California Implements New Federal Commercial Driver’s License Requirements

Contact:  Office of Public Affairs
2415 First Avenue 
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 657–6437 | dmvpublicaffairs@dmv.ca.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 7, 2022

Sacramento – The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) today announced new commercial driver’s license (CDL) applicants are required to provide proof of entry-level driver training, from a training provider listed on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Training Provider Registry, before taking a CDL skills test. The new federal requirements begin today.

“The DMV has made a lot of progress licensing more commercial drivers safely and as quickly as possible,” said DMV Director Steve Gordon. “We know how important it is for the movement of goods to have safe commercial drivers on the road. We have recently made changes that allow us to offer thousands more tests each month, and we continue to work with our federal partners to meet the need for safe commercial drivers.”

The new training requirements are mandatory for applicants who are:

  • Obtaining an original CDL (Class A or B).
  • Upgrading an existing Class B CDL to a Class A CDL.
  • Obtaining a school bus, passenger or hazardous materials endorsement.

Training providers are required to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and to be able to electronically submit a driver’s certification when training is successfully completed.

Building on Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive order and federal partnership last year to address the supply chain crisis, the DMV took action to tackle the commercial truck driver shortage and keep goods moving quickly between California’s largest ports and major distribution centers. The DMV continues to make more driving test appointments available, including Saturday commercial driving test appointments, and redirecting examiners to the areas of greatest demand. As a result, there has been a 20 percent increase in drive tests administered between November 2021-January 2022 (17,243 tests) compared to May-July 2021 (14,312 tests).

In addition to the new federal requirements, Class A or B CDL applicants in California must complete a minimum of 15 hours of behind-the-wheel training and submit proof of completion to the DMV. The training certificate can be submitted online at dmv.ca.gov.

Applicants who received a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) prior to February 7, 2022, do not need to complete the new federal training requirements unless upgrading to a higher class or adding a qualifying endorsement.

Visit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration website for more information on the new federal requirements. Information about California CDLs can be found on the DMV’s website.

###