How To Get A Commercial Driver License (CDL) In Nevada

If you want to be a school bus driver in the Silver State, then you need a Nevada commercial driver license (CDL). If you want to drive a stretch limo for a living, then you need a Nevada CDL. If you want to be a Nevada truck driver, then you need a CDL. Are you sensing a pattern?

Lording over the road in a big rig, delivery truck or any other commercial vehicle requires another level of licensure, as you already know. That’s why you’re here at Aceable, where you can sharpen your skills with online driving courses before taking the CDL exam.

Like any good commercial driver you know if you have the right tools you can get the job done. We’ve done some of the work for you by tracking down all of the essential information on how to get a Nevada CDL. Here’s what you need to know to get truckin’.

Commercial Licensing All Depends on Your Vehicle

Whether or not you need a CDL license all depends on what you drive. Anything that’s considered a commercial motor vehicle will require a CDL for operation. What qualifies as a commercial vehicle? The Nevada DMV considers a vehicle to be commercial if it:

  • Is used to transport people and/or goods.
  • Has a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001+ pounds.
  • Has a gross combination weight rating of 26,001+ pounds (includes the vehicle and any cargo being towed).
  • Transports more than 16 people at once, including the driver.
  • Is used to transport hazardous material that requires a placard (applies to any size vehicle).

Age Requirements for a Nevada Commercial Driver License

Are you old enough to be a commercial driver? There are a few age restrictions for driving commercial vehicles in Nevada:

  • You must be at least 21 years old to receive an NV CDL.
  • You must be at least 25 years old to operate commercial vehicles that exceed 70’ (on their own or combined with towing).
  • A CDL with an R restriction and 2 restrictions may be issued to drivers who are between 18-20 years old.
  • That means you can’t transport people or hazardous material (Restriction R) and driving must remain intrastate (Restriction 2).

Steps to Getting a Nevada CDL

There may be a few more hoops to jump through compared to driving a non-commercial vehicle, but once you complete the commercial driver license application and testing you’ll have a valid CDL for 4-8 years. Get started by following these three steps.

Step 1. Read Through the Nevada CDL Manual

The Nevada CDL manual contains 164 pages of very useful information if you want to make the transition from a regular driver to a commercial driver. There are details on everything from air brake requirements to what will be reviewed during the vehicle control skills test. You can also find a shorter overview of the CDL licensing process in the Nevada Driver Handbook.

Step 2. Apply for Your Commercial Learner Permit

If you’re applying for a CDL for the first time, upgrading your CDL or haven’t had a valid CDL in four or more years, then you’ll need to get a commercial learner permit (CLP). The current CLP requirements include:

  • Valid Nevada non-commercial driver's license.
  • Identification card for proof of identity.
  • Proof of lawful U.S. residency.
  • Proof of Nevada residency.
  • List of all states where you’ve held a commercial or non-commercial driver's license in the last 10 years.
  • Certifying the type of driving you will do.
  • All “non-excepted” drivers must present a valid Medical Examination Card from a certified medical examiner.
  • Complete an Application for Commercial Driving Privileges (CDL 002).
  • Passing a vision test and all of the required knowledge tests for your license class (A, B, C) and/or an endorsement.
  • A DOT physical may also be required before a CLP is issued.
  • CDL application fee of $58.25.

You CLP will be valid for 180 days or until you get a true CDL. During that time you can only drive with licensed commercial drivers who are at least 25 years old.

Step 3. Take the CDL Skill Test

You can’t take the road test for your CDL until you’ve held a CPL instruction permit for at least 14 days. Once you’ve passed that period, there are three ways to take the commercial driving skills test:

  • Schedule an appointment to take the skills test at a CDL DMV office.
  • If you’re testing through an employer you also have the option of doing the road test through a third-party certifier.
  • Third-party certification may also be available if you attended a commercial drive school.

After successfully completing the road test you’ll be issued a Nevada CDL. Starting in 2018, all CDLs will be valid for eight years. However, motorists who are 65 or older will still be issued a 4-year CDL.

Are you ready to get a Nevada CDL? Aceable offers state-approved online driving courses that make it easy to prepare for your CDL test, even if you’re already on the road. Take an online practice test to see how you’d do on the real exam!