A CDL, which is also known as a commercial driver’s license, is required for any driver in the state of Alabama who wishes to operate a large vehicle for commercial or noncommercial reasons. If you are interested in obtaining your Alabama CDL license, you must follow the rules established by the Alabama Department of Motor Vehicles.
Who needs a CDL License:
The Alabama CDL manual states any driver who operates a vehicle weighing at least 26,001 pounds must have a CDL license. You must also have a state-issued CDL if you are carrying more than 16 passengers at one time or if you are transporting hazardous materials in a vehicle of any size. Take note, if you must transport hazardous materials, you will be subjected to a FBI background check to be awarded the hazardous materials endorsement (Class H) for your CDL.
Before an official CDL is awarded, applicants must first apply for a CDL instruction permit. This permit is required in order to qualify for the actual CDL. To obtain an Alabama CDL instruction permit visit your local DMV office, fill out the CDL instruction permit application and provide proof of your US residency. Pay the permit fee, and pass the general knowledge test. There are several types of general knowledge tests. These include: Combination Vehicle Test, for drivers of combination vehicles; Air Brakes Test for drivers that have air brakes/air-over hydraulic brakes; Passenger Transport Test for any type of bus driver, the Hazardous Materials Test for those who transport hazardous waste, and finally the General Knowledge Test, which is taken by all CDL instruction permit applicants. Applicants for the CDL Instruction Permit must also pass a vision examination.
Medical Exam for CDL:
All CDL applicants must provide the Alabama DMV office with a Medical Examiner’s Certificate, which is a personal profile outlining any past or current medical conditions that may affect the quality of work of the driver. This examination report is available from any DMV office, and your personal physician can review the report and sign off on it.
Steps to obtain Alabama CDL License:
After you have taken the necessary examinations to get your CDL Instruction Permit, you will need to pass the road test, which must be scheduled at a designated CDL testing facility. The Alabama CDL Manual features a list of all third-party testing centers throughout the state. After you have passed the skills test, you will then need to pay the necessary Alabama CDL fees. As of 2010, a Class-A CDL fee is $53, a Class-B CDL is $43 and a Class-C CDL fee is $23. A Alabama CDL is valid for four years, which after this time has passed you must file for a Alabama CDL renewal.
Alabama Department of Motor Vehicles: Alabama Commercial Driver License Manual
Alabama Department of Public Safety: Driver License Division