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PA CDL  School Bus

PENNSYLVANIA COMMERCIAL DRIVER'S LICENSE (CDL) FACT SHEET

WHO MUST HAVE A PENNSYLVANIA COMMERCIAL DRIVER'S LICENSE (CDL)?
Anyone who drives a commercial motor vehicle. The definition of a commercial motor vehicle is:
  • a combination of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds, provided the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds;
  • a single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 or more pounds;
  • a vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver;
  • a school bus; or
  • any vehicle that is transporting hazardous materials and is required to be placarded in accordance with State and Federal regulations.
Commercial motor vehicles do not include:
  • implements of husbandry;
  • any motor home or recreational trailer operated solely for personal use; or
  • motorized construction equipment, including, but not limited to, motorscrapers, backhoes, motorgraders, compactors, excavators, tractors, trenchers and bulldozers

WHO MUST SUBMIT A SELF-CERTIFICATION FORM?
Every driver who currently has a commercial driver's license, as well as every driver applying for a commercial learner's permit, must self-certify the type of driving in which they operate or expect to operate in i.e., Non-excepted Interstate; Non-excepted Intrastate; Excepted Interstate; or Excepted Intrastate. The self-certification process will identify commercial drivers that operate in Non-excepted transportation, therefore identifying which drivers are required to submit a copy of their valid Medical Examiner's Certificate to PennDOT.

ARE THERE ANY EXEMPTIONS FROM THE PENNSYLVANIA CDL PROGRAM?
Yes, the following persons are not required to obtain a Pennsylvania CDL in order to drive a specified commercial motor vehicle:
  • a firefighter who has a certificate of authorization from his fire chief while operating fire or emergency vehicles registered to the fire department;
  • a driver of a farm vehicle which is controlled and operated by a farmer and used exclusively to transport agricultural products, farm machinery, or farm supplies to or from a farm owned or operated by the owner of the farm vehicle. The farm vehicle may not be used in common or contract carriage and may be used only within 150 miles of the farm;
  • active duty military personnel, personnel on full-time National Guard duty, personnel on inactive National Guard duty training or part-time National Guard training and National Guard military technicians who are required to wear military uniforms while operating equipment owned or operated by the Department of Defense.

WHAT ARE THE CLASSES OF PENNSYLVANIA COMMERCIAL DRIVER LICENSES?
In accordance with the licensing requirements of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act, the license classifications are:
  • CLASS A - combination vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more, provided the gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • CLASS B - single vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds
  • CLASS C - single vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 26,001 pounds if the vehicle is: transporting hazardous materials requiring placarding; is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or, is a school bus.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIRED PENNSYLVANIA ENDORSEMENTS?
The operation of certain vehicles also require the drivers to possess commercial endorsements in addition to possessing the proper class of license.
  • endorsement H authorizes the driver to operate a vehicle transporting hazardous materials requiring placarding
  • endorsement N authorizes the driver to operate tank vehicles
  • endorsement X hazardous materials and tank vehicle (H,N)
  • endorsement P authorizes the driver to operate vehicles carrying passengers
  • endorsement S authorizes the driver to operate a school bus (a School Bus endorsement card will be issued annually)
  • endorsement T authorizes the driving of double and triple trailers
  • restriction L restricts the driver to vehicles NOT equipped with air brakes
  • restriction B restricts the driver from a class A bus
  • restriction C restricts the driver from a class A or B bus

WHAT TESTS DO I NEED TO TAKE?
You will need to pass the 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 Pennsylvania CDL applicants. The information needed to pass these tests is contained in the Pennsylvania CDL driver's manual. This manual is available free of charge at any PennDOT Driver's License Exam Center or on PennDOT's website. Please read and study the Pennsylvania CDL manual carefully.
  • Class A - 70 Questions (50 GK + 20 Combination Vehicles) - Skills test required.
  • Class B - 50 Questions - Skills test required.
  • Class C - 50 Questions - Skills test required.
  • Passenger Endorsement - 20 questions - Skills test required in bus.
  • School Bus Endorsement - 25 questions - Skills test required in school bus.
  • Doubles/Triples Endorsement - 20 questions - No additional skills tests.
  • Tank Vehicle Endorsement - 20 questions - No additional skills tests.
  • Hazardous Materials Endorsement - 30 questions - No additional skills tests.
  • Air Brake Restriction Removal - 25 questions - Additional skills test in vehicle with Air Brakes.

Certain Oral and Spanish tests are available (by appointment only)

After obtaining knowledge test authorization(s) and passing the required knowledge test(s) , you will also need to take a skills testin the class and type of vehicle you intend to drive. The skills test includes a pre-trip inspection, and off- the-road maneuver, and vehicle parking exercise. Once again, a more detailed description of this test can be found in the Pennsylvania CDL Driver's Manual.

Skills testing cannot be taken until 15 days after the class A, B, or C knowledge testing is passed and a permit is issued. However, you may call the number below to schedule skills testing immediately after passing a knowledge test or schedule on-line.

For more information, call the PennDOT CDL Unit at: 1-800-932-4600

Pennsylvania CDL Written Knowledge Tests
You will need to pass the Pennsylvania 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 Pennsylvania CDL Handbook. Please read and study this manual carefully.
  • Class A - 70 Questions (50 GK + 20 Combination Vehicles) - Skills test required.
  • Class B - 50 Questions - Skills test required.
  • Class C - 50 Questions - Skills test required for bus, school bus and air brakes vehicles..
  • Passenger Endorsement - 20 questions - Skills test required in bus.
  • School Bus Endorsement - 25 questions - Skills test required in school bus.
  • Doubles/Triples Endorsement - 20 questions - No additional skills tests.
  • Tank Vehicle Endorsement - 20 questions - No additional skills tests.
  • Hazardous Materials Endorsement - 30 questions - No additional skills tests.
  • Air Brake Restriction Removal - 25 questions - Additional skills test in vehicle with Air Brakes.

Classes of Pennsylvania 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

Pennsylvania 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

Quickly access the most complete and accurate Official Pennsylvania CDL Information

Pennsylvania CDL Manual, CDL Pennsylvania Handbook
Pennsylvania CDL Requirements

Access Official Federal CDL General Information

Access Official Federal CDL Medical Requirements Info

Access Official Federal CDL Hazardous Materials Info

Click on the items above to find answers to your Pennsylvania CDL questions

  • What is a Commercial Drivers License (CDL)?
  • How to get a Pennsylvania CDL (Commercial Driver's License)
  • How old do you have to be to get a Pennsylvania CDL (Commercial Driver's License)
  • How to get a Pennsylvania CDL HazMat (Hazardous Materials Endorsement) Permit
  • What is the difference between Interstate and Intrastate?
  • How to get a free Pennsylvania CDL Study Guide
  • How to get a Pennsylvania School Bus CDL
  • How much does a Pennsylvania CDL cost?
  • Where is my nearest Pennsylvania DMV CDL office located?
  • Where can I find Pennsylvania CDL (commercial drivers license) forms?
  • What are the Pennsylvania CDL Medical Requirements?

. . . and answers to many more Pennsylvania CDL questions!

Are YOU ready to get YOUR Pennsylvania CDL?
Prepare for YOUR Pennsylvania CDL Tests NOW . . .

Pennsylvania CDL Class A, B, C plus Endorsements Selector Tool
If you need help . . .
determining what Class of CDL you need based upon the type of vehicle you will drive (A, B or C) or are not sure which CDL Endorsements you need based upon the type of loads you will carry use the free CDL Selector Tool . . .
Pennsylvania
Go to CDL Selector Tool
(Use only for a new CDL)
Not sure which PA CDL Tests you need to pass? Use this tool to determine what Class of CDL and which CDL Endorsements you require.
 Pennsylvania CDL License
In addition to the Pennsylvania CDL (commercial driver's license) information found in our website covering the Pennsylvania CDL and in the free Pennsylvania CDL Handbook (which is quite boring and a bit confusing - and doesn't have a single multiple-choice question in it that is asked on the actual tests), the complete online Pennsylvania CDL Practice Test prep program will prepare you to easily pass your Pennsylvania CDL written exams to get your Pennsylvania CDL permit. The skills test modules are invaluable to give you a head start before doing your behind the wheel work, possibly saving you a lot of money. The Pennsylvania CDL test prep program includes the following features . . .
  • Covers ALL Eight Pennsylvania CDL written tests.
    • In separate study modules - you won't need all of them - don't waste time on what you don't require.
  • Covers ALL Three Pennsylvania CDL skills tests.
    • In separate study modules - you won't need all of them - don't waste time on what you don't require.
  • 670 practice Pennsylvania CDL test questions with actual answers.
  • Access to CDL videos covering written and skills tests.
  • CDL study guide in both text and audio - listen as you read along.
  • CDL study Quick Reviews.
  • Interactive online CDL Quizzes.
  • and much more!
May your new CAREER be prosperous!!!

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Michael Hamilton
Director