How to Get a Kansas CDL License

Obtaining a commercial driver’s or CDL license in Kansas can open doors to opportunities such as driving a commercial truck, bus or other transportation-related job. Commercial Driver’s license requirements are based on Federal guidelines. This makes sense because those who work in commercial transportation often drive across state lines.

The first step in obtaining a CDL in Kansas is to determine if you qualify. A person who is applying for a CDL must already have a driver’s license. He or she must meet age requirements—if the applicant plans to drive within the state of Kansas, he or she must be at 18 years old and if driving outside of the state the applicant must be 21 years old. There are some issues that keep individuals from being able to apply. Those with criminal records and those who have charges against their driving records need to read the guidelines carefully before seeking a CDL. Depending on the charges, first-time offenders may have to wait for 60 days or more for certain traffic violations; and one to three years after having committed other offenses before being eligible to apply for a CDL.

Those with records of major offenses and those who are repeat offenders will do best to find another line of work. Felonies like rape, murder, aggravated sexual abuse, fire arms violations, arson and illegal transport of hazardous materials permanently are among the offenses that disqualify individuals from obtaining a CDL. The Kansas Department of Revenue makes a commercial driver’s license manual available that outlines the various scenarios how various offenses will impact the ability to earn a CDL. The manual can be obtained at a local driver’s license office for $1.00 or it may be downloaded from the Kansas Department of Revenue website.

The state of Kansas will require a background check and a medical certification to determine if an applicant is healthy enough for the responsibilities and rigors of handling the duties required of commercial drivers. Taking the examination requires one to pay the Kansas CDL license cost. The Kansas CDL cost includes various fees. The fee for the CDL permit is $13.00 and the actual license fee is $18.00. There is a mandatory photo fee of $8.00 and the individual CDL endorsements are $10.00 per endorsement. Fees are subject to change.

CDL testing can only be done at full service driver’s license offices in the state of Kansas. The Kansas CDL manual contains information needed to prepare for the examination. Candidates who earn a satisfactory score on the written examination must also pass a driving test where they demonstrate vehicle handling skills as well as how to conduct a seven-step pre-trip inspection to determine if vehicle systems are safe and operational. CDL candidates learn how to handle vehicles in hazardous conditions such as inclement weather. The candidate must also demonstrate proficiency in steps for handling emergency situations such as mechanical breakdowns or accidents.

Driving certain types of vehicles or equipment will require some additional endorsements. For example, operating a vehicle with air brakes requires passing a written knowledge test on that type of braking system. There is also a hazardous material (hazmat) endorsement that requires the applicant to submit to a background check that includes fingerprinting and an investigation by the Transportation Security Administration.

Those who are apprehensive about pursuing a Kansas CDL license because they worry about passing the test can seek Kansas CDL license training from a qualified training provider. Kansas CDL training covers information that will enable the aspiring CDL candidate to pass the written test and the driving test.