Commercial Driver License (CDL) in Tennessee

Driving a vehicle is certifiably not a basic errand; it requests productive driving abilities and requires definite common sense since no one can tell what kind of circumstance you could get in while driving.

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Each proprietor should hold a substantial driving permit to keep their driving under administrative control and permit them to operate Commercial vehicle drivers who regularly utilize these sorts of auto to get a driving permit.

The commercials business is monstrous and has an income of multi-billion dollars. The driver who has a commercial vehicle should have a commercial driving license (CDL).

What is a Commercial License?

A Commercial License is a record issued by the public authority approving that the driver can drive an engine intended to move merchandise on the interstate, including public regions.

Individuals who want to enter the vehicle business should get a license. It is essential to go through a driving test on the off chance you wish to get a driving license.

How to get CDL in Tennessee?

To acquire a CDL in Tennessee, you should be 21 years of age as per public business exercises. Drivers under 21 years old would be restricted to driving simply in Tennessee, as FMCSA guidelines indicate.

Like any purview, the best activity before you get a CDL in Tennessee is to check the state CDL particulars. Among which there will be age necessities, alongside D.O.T. actual requirements. Things will go easier if you are familiar with these requirements previously.

CDL Classes

Commercial Driver’s License has a wide range of classes. The public authority has evaluated all the exercises for different kinds of vehicles utilized for various purposes and gross car weight classes. For instance, a big hauler’s class is not the same as a school transport class.

CDL has three classifications that indicate the vehicle you can drive: Class A, Class B, and Class C.

Class A

A Commercial Driver who works any sort of vehicle with a gross combination weight rating of at least 26,001 pounds requires a Class A CDL license.

The accompanying sorts of vehicles require a Class A license:

  • Tankers;
  • Tractor-trailers;
  • Livestock Carriers;
  • Truck and trailer combined;
  • Flatbeds.

Class B

A Commercial Driver who works an unattended vehicle with a gross combination weight rating of at least 26,001 pounds requires a Class B CDL license.

The accompanying sorts of vehicles require a Class B license:

  • Tractor-trailers;
  • Straight Truck;
  • Large Passenger Buses;
  • Box Trucks;
  • Truck and trailer combined;
  • Dump Trucks with Small Trailers;
  • Segmented Buses.

Class C

A Commercial Driver who works a vehicle worked to convey at least 16 travelers, including you, the driver, or dangerous materials recorded as hazardous under federal requirements for a Class C CDL license.

The following types of vehicles require a Class C license:

  • Passenger Vans;
  • Small HazMat vehicles;
  • Combination vehicles – the vehicles which are not included in Class A or Class B.

Class D

A Commercial Driver who works vehicles that the public authority doesn’t list as Class A, Class B, or Class C requires a Class D CDL license. They are a mix of the vehicle with GCWR under 26,001 pounds.

What Class License Do I Need?

A customary driver’s license is the Class D license used to work a traveler vehicle. A Class M cruiser license requires the holder to be at any rate 16 years old or more established to drive a bike of more than 50cc.

A few drivers may require an A/57 license. This grant applies to drivers who needn’t bother with a Class A license yet who convey more than 10,001 pounds or more.

CDL Endorsements

  • T – Tn CDL Doubles – Triples (Knowledge Test)
  • H – Tn CDL Hazardous Materials (Knowledge Test)
  • N – Tn CDL Tanker Vehicles (Knowledge Test)
  • – Tn Class C CDL Tank Vehicles (Knowledge Test)
  • P – Tn CDL Passenger Vehicles (Knowledge and Skill Test)
  • S – Tn CDL School Bus (Knowledge and Skill Test)
  • W – Tn CDL Tow Truck (Written Test)

T, H, N, X, P, and S are likewise federal endorsements. Some other endorsements are given at the Ministry’s level, i.e., New York D.M.V. needs a “W” endorsement to work a tow truck in New York City legitimately.

States may have a stricter classification for a class of license or extra codes for endorsements or limitations, other than those referenced underneath on CDLs that are not given in the Federal Regulations, given that these things are entirely explained in the permit archive.

Minimum Requirements for Getting a CDL in Tennessee

Similarly, as with any locale, the best activity before you get a Tennessee Commercial Driver’s License is to check the state CDL particulars.

Following are a portion of the CDL Minimum Requirements you should know for getting a CDL in Tennessee:

  1. U.S. Citizenship Proof or Status of Lawful Permanent Residency.
  2. You should be in any event 18 years of age to have a Tennessee CDL and drive an engine vehicle in the province of Tennessee.
  3. You should be in any event 21 years old to drive a private engine vehicle across Tennessee State lines, conveying risky materials, or moving any travelers.
  4. Valid D.O.T. Medical Card – The staff of an administration organization should have the latest, legitimate D.O.T. medical card while applying for a CDL with Passenger (P), School Bus (S), and HazMat (H) endorsement.
  5. A confirmation of your Social Security Number.
  6. You must have the option to talk and peruse the English language.
  7. Driving License of Tennessee or your I.D. A substantial driving license, if from another state.
  8. Tennessee Domicile Proof. Applicants applying for CDL or a grant should have two duplicates.

Physical Requirements for Getting a CDL in Tennessee

  • Drivers should be 18 years old or more established to acquire an Intrastate permit (Generally Class B)
  • Drivers should be age 21 or more seasoned to get an Interstate license (Generally Class A or C H.M.E.)
  • If you have any cardiovascular illness, you should give a pressure test and a report from your doctor affirming that you can work a vehicle to the Medical Examiner.

Medical Requirements for Obtaining a Tennessee CDL License


The Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security makes it compulsory to bring your medical certificates. Your Commercial Driver’s License record holds your medical analyst’s certificate. You should affirm with TDSHS which of these types of exchange you work in:

  • Interstate Non – Excepted: You are an Interstate Non – Excepted driver and should follow the Federal D.O.T. medical card arrangements.
  • Interstate Excepted: You are an Interstate Excepted driver, and it’s anything but an absolute necessity to follow the Federal D.O.T. medical card arrangements.
  • Intrastate Excepted: You are an Intrastate Excepted driver and don’t need to meet Tennessee’s medical standards.
  • Intrastate Non – Excepted: You are an Intrastate Excepted driver and required to meet Tennessee’s clinical rules.

Hearing Requirements

  • Must be able to hear a forced whisper even at a distance of at least 5 ft.

Vision Requirements

  • The vision of both the eyes and each eye freely should be 20/40. To improve your vision, you can drive if you wear glasses or contacts.
  • An inaccessible visual sharpness of at any rate 20/40 (Snellen) in each eye without vision revision or visual keenness adjusted independently to 20/40 (Snellen) or more grounded with remedial focal points;
  • The remote binocular keenness of in any event 20/40 (Snellen) in the two eyes with or without restorative focal points;
  • A field of vision of at any rate 70 degrees in the level meridian of each eye;
  • Should have the option to recognize colors.
  • Ability to recognize the shades of traffic lights and gadgets showing customary red, green, and golden signs.

Blood Pressure Requirements

  • The most satisfactory extreme pulse is 160/100. However, you can use medications to meet this level.
  • Blood sugar should not be higher than 200.
  • Applicants having diabetes controlled by an appropriate eating regimen and drugs are permitted. However, if you take insulin injections to control diabetes, you are not eligible to drive.
  • Step 1 hypertension: circulatory strain between 140/90-159/99: 1-year clinical authentication should be restored like clockwork.
  • Step 2 hypertension: circulatory strain between 160/100-179/109: 3 months clinical capability. If not exposed to the guideline, outright preclusion is following three months, except if directed. It will be expected to supplant at regular intervals.
  • Step 3 hypertension, circulatory strain at or over 180/110: moment exclusion, a half-year confirmation until the pulse is leveled out. You ought to reestablish it at regular intervals.

Urinalysis Testing

  • You are not allowed to utilize such medications or alcohol.
  • All applicants applying to get a Tennessee CDL will be required to submit to and breeze through a pee drug assessment. The endorsement of CDL must be made dependent upon the medication test’s death.

Physical Impairments

  • Commercial drivers with any actual inability (which weakens their capacity to work CMVs securely) are required to get a difference from Tennessee state to be allowed to drive. The record should be carried with the driver while utilizing a car.

About the Skill Performance Evaluation (S.P.E.) Program

  • The Skill Performance Evaluation program is for drivers with any sort of inability to work CMVs across the state lines.
  • Drivers outfitted with or wearing any prosthetic gadget are eligible for this program. If you finish the assessment, you will be granted an S.P.E. endorsement.

Implied Consent to Alcohol Testing

  • Any driver applying for a CDL should submit to Alcohol testing as needed by Tennessee law and ward.

Prescription Drugs

  • You are permitted to utilize endorsed drugs.

What Documents Do I Need to Bring When I Apply for a CDL?

  • Valid D.O.T. Medical Card. Representatives of the public authority area should have a real and current D.O.T. medical card.
  • Proof of your Social Security Number.
  • Tennessee ID or driver’s license. A substantial I.D. or, on the other hand, driver’s permit, if from another state.
  • Tennessee Domicile confirmation. CDL or license applicants should give two duplicates of Domicile.
  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship or Status of Lawful Permanent Residency.

What Proof of U.S. Citizenship Documents Are Authorized?

  • U.S. Visa, which is legitimate and not lapsed.
  • U.S. Branch of State gave Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA)
  • The Department of Homeland Security gave Citizenship Certificate.
  • The Department of Homeland Security gave Naturalization Certificate.
  • A certified birth certificate is documented with the State Office of Vital Statistics or comparable organization in the state of birth of the individual, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

What Proof of Lawful Permanent Resident Document Is Authorized?

  • USCIS OR INS issues Permanent, valid, and current Resident Card.

What Do I Need to Bring for Domicile?

  • You should remember your Tennessee private location for every one of your reports.
  • Current Utility bills including electric, gas, water, landline, phone, link, and so forth
  • T.N. vehicle title showing T.N. address.
  • Registration archives of the vehicle dated over the most recent year.
  • Current documented government form – not the booklet.
  • Copy of the rent understanding or agreement with legally approved marks OR with a marked letterhead of the realtor checking the rent’s legitimacy.
  • Military L.E.S. papers posting Tennessee as a personal address.
  • Voter enrollment card.

Try NOT to bring:

  1. Cell telephone bills
  2. Credit Card bills
  3. Bank proclamations
  4. Employer letters
  5. Deposit Receipt
  6. Utility Connection Receipt

Proof of Relationship

Specialists can issue a habitation by verifying relationships with a parent, partner, youngster, kin, or grandparent(s).

  • A CDL applicant’s life partner, parent, youngster, kin, or grandparent needing to utilize a relative’s address or residence should have a substantial Tennessee ID or driver’s license.
  • CDL applicants utilizing records for the sake of any relationship should give the accompanying subtleties:
    • Spouse = Marriage Certificate
    • Parent = Birth Certificate
    • Child = Birth Certificate
    • Sibling = both the applicant’s and kin’s introduction to the world declarations.
    • Grandparents = birth certificate of the applicants and their folks’ birth certificate. (To show that the grandparents are the mother and father of the candidate’s mom and father)
  • The applicant will be qualified for submitting two things with a Tennessee home address from the rundown of legitimate habitation records in the close relative’s name. The relative must be available at the hour of utilization.

Fees for Getting Your CDL in Tennessee

Licensing costs differ depending on the type of license you are applying for. Since January 2016, licenses are to be renewed every 8th year from the date of issue.

License Class Cost Standard License Period License Cost Application Fee Total Cost
Commercial Driver License (CDL)
Class A $8.00/year 8 Years $64.00 $6.00 $70.00
Class B or C $7.00/year 8 Years $56.00 $6.00 $62.00
PA-Class A Learner Permit $8.00/year 1 Year $8.00 $6.00 $14.00
PB or P.C.- Class B or C Learner Permit $7.00/year 1 Year $7.00 $6.00 $13.00
AM- Class A + Motorcycle $8.00/year+$3.25/year 8 Years $90.00 $7.00 $97.00
BM/CM-Class B or C & Motorcycle $7.00/year+$3.25/year 5 Years $82.00 $7.00 $89.00
1st Duplicate $6.00 Until License Expires $6.00 $6.00 $12.00
2nd or Subsequent Duplicate $10.00 Until License Expires $10.00 $6.00 $16.00
Commercial Driver License (CDL) Endorsements
Tanker Endorsement $2.50/Endorsement Until License Expires $2.50 $6.00 $8.50
School Bus Endorsement $20.00/Endorsement Until License Expires $20.00 $6.00 $26.00
Passenger Endorsement $2.50/Endorsement Until License Expires $2.50 $6.00 $8.50
Hazardous Material Endorsement $2.50/Endorsement Until License Expires $2.50 $6.00 $8.50
Double & Triple Trailer Endorsement $2.50/Endorsement Until License Expires $2.50 $6.00 $8.50

Testing for Your Tennessee CDL

Knowledge Test – Applicants should clear the knowledge test first to get the CDL Permit. This requires general knowledge and any endorsements identified with your CDL.

Skill Test – After the knowledge test clears effectively, the applicant is required to take the street test, which comprises of three sections:

  • Pre – Tip Examination – includes the stroll around of the vehicle and permits the driver to call attention to and clarify the segments.
  • Basic Vehicle Control – this test incorporates straight line backing, counterbalance right or left support, and rear entryway dock backing.
  • Road Test – this test is led in the city and shows their skills in an ordinary rush hour gridlock circumstance.

Knowledge and Skills Test Requirements for Getting a CDL in Tennessee

Knowledge Test

  1. Every essential Knowledge Test covers 20 general regions laid out in 49 CFR 383.111. (a).
  2. The data test will incorporate around 30 items.
  3. The separate test for drivers trying to work CMVs with air-powered brakes in Tennessee should cover the seven zones determined in 49 CFR 383.111. (b).
  4. Applicants should reply at any rate 80% of the inquiries effectively while taking the Knowledge Test.

Skill Test

  1. To breeze through the Tennessee CDL Skill test, applicants should effectively play out all the necessary skills recorded in 49 CFR 383.113 till CFR 383.123.
  2. You should complete the skill test in an auto addressing the sort of car driver plans to work.
  3. Restrictions are put on Tennessee CDL when the driver takes the Skill Test in an auto that needs fundamental hardware present in explicit kinds of CMVs.
  4. Drivers should take the Skills Test in a similar vehicle type for which they are seeking after a CDL to work to maintain a strategic distance from any sort of limitation.

Tennessee’s state is to concede CDLs to those commercial drivers who breeze through the knowledge and assessment test required by the Federal Standards. The car where you step through the exam should likewise apply to the vehicle type that the driver means to work.

In the case of working in Tennessee, drivers should get and keep a CDL if they work highway, intrastate, or global exchange and on the off chance that they drive a vehicle that fulfills at least one of the CMV characterizations.

How Do I Obtain a CDL Learner’s Permit?

You should finish the CDL general knowledge test to get your grant. Full–Driver Service Centers offer the CDL General Knowledge test.

Which Tests Are Required When Adding an Endorsement to a CDL?

According to the federal regulations 383.93 (c) following tests are required for endorsements:

(c)(1) – Double/Triple Trailers – Knowledge Test

(c)(2) – Passenger – Knowledge and Skill Test

(c)(3) – Tank Vehicle – Knowledge Test

(c)(4) – Hazardous Materials – Knowledge Test

(c)(5) – School Bus – Knowledge and Skill Test

Where Can I Take a CDL Knowledge Test?

Full–Driver Service Centers in Tennessee provide the facility of CDL tests.

How Can I Schedule a CDL Skills Test?

  1. At a Driver Services Center: CDL ability tests can be taken for each driver at the Commercial Driver License Road Skill in each state by calling 615-502-4179 between 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. C.S.T Monday – Friday.
  2. At a Certified CDL Third Party Program Participant: Testing should be booked through the ensured CDL Third Part Program member utilizing the confirmed CDL list’s data. CDL abilities evaluations led by licensed CDL Third Party Program members can require extra expenses or abilities testing costs.

Military Skills Test Waiver Program

Tennessee has the power to supplant two years of involvement with the protected activity of trucks or transports comparable to regular citizen commercial vehicles with the skill test part of the Tennessee Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) test. U.S.— Military drivers should apply inside one year of leaving a military occupation, including the utilization of a commercial vehicle.

Since February 2017, over 19,000 current and previous military have exploited the Skill Test Waiver, making them qualified for the business. Government Motor Carrier Safety Regulation 49 CFR 383.77 requires the candidates to ensure SDLA as follows:

  • Except for a U.S. Military driver’s permit, the applicant should not have more than one license. His/her protected driving experience.
  • There is no infringement for precluding CDL offenses referenced somewhere else in the Regulations in any vehicle type.
  • Their Tennessee driver’s license should never have been suspended, repudiated, or dropped.

Who Is Required to Hold a Tennessee CDL?

You will need a C.D.R. to run any of the following automobiles:

  • A passenger vehicle carrying 16 people or more, including the driver, must hold the CDL.
  • A single automobile with a GVWR over 26,000 LBS must carry the CDL.
  • Any size vehicle that requires hazardous material placards or carrying any agent or toxin in 42 C.F.R. Part 73 must have the CDL.
  • Combining automobiles with a GVWR over 26,000 LBS, towing a unit over 10,000 LBS GVWR must carry the CDL.

Who Is Exempt from Getting a Tennessee CDL?

FMCSA guidelines indicate that military staff with comparable well-being driving experience are excluded from getting CDLs. States are permitted at their watchfulness to accommodate an exception for the accompanying:

Tennessee Military Operators

The province of Tennessee should reject the guidelines of CDL drivers’ people who work vehicles for military purposes. This incorporates dynamic military, stores, and individuals from the National Guard. This doesn’t have any significant bearing on U.S. Hold experts.

Administration individuals who have been a business in the previous year in a military job, requiring a military engine’s activity identical to a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) and who wish to drive a CMV in regular citizen life can apply for a Skills Test Waiver to get their CDL.

Tennessee Farm Equipment Operators

Covering genuine homestead to advertise assignments, not private addition transport. Drivers should be 21 years old or more. The haulers should have ranch plates. Ranch controlled and worked by the rancher or some other relative doesn’t need to convey a CDL.

Ranchers utilize a vehicle to move ranch items, gear, or supplies to or from a homestead utilized inside 150 air miles of the homestead. Transport utilized in a nursery or horticulture activity by the rancher doesn’t need to convey the CDL. Not utilized in the tasks of an agreement engine transporter.

Tennessee Firefighting Equipment Operators

The individuals who perform crisis legislative capacities, work CMV’s to safeguard life or property, and have signals that can be seen or heard, are not dependent upon standard traffic rules. This incorporates fire engines, police SWAT groups, froth or water transport trucks, ambulances, and other crisis vehicles.

Tennessee Recreational Operators

Authority may reject drivers utilizing Recreational Automobiles for their utilization from the CDL arrangements.

Tennessee Township or Government Workers Exemptions

Numerous states have various CDL exemptions that apply to individuals working in more modest towns or to state or nearby government laborers as a rule. You should check with your state guidelines.

Tennessee CDL Disqualifications

If a commercial driver convicts specific kinds of moving infringement in a private car, at that point as indicated by FMCSA 1999, the CDL holder is excluded. If there is an off chance that your CDL is suspended, dropped, excluded, or denied, at that point, you aren’t allowed to drive.

Disqualification for Major Offenses

The driver works a CMV with a blood alcohol fixation at 0.4 or above.

  • The driver works an engine with a blood alcohol focus at 0.4 or above.
  • Refusing to take an alcohol test is an offense.
  • Leaving a mishap scene.
  • Causing a casualty through the careless acts of a CMV.
  • Using a car to submit a lawful offense.
  • In case of operating a CMV while your permit is disavowed, suspended, or dropped.

Assume a driver convicts a significant offense through the private vehicle. All things considered, the driver’s permit will be excluded for one year for the primary offense or three years if he/she is conveying any dangerous material.

If you indict a second significant offense, at that point, CDL will be excluded.

CDL Driver Disqualification for Serious Traffic Violations

  • Excessive speeding – 15 mph or over the breaking point
  • Improper or capricious path evolving.
  • Violating state or nearby guidelines identifying with engine traffic lights emerging in any sort of mishap.
  • Following another automobile intently.
  • Driving a CMV without a legitimate CDL.
  • Driving a CMV without the appropriate class of CDL or supports.
  • Driving a CMV without the CDL in driver’s ownership.
  • Texting while at the same time working a CMV.
  • Misrepresentation of personality.
  • Obtaining a CDL deceitfully.

If the driver convicts any two of the Serious Traffic Violations in a CMV within three years, the driver’s CMV is precluded for 60 days. Yet, if he censures more infringement inside three years, at that point for 120 days. The CDL is precluded whenever sentenced for a Serious Traffic Violation in a private traveler engine.

CDL Driver Disqualification for Railroad-highway Grade Crossing Offenses

Incorporates infringement of federal, state, or neighborhood laws or guidelines:

  • For drivers who should stop and don’t before arriving at the intersection because the tracks are not satisfactory;
  • For drivers who don’t have adequate space to drive at last roll over the intersection ceaselessly.

Whenever indicted for any Railroad – Highway Grade Crossing Violation in a CMV, your CDL is excluded for 60 days. If there is an off chance that it is indicted more than once, at that point, you will be banned for 120 days. For the third offense, your CDL is precluded.

CDL Driver Disqualification for Violations of Out-of-service Orders

If the driver convicts an Out – Of – Order Service Order, their CDL will be excluded for 90 days and close to 12 months for the principal offense. If sentencing an infringement while conveying any hazardous material, your CDL is disqualified for no under 180 days and close to two years for the primary offense. Your CDL is excluded if, inside ten years, you convict an infringement while conveying dangerous material.

Assume the state chooses, in its confirmation of the status of a permit and record before the issuance of a CDL, or whenever after the issuance of a CDL, that the candidate has adulterated the data contained in subpart J of 383.73, or any of the certificates needed by 383.71(b) or (g), or in any of the documentation should have been put together by 383.71(h). All things considered, the state will, at any rate, exclude the CDL of the person for at any rate 60 days.

Commercial Driver License Manual


You can find detailed information about CDL Manual here.


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Is a Temporary CDL Authorized?

No, a Temporary Commercial Driver’s License is not available to cover any type of commercial motor.