In response to COVID-19, the Iowa DOT has implemented changes for CDL holders. Details about those changes can be found on our Public Response page.
Get information about your options for receiving motor vehicle services
Restricted CDLs issued to eligible suppliers or employees of suppliers of agricultural chemicals, fertilizer, seed or animal feeds can be obtained remotely during this emergency period. If you are in need of a restricted CDL please contact our CDL Program administrators at email@example.com.
Find more information on restricted CDLs.
Answer a few questions to find out if you need a Commercial Driver's License (CDL). View CDL Classification Guide.
Is the vehicle’s GCWR (weight of combined vehicles) 26,001 or more pounds?
Second, you have to obtain a CLP. You will be issued a CLP after you pass the applicable knowledge tests, and you will have to hold the CLP for at least 14 days before you can go to the third step (skills testing) and get your full CDL.
The purpose of a CLP is to allow accompanied behind-the-wheel training in a type and class of Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) that your current license (commercial or noncommercial) is not valid to operate. With a CLP you can:
The same rules that apply to CDL drivers also apply to CLP drivers. Certain violations could result in the disqualification of the driver’s commercial operating privileges.
More information about violations and disqualification can be found in the CDL manual, available at any driver’s license issuance site or by visiting: https://iowadot.gov/pubs/CDL-manual.pdf.
After you’ve held the CLP for at least 14 days, the next step is to pass the required skills and driving test.
There are three phases of the skills test.
You must provide a vehicle that is in good working order and is representative of the class of license you are applying for.
1. Pre-trip vehicle inspection test.
A pre-trip vehicle inspection test is required to show the vehicle is safe to drive. You will have to walk around the vehicle and point to or touch each item and explain to the license examiner what you are checking and why.
View the pre-trip inspection memory aid you can use during the test
2. Skills test (maneuvers around cones and backing maneuvers).
See section 12 in the Commercial Driver License manual for a description of the skills test exercises and scoring.
3. Driving test (on public roads with examiner).
After you have passed the required skills (driving) test, you can obtain your CDL at any driver’s license issuance location. The cost is $8/year plus applicable endorsement fees.
The Iowa CDL test app has everything you need to pass your Iowa Commercial Drivers License (CDL) test the first time! With over 600 exam-like questions, lifetime access to the complete CDL Manual, and dozens of test-taking strategies, the Iowa CDL test app helps you get the score you need. Spanning every stage of a CDL professional's career, from pre-licensing and your initial license to driving combinations, hazardous materials, school buses, and more, the Iowa CDL test app offers a comprehensive review of critical material.
Review section 11 in the Commercial Driver License Manual to prepare for and successfully pass the pre-trip vehicle inspection test.