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Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

On July 1, 2015, the new FMCSA CLP/CDL/Proof of Legal Presence Rules will take effect. Read More.


You must be age 18 to apply for a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) to drive in Illinois and age 21 to drive outside Illinois. You must obtain a CDL if you operate:


Under state and federal law, certain drivers are not subject to the requirements of the CDL program. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has determined these exemptions will not diminish the safe operation of commercial vehicles on the highways. Although the following vehicle operators are not required to obtain CDLs, they are required to hold the proper driver's license classification for the type of vehicles they are operating.



Farm-Related Services Restricted CDL

A seasonal restricted CDL may be issued for 90 to 180 days in any 12-month period and is valid only within 150 miles of the employer's place of business. There is a fee for this license and the holder must meet the following requirements:

The holder's driving record must not contain any of the following within the last two years:


Medical Card

Persons who drive commercial motor vehicles (CMV) are subject to minimum physical qualifications. These physical qualifications require a medical examination. This physical examination is required to help ensure that a person is medically qualified to safely operate a CMV. In the interest of public safety, CMV drivers are held to higher physical, mental and emotional standards than passenger car drivers.

In general, drivers of commercial motor vehicles that have a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) in excess of 10,001 pounds and who are driving in commerce within the United States, Canada and Mexico must obtain medical certification from a Medical Examiner. Currently, a Medical Examiner is a person who is licensed, certified and/or registered in accordance with applicable State laws and regulations to perform physical examinations. The term includes but is not limited to doctors of medicine, doctors of osteopathy, physician assistants, advanced practice nurses and doctors of chiropractic.

Any CMV driver must pass a medical examination conducted by a licensed medical examiner. A copy of the medical examination report can be obtained through the following link —

A CMV driver must be issued a Medical Examiner’s Certificate, which must be carried at all times and must be renewed every two years unless the medical examiner specifies a date of less than two years on the certificate. A copy of the required medical examination certificate can be obtained from the medical provider performing the medical examination, or through the following link —

Beginning May 21, 2014, all interstate CMV drivers seeking a medical certificate must use a Medical Examiner on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME). Medical certificates issued prior to this date are valid until the expiration date listed on the medical examination certificate. More information for CMV drivers concerning the NRCME can be obtained through the following link —

Print Medical Forms
Print Medical Examiner’s Certificate


Road Tests — A motorist must drive an approved predetermined route for a CDL Road Test. A map of the route along with a narrative explaining the maneuvers must be submitted with your applications. Once a test route is established and approved, it may be used indefinitely for certification. A CDL test route design must incorporate all the specified maneuvers listed below:

Written Tests — CDL tests are administered only in English. To request an oral CDL computerized test at a facility equipped with automated written testing equipment, please contact the facility manager. In addition to the vision screening required for all drivers, all CDL applicants are required to pass a written exam, and most are required to pass a skills and driving exam.You may schedule CDL exams at Schedule a CDL Appointment or call 217-785-3013.

Military Skills Test Waiver ProgramEffective January 1, 2014, all CDL Secretary of State Facilities will begin to accept the new the new Application for Military Skills Test Waiver.

With this new program, current or recently discharged military personnel who wish to obtain an Illinois Commercial Driver's License (CDL) and can fulfill the necessary requirements will have the opportunity to have their skills testing (pre-trip, skills and road) waived. After successful completion all the applicable written testing and payment of applicable fees, the skills testing will be waived for qualified applicants. To qualify the applicant must submit, within 12 months of discharge, a fully completed and acceptable Application for Military Skills Test Waiver signed by their Commanding Officer. Download the Application For Military Skills Test Waiver. For further information, please contact your local CDL Secretary of State Facility.

For more information on testing, please refer to the CDL Study Guide. You may schedule CDL exams at Schedule a CDL Appointment.