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Commercial Learner's Permit Information

If you want to learn to drive commercial motor vehicles, you must get a commercial learner's permit (CLP). To obtain a commercial learner's permit, you must pass the CDL general knowledge exam and the other knowledge exams for the vehicles that you want to drive.

For example, if you want to learn to operate a tank vehicle and a passenger bus, you must take the general knowledge exam, the tank vehicle exam and the passenger vehicle exam. If you intend to drive a vehicle equipped with air brakes, you must take the air brakes exam. If you want to learn to drive a school bus, you must take the general knowledge, school bus and passenger vehicle exams.

The commercial learner's permit allows you to drive a commercial vehicle of the class and type shown on the permit only when a person licensed to drive the same type of vehicle is with you. When applying for a commercial learner's permit, you must certify on the application that you are or are not required to comply with federal or state regulations.

To obtain a Virginia CDL, you must hold the commercial learner's permit for a minimum of 30 days or show proof that you previously held a CDL or that you have completed an approved Virginia CDL driver education course.

Out-of-State Commercial Learner's Permits

An out of state commercial learner's permit may not be exchanged for a Virginia commercial learner's permit without testing. However, drivers will be given credit towards the 30-day CLP holding period for the time they held their out of state commercial learner's permit. The holding period requirement must be met before the applicant is allowed to take the skills exams. To obtain a commercial learner's permit, you must pass the CDL general knowledge exam and the other knowledge exams for the vehicles that you want to drive.

Additional Information