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MI CDL License Info - MI CDL Test Info

Michigan CDL FAQs
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MI CDL License Test - FAQs

2015 Michigan CDL License and CDL Test INFO
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THE MICHIGAN CDL COURSE PACKAGE COVERS EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW TO PASS THE MICHIGAN CDL WRITTEN AND SKILLS TESTS FOR ALL CLASSES OF MICHIGAN CDL AND ALL AVAILABLE MICHIGAN CDL ENDORSEMENTS.
MICHIGAN CDL Information
Specific Michigan CDL Information

Who Needs a Michigan CDL?

Any Michigan resident who intends to operate the following commercial vehicles is required to have a commercial driver license: *Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is the recommended maximum total weight of the vehicle and load as designated by the vehicle manufacturer. The GVWR label is usually found on the driver side door post of the power unit and on the front left side of the trailer. The GVWR should not be confused with the elected gross vehicle weight (GVW) which is declared by the vehicle owner for registration purposes.

**Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) means the value specified by the manufacturer as the maximum loaded weight of a combination vehicle. In the absence of a label, the GCWR can be calculated by adding the GVWR of the power unit to the GVWR of the vehicle(s) or trailer(s) being towed.

Exemptions

The following people do not need a Michigan CDL:

Obtaining a Michigan CDL

When ready to apply for your first CDL, come to a local Michigan Secretary of State branch office to: You must take the skills tests through an approved third party tester. Third party testers are public and private agencies authorized by the state to conduct Michigan CDL skills tests. You should contact a tester well in advance of when you want to test. Once you have passed your Michigan CDL skills tests, you must return to the Secretary of State branch office to:

WHAT MICHIGAN CDL TESTS DO I NEED TO TAKE?

Michigan CDL Written Knowledge Tests
You will need to pass the Michigan Knowledge Tests that are required for the class of license, restriction, and endorsements you wish to possess. A general knowledge test for the Class A or Class B and C license must be successfully completed by all CDL applicants. The information needed to pass these tests is contained in the FREE Michigan CDL Handbook. Please read and study this manual carefully.

Michigan CDL Skills Tests
You will also need to pass a CDL skills test which includes three parts: All three tests are conducted during the same testing session, in the order listed above. Each test must be passed before continuing on to the next test. A failure of any one of the skills tests terminates testing. On subsequent attempts, you must start over from the beginning of the test (vehicle inspection test) regardless of which test you previously failed. You are allowed one attempt per day.

You must supply an empty vehicle with a GVWR representative of the type you plan to drive (including a trailer if required), with at least two permanently mounted seats. Safety belts are required for both the driver and examiner (except for the examiner on buses).

Applicants applying for the P-Passenger endorsement must pass skills tests in a bus-type vehicle with a seating capacity of 16 or more passengers, including the driver.

Applicants applying for the S-School bus endorsement must pass skills tests in a school bus-type vehicle with a seating capacity of 16 or more passengers, including the driver.

Michigan CDL (Commercial Driver's License) Fees:

Michigan CDL Written Knowledge Tests
You will need to pass the Michigan Knowledge Tests that are required for the class of license, restriction, and endorsements you wish to possess. A general knowledge test for the Class A or Class B and C license must be successfully completed by all CDL applicants. The information needed to pass these tests is contained in the FREE Michigan CDL Handbook. Please read and study this manual carefully.

Classes of Michigan CDL and Required Tests

CDL Class Tests Required Possible Endorsements and Required Tests
Class A
(Combination
vehicle endorsement required)

General Knowledge Written Exam

Combination Endorsement Written Exam

Road Exam

H - Hazardous Materials Written Exam
N - Tank Vehicles Written Exam
P - Passenger Transport Written and Road Exam
T - Doubles/Triples Written Exam
X - HazMat and Tank Vehicles Written Exam
L - Air Brakes Written and Road Exam
S - School Bus Written and Road Exam
Class B

General Knowledge Written Exam

Road Exam

H - Hazardous Materials Written Exam
N - Tank Vehicles Written Exam
P - Passenger Transport Written and Road Exam
X - HazMat and Tank Vehicles Written Exam
L - Air Brakes Written and Road Exam
S - School Bus Written and Road Exam
Class C

General Knowledge Written Exam

Road Exam

Note: If upgrading to a Class C from a Class D, no road test is required UNLESS the endorsement requires one.
H - Hazardous Materials Written Exam
N - Tank Vehicles Written Exam
P - Passenger Transport Written and Road Exam
X - HazMat and Tank Vehicles Written Exam
L - Air Brakes Written and Road Exam
S - School Bus Written and Road Exam

Michigan CDL Endorsements

Exam Time Allowed (Minutes) # of Questions on Exam # of Correct Answers Needed to Pass
General Knowledge 60 50 40
Air Brakes 25 25 20
HazMat 30 30 24
Tank 20 20 16
Passenger 20 20 16
Doubles/Triples 20 20 16
Combination Vehicles 20 20 16
School Bus 20 20 16

For the most complete and accurate official Michigan state CDL information, go to the Official Michigan CDL Website.

What is a CDL?
A "CDL" is a Commercial Drivers License. It meets certain minimum "standards" that are the same for every state. It differs from the Michigan "operator's" or "chauffeur's" licenses. It is required if you drive certain kinds of commercial trucks or buses.

What is the COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY ACT OF 1986 (CMVSA/86) administered by the FMCSA?
It is a law passed by the United States Congress which requires ALL the individual states to comply with certain standards in regards to the licensing of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. Michigan driver licensing standards comply with the law, requiring CMV drivers to obtain a Michigan Commercial Driver's License (CDL) when driving applicable trucks and buses. A CDL license can ONLY be issued in the driver's STATE OF LEGAL RESIDENCE, and if you have a CDL, you can have NO OTHER DRIVER'S LICENSE in ANY other state.

When do I need a Michigan CDL instead of my regular Michigan Drivers License?
A Michigan CDL is required if you operate any of the following CMV's . . .
1. A vehicle with a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 lbs.
2. A vehicle towing a unit with a manufacturer's GVWR of more than 10,000 lbs. when the GCWR exceeds 26,000 lbs.
3. A vehicle used to . . .(a.) carry 15 or more passengers (excluding the driver), or (b.) carry (15) or less people (including the driver) when carrying children to or from school and home regularly for compensation.
4. A vehicle carrying hazardous materials in amounts requiring placarding.

What are the eligibility requirements to obtain a Michigan CDL?
1. You must be 21 years old. (18 years if all commercial driving is done within Michigan and if no hazardous materials requiring placarding are transported and if you do not drive double or triple trailer rigs).
2. You must be physically capable (in accordance with the MCSR 49 CFR 391.41 Physical Qualifications for Drivers regulations) of obtaining a valid DOT medical examiner's card (before being issued a CDL permit or taking any CDL skills test).
3. You must otherwise qualify for the license based on your driving record. Any of the following will disqualify you from obtaining a Michigan CDL . . .
* If you possess a license from any state other than Michigan.
* If you are currently subject to any disqualification of your commercial driving privilege from Michigan or any other state.
* If your license is currently suspended, revoked, denied, or cancelled.
* If you have a conviction for operating a commercial motor vehicle while impaired in the 24 months immediately preceding application.
* other technical rules, and further restrictions that pertain only to Michigan are covered in detail within the Course.

How do I obtain a Michigan CDL?
1. Show your Michigan driver license.
2. You must take and pass all Michigan examinations that apply to your license class and endorsement requirements.
3. Show proof of social security number.
4. Meet Michigan driver record eligibility requirements as determined by the State.
5. Fill out an application including certifications.
6. Provide a DOT medical certificate and pass the required CDL knowledge and vision tests (BEFORE a CDL Temporary Instruction Permit will be issued).
7. Pay the Michigan CDL fees.
8. Schedule, take, and pass your Michigan CDL skills test.

A separate booklet is included in the Michigan CDL Course package which covers information such as fees, locations, contacts, procedures and other items specific to Michigan for the written and skills examinations for ALL classes of CDL and ALL available endorsements.

What is a CDL "Skills Test" and how do I take it?
A "skills" test is the practical portion of the exam and includes . . .
1. A vehicle inspection test to measure your ability to perform a vehicle safety check.
2. A basic control skills test.
3. A driving test.
The skills test is normally given at an approved third party testing site in your area. This can vary and the latest procedures are indicated in the Michigan CDL Course.

So let's say I get a Michigan CDL. Can I use it Out-of-State?
Yes! It is good throughout the entire United States.

Can my Michigan CDL be suspended or revoked?
Yes, there are MANY reasons that your Michigan CDL can be suspended or revoked. Improper use of alcohol or drugs, traffic violations, and failure to notify top the list. The Course details ALL of the rules regarding suspension or revocation. The point to remember is that alcohol or drug use is not tolerated and your record WILL FOLLOW YOU THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES FOREVER!!!

So let's say that my Michigan CDL is revoked. Can't I just apply for a CDL in another State?
No!!! Those days are gone.

Are there any exemptions to being required to have Michigan CDL?
Yes, a few . . .
1. Active Duty Military . . . with military licenses operating military vehicles.
2. Firefighters . . . meeting approved training standards and operating authorized emergency vehicles.
3. Farmers . . . in certain cases.
4. Individuals ....operating motor homes or other vehicles used exclusively to transport personal possessions or family members, for non business purposes.

What do the terms Class A, Class B, and Class C mean on my Michigan CDL?
It refers to the type of vehicle that you may operate . . .
CLASS A . . . allows you to operate vehicles which tow trailers or other vehicles with a GVWR over 10,000 pounds. A Class "A" license also allows you to operate Class B and C vehicles.
CLASS B . . . allows you to operate single vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs or more OR a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 lbs. or more, towing trailers/vehicles rated at 10,000 pounds GVWR or less. A Class "B" license also allows you to operate Class C vehicles.
CLASS C . . .allows you to operate vehicles under 26,001 lbs. GVWR, that would normally not require a CDL; except when they are designed to transport 16 or more persons including the driver; or that carry 15 or less people (including the driver) transporting children to or from school and home regularly for compensation, or carry hazardous materials in amounts requiring placarding. Applicable endorsements are required.

What are Endorsement Codes and when do I need them on my Michigan CDL?
Endorsements are necessary for certain commercial driving requirements as follows . . .
(T) DOUBLE or TRIPLE TRAILERS.
(P) PASSENGER. For vehicles which are designed to carry 16 or more people (including the driver); or those which carry 15 or less people (including the driver) transporting children to or from school and home regularly for compensation.
(N) TANK VEHICLES. For vehicles designed to haul liquids or liquefied gases in bulk in permanently mounted tanks or portable tanks rated at 1,000 gallons or more.
(H) HAZARDOUS MATERIALS. To carry hazardous materials in amounts requiring placards.
(X) Endorsement code designating a Tank (N) vehicle that carries Hazardous Materials (H).

I'm over 18 years old, but not 21 years old yet. Can I get a Michigan CDL license?
Yes . . . with restrictions. You are limited to INTRAstate driving of commercial vehicles (you cannot drive a commercial truck or bus out of Michigan). You cannot drive a vehicle requiring HAZ MAT placarding, cannot drive double or triple trailer rigs and cannot drive a School Bus with children on board until you turn 21 years of age.

We could go on and on with FAQs but I hope this covers most of your GENERAL questions. Please be assured that the Course answers EVERYTHING that you need to know to obtain ANY or ALL of the available CDL licenses and endorsements in an easy to understand manner. The material is presented in three different ways to reinforce your retention. GOOD LUCK !!

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