2024 Indiana CDL Requirements Guide

The basic Indiana CDL requirements include a valid Indiana driver’s license and a clean record with no major driving offenses.
Written by Jason Tushinski
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
background
You’ll need to be at least 18 years of age to apply for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in
Indiana
. You’ll also need to have a valid Indiana driver’s license and a clean driving record.
To drive any large commercial vehicle in Indiana, you’ll need your commercial driver’s license (CDL). Truckers, bus drivers, and drivers of other large vehicles face unique challenges while piloting such big rigs on the road, which is why special licensing is required. 
The requirements for an Indiana CDL are relatively straightforward—you need a valid Indiana driver’s license, a clean driving record, proof of identity and state residency, as well as valid insurance and registration for any commercial vehicles under your ownership.
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What is required for a commercial driver’s license (CDL) in Indiana?

In order to get your Indiana CDL, you’ll have to provide the required identification and medical documents, maintain a
clean driving record
, and have a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) of your own that you can both practice on and take your CDL skills test when ready. 
That said, your exact requirements will depend on the type of CDL Class you want to obtain, as well as any endorsements you wish to add to your commercial driver’s license.

Indiana CDL classes

Indiana has three CDL classes—Class A, Class B, and Class C.Below are the following vehicles you can drive with each class of Indiana CDL:
  • Class A: Any combination of vehicles with a combined gross weight of more than 26,001 pounds or more, with trailers weighing more than 10,000 pounds
  • Class B: Any single vehicle with a gross weight of 26,001 pounds or more, or a vehicle towing another that weighs more than 10,000 pounds
  • Class C: Any vehicle or combination of vehicles that doesn’t meet the definition of either Class A or B but transports 16 or more people, including the driver; or any vehicle required by federal regulations to transport hazardous materials.
So, if you’re driving a tractor trailer or a triple-trailer, or even a vehicle to carry livestock, you’ll likely need a Class A CDL. If you’re a school bus driver or you drive a regular truck, a Class B CDL license will likely be what you need.
If you’re driving a HAZMAT vehicle, a passenger van, or a small bus, you’ll likely need a Class C CDL, along with any requisite endorsements on your license, such the H endorsement for hazardous materials.

Endorsements

In order to drive certain types of commercial vehicles in Indiana, you’ll need to add certain endorsements to your license:
  • H: hazardous materials
  • N: tank vehicles
  • P: passenger transport
  • S: school bus
  • T: double or triple trailer
  • X: transporting hazardous materials using a tanker vehicle
For certain types of endorsements, such as the H endorsement, you’ll likely need to take extra tests in order to get that endorsement on your commercial driver’s license.

Minimum age requirement

You need to be at least 18 years of age to transport property within Indiana. If you want to transport people, you’ll need to be at least 21 years of age. You’ll also need to be at least 21 years of age to get an endorsement added to your CDL in Indiana

Medical requirements

All drivers applying for a CDL in Indiana will be required to pass a physical examination as part of the licensing process. In Indiana, that means you’ll have to have a valid
Medical Examination Report
(MER) as well as a
Medical Examination Certificate
(MEC).
You’ll also need to pass a vision test with 70” peripheral vision and 20/40 acuity in both eyes.
You’ll need to pass a hearing test, where you’ll have to demonstrate your ability to hear a forced whisper from more than five feet away. Additionally, your heart rate and blood pressure will be checked, and your blood sugar will be checked to ensure it is under 200.

New ELDT requirements

As of February 2022, if you’re applying for, or planning on applying for your Indiana CDL, you’ll have to follow new regulations as set out by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in your
Entry Level Driver Training
(ELDT).
These new rules affect all applicants applying for Class A and B CDLs for the first time, or those upgrading an existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL. You’ll also need to complete this new training if you’re applying for an S, P, or H endorsement for the first time. 
If you obtained an Indiana CLP or CDL before February 2022, you won’t be affected by these new regulations.
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How to apply for a CDL in Indiana

First and foremost, you’ll need a valid
Indiana driver’s license
and a clean driving record before you begin the process of applying for an Indiana CDL.
There are a few things that can prevent you from applying for an Indiana CDL, including if you’ve ever had your
license suspended
for driving infractions or criminal activity. 
So long as your driver’s license is valid and your record is clean, go ahead and begin the application process. The first step to applying for a CDL is to apply for a commercial learner’s permit (CLP).
To do so, you’ll need the following:
  • Proof of U.S. citizenship or legal residency
  • Proof of Indiana residency
  • Social security number
  • Proof of identity
  • Both Medical Examination Report (MER) and Medical Examination Certificate (MEC)
  • Insurance for any commercial vehicles you own
  • Proof of every state you were licensed to drive in during the past 10 years
  • $17 CLP fee
  • Pass a written test for the class you want, and any endorsements
  • Pass a vision test
You can take a CLP test as a walk-in at any
CDL examination location
. Bring all required documents along with the $17 CLP fee.
Once you pass your CLP examination, your commercial learner’s permit will be valid in Indiana for 180 days. You can obtain a maximum of three CLPs in a two-year period.
You’ll need to wait at least 14 days upon gaining your CLP before attempting to pass your CDL examination. During that time, you are only allowed to practice on the class of vehicle you will be tested on, with a licensed CDL holder of that class with you in the vehicle, with all proper endorsements, who is over 21 years of age.
Before you take your Indiana CDL road test, you’ll have to fulfill a few more requirements. Make an appointment at a CDL examination center, and bring a completed CDL application along with all the documentation you used when applying for your commercial learner’s permit.
The fee for a commercial driver’s license in Indiana is $35.
Now, you’ll have to complete the following tests:
  • A general knowledge exam for all commercial vehicles 
  • School bus endorsement exam (if applicable)
  • Hazardous materials endorsement exam (if applicable)
  • Air brakes exam (if applicable)
  • Combination vehicle exam (if applicable)
  • Tank vehicle endorsement exam (if applicable)
You’ll need to score at least 80% correct on all applicable examinations in order to pass.
With all of that behind you, you’re ready to take your road test. You can
schedule an appointment
through Indiana’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
Bring your commercial motor vehicle (CMV) for your test, which will need to pass a safety inspection being used for your test. If you do not have your own CMV, you can rent one from your testing site for a fee of between $75 and $150.
Indiana’s CDL test has three segments—the aforementioned vehicle inspection, basic vehicle control, and the road test. You’ll need to pass all three segments in order to get your CDL.
In terms of your road test, you’ll need to demonstrate ability to perform some or all of the following maneuvers:
  • Starting the vehicle 
  • Parallel parking
  • Off-set backing
  • Straight-line backing
  • Lane changes
  • Use of lanes
  • Merging
  • Traffic signs and signals
  • Turning left and right
  • Right-of-way
  • Railroad crossings
  • Intersections
  • Curves
  • Roadside stop/start
  • Upshifting and downshifting (if applicable) 
Once you’ve passed the skills test, you’ll have passed your test and gotten your Indiana CDL!

How long is a CDL valid in Indiana? 

A commercial driver’s license is valid in Indiana for four years. You can renew your CDL at any BMV branch no more than one year before its expiration. It costs $36 to renew your CDL in Indiana.
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