How to Get a Montana CDL License

When applying for a Montana CDL license its advisable to review the Montana Commercial Driver License Manual to become familiar with the State’s rules and regulations.

CDL License Requirements
Naturally, before applying for the license you should be able to meet with some minimum requirements.

• You must be at least 21 years old. While you can apply for licensing at age 18, there are a number of restrictions.
• You must have a DOT medical examiner’s card. This is from the Department of Transportation.
• You must have a valid Montana driver license.
• You must a social security card and proof of US citizenship or legal authorization to be in the USA.

Upon applying you will be asked to provide these documents.

However, besides providing the necessary documents, you will also have to meet the following requirements:

• Your driving record must be clean.
• You must be physically fit and be able to pass a physical exam every two years.
• You must be familiar with English, speaking it well enough to read road signs, write an accident report, and talk to law enforcement officials.

CDL License Process
The licensing process consists of passing three tests.

• You must pass a written test to show that you understand the rules and regulations related to driving in Montana.
• You must pass a driving test to show that you can operate a commercial vehicle.
• You must pass a visual test to show that you are able to clearly see the road ahead and read road signs.

CDL License Training
If you are not sure if you can pass the knowledge or skills tests, you should get Montana CDL license training before applying for the licensing process.

CDL License Cost
The Montana cdl license cost will vary depending on several factors:

• Your age.
• If you are an interstate driver
• If you are an intrastate driver
• How long your current license is valid

Generally speaking, fees will range between $9 and $53. The age range for licensing is generally 21-70, and the license may be valid for as long as 5 years. If outside this age range, then restrictions may apply and your license may only be valid for a year.

CDL Classifications
There are two types of classifications. Type 1 Certification, permits interstate commerce. Type 2 Certification permits intrastate commerce.

Making an Appointment
You have to schedule an appointment for the driving test, but do not need an appointment to take the written exams. Contact the Commercial Driver Licensing office to schedule an appointment for the driving test. Their telephone number is (406) 444-3244. Not all exam stations test for Class A, B, and C licensing and some need you to pay for the test at the county treasurer—so inquire about their requirements before scheduling for the driving test. Incidentally, the license classes are defined by the types of vehicles and the gross vehicle weight rating (GWVR). So Class A is for a combination of vehicles with GWVR of 26,001 or more pounds, Class B is for a single vehicle with GWVR of 26,001 or more pounds, and Class C is for a single vehicle or combination of vehicles with GWVR of 26,001 or more pounds. Class C basically covers what may not be covered in Class A or B; for instance, a bus that will transport more than 16 people or a truck that carries hazardous materials.

The Skills Test
Your driving test will consist of three sections. The first is a pre-trip vehicle inspection; the second is a basic vehicle control test, and the third is an on the road test.

The Knowledge Exam
While the General Knowledge test applies to everyone, other written tests will depend on the vehicle you plan to operate. You can, for example, may have to take tests for air brakes, combination vehicles, Hazardous Materials, double or triple trailers, tank vehicles, or passenger transport.

The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act
Enacted in 1986, this Act was designed to improve safety conditions on the road through stricter licensing requirements. In the past, drivers could have multiple licenses and hide their driving records. Now a single license and a nationwide database prevent this from happening.

Here, then, are the two main points that will affect your license:

• You can either have a regular license or a commercial license. You cannot have two licenses.
• You can only have a license from your state of residence. You cannot have licenses from different states.

Using the following guidelines, you will be able to obtain the right to drive a commercial vehicle in Montana. Usually, the main reason people fail to pass the knowledge and skills tests is not getting proper training before applying for a license.