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What is the Commercial Learner's Permit, & How Do I Get One?

The Commercial Learner's Permit (CLP) is the written portion of the CDL testing. It will allow the driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle, while supervised by a valid CDL holder.

The CLP will be valid for up to 180 days, but the driver is not permitted to take the driving skills test until at least 14 days since getting the CLP.

FMCSA - How do I get a Commercial Driver's License?

Why do I need a permit?

Basically, before you can do any practice driving in a CMV, you will need a learner's permit, the same as you would for a regular driver's license.

How long is the CLP valid for?

Your commercial learner's permit will be valid for up to 180 days, and drivers cannot take their driving skills test until after 14 days have passed.

Do I need a DOT physical before testing for my Commercial Learner's Permit?

Many states, schools, and companies will require it before accepting your application, so it's a good idea to get it first. It will also cut down on any surprises or problems passing the physical.

Am I allowed to operate a CMV by myself with only a permit?

No, all CLP holders will be required to have a valid CDL holder in the vehicle with them at all times while driving.

What should I know about my states CDL manual? Are they all the same?

All state CDL manuals are based on the FMCSA model manual, but each state may do things a little differently and have different requirements.

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