In Oregon, all drivers who operate commercial vehicles on highways or public premises are required to attain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) from the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). If the vehicle has a weight rating is higher than 26,000 pounds, is used for transporting hazardous materials, pulls a trailer more than 10,000 pounds, or is designed to carry 16 passengers or more, it is considered a commercial vehicle by law. Obtaining a CDL license in Oregon is a complex process, so be sure to read the following step-by-step guide to maximize your success.
Oregon CDL License Requirements
The qualifications that are necessary to obtain a CDL in Oregon are highly dependent on the type of commercial driving you intend to do and the type of vehicle. Before applying, make sure that you fulfill all of the license requirements to the letter. Applicants must be qualified for or possess a regular non-commercial Class C driver’s license, and have at least one year of driving experience at this level. Applicant may not have been suspended or disqualified as a commercial drive in Oregon or any other state. Commercial drivers must be at least 18 years of age for intrastate travel, or 21 years of age for interstate travel. With the application, drivers must be able to present legal proof of full name, United States citizenship, Social Security number, and resident address in Oregon.
Since overall public safety is the highest priority, drivers applying for the license are required to demonstrate that they are medically and mentally fit for operating the large vehicles. You will need to undergo a comprehensive physical examination and obtain a valid medical certificate that proves you meet Oregon medical standards. In addition, drivers that are seeking the Hazmat endorsement to transport hazardous materials must submit to a background check and be fingerprinted. The costs will include $38 for fingerprints, $34 for TSA background check, and $17.25 for check by the FBI.
Oregon CDL License Training
The best first step for training is to stop by one of the Oregon DMV offices in your area to pick up a copy of the Oregon Commercial Drivers’ License Manual, or access the manual online. Read and study the manual from cover to cover to prepare for the CDL written knowledge test. When applicable, make sure you study the additional sections about endorsements, especially if you will be driving a school bus or hauling hazardous materials. Since no appointment is needed, take the CDL knowledge test at your local full-service Oregon DMV when you feel ready. If you get more than 80 percent of the questions on all knowledge and endorsement tests correct, you will be issued an Oregon CDL license permit that is valid for one year to start practicing.
While there is no state or federal standard that mandates commercial drivers receive a minimum amount of on-the-road training, it is highly recommended that you join a training program to improve your chances of passing the challenging skills road test. To find a truck driving school, search through the lists provided by the Professional Truck Driver Institute online. Other drivers can also find training courses at their place of employment, driving schools, community colleges, and vocational schools throughout the state.
Oregon CDL License Process
After adequate training, schedule a skills road test with the Oregon DMV or through one of the accepted third-party testers. An advantage to using a third-party testing service is that they may provide a vehicle for testing, but otherwise you will need to bring your own vehicle that fits the standards for the test being taken. Under the close eye of the examiner, you will go through three sections of the road test, which are the pre-trip inspection, the basic driving skills test on a closed course, and the on-the-road driving test.
If you pass, the examiner will provide you with a certificate that needs to be taken to a local Oregon DMV office to receive your CDL license. At that time, you will need to pay the fees associated with the license. The Oregon CDL license cost is $70, combined with the Certificate of Test Completion at $40 and the driving test for $70. Although there are many fees, the CDL license will remain valid for eight years.