CDL Licensing Information FAQs
NOTE: If you are applying for a CDL for the first time, upgrading your existing CDL, or adding a passenger or school bus endorsement you must obtain a AP or BP Commercial Learners Permit and hold it for 14 days before testing.
1. If I completed a self-certification form incorrectly and now have an ‘intrastate commerce’ restriction on my CDL license what do I need to do to get the restriction removed?
You will have to visit a DDS Customer Service Center to complete a new self-certification form and be issued a new CDL license without the restriction.
2. If I am a diabetic on insulin can I still drive a commercial motor vehicle?
Only if you are granted a waiver from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). FMCSA will only grant waivers to drivers that operate in interstate commerce. The State of Georgia does not issue diabetic waivers.
3. What if I am an existing CDL holder who does not have a license renewal, upgrade?
You are responsible for providing DDS with your self-certification of operating status. If required, you must also provide your current medical examiner’s certificate and any variance documents.
4. After I provide DDS with my unexpired medical examiner’s certificate, do I still have to carry an original or copy of my medical examiner’s certificate?
Yes. DDS encourages CDL drivers to keep a copy of their valid medical information with them at all times.
5. If I have a class A CDL license what do I need to do to add a Passenger endorsement?
You will need to take the passenger knowledge test and then take the road skills test in a bus (this includes vehicle inspection, basic skills and on-the-road driving test). The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of the vehicle will determine the Class of CDL bus that you will be allowed to operate (i.e. for a Class B Bus the GVWR must be more than 26,001 pounds).
6. If I have an automatic transmission restriction on my CDL license what do I have to do to get that restriction removed?
You will have to take the skills road test (this includes vehicle inspection, basic skills and on the-road driving test) in a manual speed commercial motor vehicle.
7. If I have an air brake restriction on my CDL license what do I have to do to get the restriction removed?
You must take the air brake knowledge test and then take the road skills test in a commercial motor vehicle.
8. How do I upgrade from a Class B CDL to a Class A CDL?
You must take and pass the applicable knowledge test for that class of CDL (i.e. combination vehicle, air brakes), and then you will have to take the skills road test (this includes vehicle inspection, basic skills and on-the-road driving test).
9. How would I get a ‘no tractor-trailer’ restriction removed from my license?
You would have to take the skills road test (this includes vehicle inspection, basic skills and on-the-road driving test) in a tractor-trailer combination vehicle.
10. What do I need to do to add a Hazardous Materials Endorsement to my CDL license?
You must complete an application on the TSA website. Once you have completed the application you will need to be fingerprinted. A list of all TSA fingerprint locations is on the TSA website and the DDS web site has a list of the fingerprint sites that are located only in Georgia. After you have completed the application and been
fingerprinted you can go to any DDS Customer Service Center and take the hazardous materials knowledge test. The results from the fingerprint background check results must be received from TSA before the endorsement can be placed on your license so this process can take approximately 60-90 days.
11. Do all CDL drivers have to complete a self-certification form or only the drivers that operate in interstate commerce?
All CDL holders must complete and submit a self-certification form to the Department of Driver Services.
12. Can I transfer an out-of-state CDL to Georgia?
Yes and all the endorsements that are currently on the CDL will transfer with the exception of Hazmat. In order to retain the hazardous materials endorsement you will be required to take and pass the hazardous materials knowledge test. If the state that you were previously licensed in was not a TSA participating state then you will also have to complete an application through TSA and be fingerprinted. You can check to see if your state was a participating state
on the TSA web site.
13. What should I do to make my medical certification part of my CDL driving record?
You will be able to make your medical certification a part of your CDL driving record when you:
- Apply for a CDL
- Renew a CDL
- Apply for a higher class of CDL
- Apply for a new endorsement on a CDL
- Transfer a CDL from another State
You will be required to self-certify to a single type of commercial operation on your driver license application form. Based on that self-certification, you may need to provide DDS with a current medical examiner’s certificate and show any variance you may have to obtain or keep your CDL.
14. What should I do with the medical examiner’s certificate?
After you provide DDS and your employer with the medical examiner’s certificate, the medical examiner’s certificate will only be valid for the first 15 days after it was issued. Your medical examiner’s certificate will be recorded on your driving record and will become the valid version of your medical certification.
15. What if I do not provide DDS with my self-certification and if required, my medical examiner’s certificate and any required variance document?
DDS will notify you that you are no longer medically certified to operate a CMV in non-excepted Interstate commerce. DDS will remove all your CDL privileges from your license.
16. If my existing Medical Certificate does not have a doctor’s Medical Registry number, is it still valid?
If you already have a medical certificate, it will be valid until it expires. However, if you obtain a medical certificate after May 21, 2014, you will need to go a certified Medical Examiner. Visit the National Registry Website to locate a Certified Medical Examiner.
17. What should I do when my medical certificate and/or variance is about to expire?
You must have a new medical examination and obtain a new medical certificate. You must then provide the DDS the new medical examiner’s certificate. You are also responsible for applying to FMCSA for a renewal of your variance. If you have a variance issued by the DDS you must apply for renewal of that variance prior to its expiration.
18. What happens if my medical examiner’s certificate or variance expires before I provide the DDS with a new one?
The DDS will notify you that you are no longer medically certified to operate a CMV in non-excepted Interstate commerce. The DDS will then remove all your CDL privileges from your license.
19. How can I get back my CDL privileges?
If the medical examiner’s certificate has expired, you must obtain a new one and provide it to the DDS. If the variance has expired, you must renew it with FMCSA. If the variance was issued by the DDS then you must renew it with the DDS. Failure to provide valid medical certificates and/or variances may require retesting and additional fees to get back your CDL privileges.
20. How do I determine which type of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operation I should self-certify to the DDS?
IF YOU ANSWER “Yes” TO ANY OF THE QUESTIONS BELOW, YOUR COMMERCIAL DRIVER STATUS IS EXCEPTED (E):
Drive a school bus
Transport for a federal government, state or political subdivision
Occasionally transport personal property (Personal use)
Drive a fire truck or rescue vehicle
Drive for custom farm harvesting operations
Drive a private motor carrier of passenger for non-business purposes
Transport human corpses, sick or injured persons
Drive a 9-15 passenger van < 26,001 pounds
Drive a non-combination vehicle controlled an operated by a farmer (no hazardous materials)
Provide emergency delivery of propane
Transport migrant workers
Transport bees seasonally as a Beekeeper
If you drive for any other reason than those listed above, your commercial driver status is NON-EXCEPTED(N):
DO YOU DRIVE INTRASTATE(A) OR INTERSTATE(I)? CONSIDER THE BULLET POINTS BELOW:
- Drive inside the state of GA only AND the cargo on your vehicle is from inside the state of GA and will not leave the state of GA
- If you drive from the state of GA to any other State or foreign county; OR
- If you move cargo in the state of GA that came from another state; OR
- If your cargo will be moved to another state or foreign country
Based on your answers above, you must certify one of the four (4) following categories:
1. Non-excepted Interstate (NI) - I operate or expect to operate in interstate commerce and am required to maintain federal medical certification. (Medical Certificate/Card Required)
2. Non-excepted Intrastate (NA) - I operate or expect to operate only in intrastate commerce and am required to meet FMCSA driver qualification requirements. (Medical Certificate/Card Required)
3. Excepted Interstate (EI) - I operate or expect to operate in interstate commerce, but engage exclusively in operations that qualify me for exception from the requirement to maintain federal medical certification.
4. Excepted Intrastate (EA) - I operate or expect to operate only in a city, county, state or federal vehicle only, and I am exempt from the FMCSA driver qualification requirements.
You must keep your medical certification up-to-date unless you are eligible to certify into an excepted category.
21. Is there a fee for CDL Road Test skills testing?
Effective May 1, 2017 a $50.00 testing fee will be required for EACH CDL Road Test skills testing attempt.