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California CDL License

California State Seal

California CDL Permit (CLP)

COMMERCIAL DRIVER LICENSE TESTING AND COMMERCIAL LEARNER’S PERMIT STANDARDS

(Released 6/2015)

The following federal standards for commercial driver license (CDL) knowledge and skills testing and the issuance of commercial learner’s permits (CLP) are effective July 8, 2015.

1. An applicant must be 18 years of age to obtain a CLP. [Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation (FMCSR) §383.25]

2. An applicant may apply for a CLP, but must hold a California driver license prior to issuance of a CLP. The driver license must be carried to validate the CLP. [FMCSR §§383.5, 383.25]

California-CDL3. The CLP will be valid for no more than 180 days from initial issuance. The CLP may be renewed for up to an additional 180 days, not to exceed a period of one-year from the application date. [FMCSR §383.25]

4. New alpha restriction codes for CLP and/or CDL: [FMCSR §383.153]

  • X = Restricted from operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) tank vehicle with cargo (CLP only)  P = Restricted from operating a CMV bus with passengers (CLP only)
  • L = Limited to vehicles without air brakes when driving commercially (CLP and CDL)  M = May not operate Class A passenger vehicles (CLP and CDL)
  • N = May not operate Class A or B passenger vehicles (CLP and CDL)
  • Z = May not operate a full air brake equipped vehicle (CDL only)
  • E = Class A/B – limited to vehicles with automatic transmission (CDL only)
  • O = Restricted from operating a tractor-trailer combination connected by a fifth wheel (CDL only)  K = May not drive in interstate commerce (CLP and CDL)
  • V = Federal variance required (CLP and CDL)

5. CLP endorsements are limited to School Bus (S), Tank (N), and Passenger (P). [FMCSR §383.25]

6. A CLP holder with a Tank endorsement (N) is prohibited from operating a tank vehicle unless it is empty. In addition, if the tanker previously contained hazardous materials it must be purged. [FMCSR §383.25]

7. A CLP holder with a Passenger (P) and/or a School Bus (S) endorsement is prohibited from operating a CMV with passengers, other than Federal/State auditors and inspectors, test examiners, other trainees and the CDL holder. [FMCSR §383.25]

8. A CLP holder must be accompanied by a CDL holder at any time in which he/she operates a CMV and the CDL holder must hold the appropriate license and endorsements necessary to operate the CMV. [FMCSR §383.25]

9. A CLP holder must hold the CLP for a minimum of 14 days after initial issuance before he/she is eligible for skills testing. The 14-day waiting period also applies to all classification upgrades or endorsement/restriction changes requiring a skills test. [FMCSR §383.25]

10. CDL Skills tests (vehicle inspection, basic control, and road) will be conducted in English only. Neither the applicant nor the Examiner may communicate in a language other than English during any portion of the performance tests. [FMCSR §383.133]

11. Commercial testing materials, including the score sheets, will not be released to the applicant. [FMCSR §383.131]

12. A truck tractor (self-propelled CMV designed or used primarily for drawing other vehicles) as defined in Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR) §390.5, is not considered a representative vehicle and will not be used for any testing purposes. [FMCSR §383.91]

For further information visit: California CDL DMV

Kevin Hicks
Kevin Hicks has been in the CDL and Transportation industry for over 30 years. He currently provides CDL training material to trucking and bus companies around the United States.

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