Minimum age of 18.
You will have to take one or more knowledge tests, depending on what class of license and what endorsements you need. The CDL knowledge tests include:
- The general knowledge test, taken by all applicants.
- The passenger transport test, taken by all bus driver applicants.
- The air brakes test, which you must take if your vehicle has air brakes, including air over hydraulic brakes.
- The combination vehicles test, which is required if you want to drive combination vehicles.
- The hazardous materials test, required if you want to haul hazardous materials or waste in amounts that require placarding or any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR 73. In order to obtain this endorsement you are also required to pass a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) background check.
- The tanker test, required if you want to haul a liquid or liquid gas in a permanently mounted cargo tank rated at 119 gallons or more or a portable tank rated at 1,000 gallons or more.
- The doubles/triples test, required if you want to pull double or triple trailers.
- The School Bust test, required if you want to drive a school bus.
If you pass the required knowledge test(s), you can take the CDL skills tests. There are three types of general skills that will be tested: pre-trip inspection, basic vehicle control, and on-road driving. You must take these tests in the type of vehicle for which you wish to be licensed.
- Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection. You will be tested to see if you know whether your vehicle is safe to drive. You will be asked to do a pre-trip inspection of your vehicle and explain to the examiner what you would inspect and why.
- Basic Vehicle Control. You will be tested on your skill to control the vehicle. You will be asked to move your vehicle forward, backward, and turn it within a defined area. These areas may be marked with traffic lanes, cones, barriers, or something similar. The examiner will tell you how each control test is to be done.
- On-road Test. You will be tested on your skill to safely drive your vehicle in a variety of traffic situations. The situations may include left and right turns, intersections, railroad crossings, curves, up and down grades, single or multi-lane roads, streets, or highways. The examiner will tell you where to drive.
- Five-year CDL (Class A, B or C), $16
- Double/Triple trailers endorsement, $5
- Passenger endorsement, $10
- Tank vehicles endorsement, $5
- Hazardous materials endorsement, $5 (must be paid every time a CDL is renewed)
- School bus endorsement, $10
- Restriction for CDL removal of air brake, $10
Licensing Agency & Website:
Iowa Department of Transportation, Driver Services, http://www.iowadot.gov/mvd/ods/cdl.htm