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CDL Instruction Permit Information

If you want to learn to drive commercial motor vehicles, you must get a commercial driver's license (CDL) instruction permit. To obtain a CDL instruction permit, you must pass the CDL general knowledge exam and the other knowledge exams for the vehicles that you want to drive.

For example, if you want to learn to operate a tank vehicle and a passenger bus, you must take the general knowledge exam, the tank vehicle exam and the passenger vehicle exam. If you intend to drive a vehicle equipped with air brakes, you must take the air brakes exam. If you want to learn to drive a school bus, you must take the general knowledge, school bus and passenger vehicle exams.

The CDL instruction permit allows you to drive a commercial vehicle of the class and type shown on the permit only when a person licensed to drive the same type of vehicle is with you. When applying for a CDL instruction permit, you must certify on the application that you are or are not required to comply with federal or state regulations.

To obtain a Virginia CDL, you must hold the CDL instruction permit for a minimum of 30 days or show proof that you previously held a CDL or that you have completed an approved Virginia CDL driver education course.

If you currently hold a CDL instruction permit issued by a state that does not administer a knowledge exam prior to issuing an instruction permit, you will be required to pass the Virginia general knowledge exam and all other appropriate exams before a Virginia CDL instruction permit will be issued to you.

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