HAZMAT vehicles. A regular truck or a school bus would require a Class B CDL, while tractor-trailers, triple trailers, and livestock carriers require operators to carry a Class A CDL.


There are six types of endorsements for Georgia CDLs to allow the driver to operate specific types of vehicles.
Endorsements for passenger vehicles and schools require completion of the knowledge and skills tests and are valid for Classes A, B, and C. These include:
  • P: for passenger vehicles
  • S: for school buses
The following endorsements only require the knowledge test. Endorsement T is only valid for Class A, while N is valid for Classes A and B. The rest are valid for all three classes.
  • H: for transportation of hazardous materials 
  • N: for tanker vehicles
  • T: for towing double or triple trailers
  • X: for transportation of hazardous materials in a tanker vehicle

Minimum age requirement

Applicants for a CDL in Georgia must be at least 18 years of age—but if you are under 21, you will only be able to drive within the state. You will have a ‘Georgia Only’ restriction on your license, which can only be removed on or after your 21st birthday.

Medical requirements

Finally, There are certain medical requirements for a basic interstate CDL license: 
  • 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 five feet away
  • No use of Schedule 1 drugs, amphetamines, narcotics, or any habit-forming drugs
For interstate commercial driving, you will need a medical examiner’s certificate to prove that you meet these requirements.
Exceptions to this
include if you drive a school bus, fire truck, ambulance, or even if you transport bees as a beekeeper. 
If you aren’t in an excepted category, you must keep medical certification up to date and a copy of your valid medical information with you at all times.

New ELDT requirements for 2022

If this is your first time applying for a Georgia CDL, you’ll need to follow new regulations from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) for
Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT)
These requirements came into force in February 2022 and require new applicants to find a registered training provider in FMCSA’s registry and complete training. This includes drivers applying for a Class A or B for the first time, upgrading an existing CDL to a higher class, or adding a new School Bus, Passenger, or Hazmat Endorsement.
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How to apply for a CDL in Georgia

The first (and most important) requirement for a CDL in Georgia is a valid Georgia driver’s license.
Your driving record should have no convictions over the previous 5 years. Any traffic violations could delay your eligibility for a CDL—and certain offenses will make it impossible altogether. If you’ve got a suspended license in Georgia or any other state, you won’t be able to get a CDL. 
The following are all reasons why a CDL can be either impossible to obtain or would be withdrawn: 
  • Conviction of a major traffic violation
  • Conviction of two or more serious traffic violations
  • Use of a commercial vehicle in the commission of any felony involving a controlled substance or marijuana
  • Violation of an out-of-service order
  • Conviction of a railroad grade crossing offense in a commercial vehicle.
If your license and record are in order, you’ll need to meet a few more requirements. If this is your first time applying or upgrading, you will need a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) before you can apply for a full CDL. This requires you to: 
  • Have a valid Georgia license
  • Pass the vision exam
  • Pass written knowledge exams
  • Pay a $10 permit—you must pay this each time you attempt the test
  • Pass any relevant endorsement exams
  • Provide a medical card, if required
  • Provide any necessary medical waivers
  • Surrender any out-of-state driving documents
  • Provide the following documentation: 
    • Proof of ID
    • Residence
    • Social Security Number
    • US citizenship/proof of lawful status
You must hold your CLP for at least 14 days before taking skills exams for your CDL. During that time, you’re authorized to practice on public roads with a CDL holder 21 years old or older. The CLP is valid for 180 days and can be renewed once up to 30 days before expiration
The knowledge tests include: 
  • Road rules test—questions about driver responsibility, the knowledge of laws, and safe driving practices
  • Road signs test—questions about the meaning of standard highway signs, signals, and markers
These written tests are made up of multiple choice and matching questions, and you must answer 15 out of 20 questions on each test correctly to pass. 
Once you are ready to upgrade to the CDL, you need to complete the application and pay $35 for the Commercial Application (CAP) fee and $50 for the road test fee, which covers you for four road test attempts. If you need more, you will have to restart the CAP process and pay another $35. The same applies if 360 days have passed since you began.
You can
schedule your road
with the Georgia Department of Driver Services. The skills you will be expected to demonstrate include: 
  • Parallel parking
  • Backing up
  • Stopping for signs or traffic signals
  • Turnabout
  • Use of clutch
  • Approaching corners
  • Yielding right-of-way
  • Turning
  • Passing
  • Following
  • Posture
Once you’ve passed your skills test, congratulations! You’ve got your Georgia CDL, which comes at a cost of $32

How long is a CDL valid in Georgia? 

A Georgia CDL is valid for eight years, though a CDL with an H endorsement (for hazardous material) expires after just five years. Renewal fees for any CDL are the same as the original application fee.

How to save on car insurance in Georgia

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