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Who is Required to Have a Washington State CDL?

truck driving school washington state
Long-Haul Truckers and COVID-19
July 7, 2020
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truck driving school washington state

Do I Need a Washington State CDL?

Are you looking to obtain your Washington State CDL? Have you looked into truck driving schools or CDL certification programs? One of the first things you should know before obtaining your CDL is whether you’re required to have one to operate the vehicle lawfully in Washington State.

When Is a Washington State CDL Required?

Commercial truck drivers must undergo more specific and advanced training and testing than drivers of passenger vehicles. The Washington State DOL (Department of Licensing) requires drivers to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License in order to operate any of the following vehicles:

  • All single vehicles with a manufacturer’s weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more;
  • All trailers with a manufacturer’s weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more, and a combined vehicles’ gross weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more;
  • All vehicles designed to transport 16 or more people (including the driver). This includes private and church buses;
  • All school buses, regardless of their size;
  • All vehicles used to transport any material that requires hazardous material placarding or any quantity of a material that is classified as a select agent or toxin by the federal government.

What Are the Different Classes of a Washington State Commercial Driver’s License?

There are three different classes of Washington State CDLs.

Class A Commercial Driver’s License in Washington State

Class A CDLs allow drivers to operate any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds and a trailer with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds.

Class B Commercial Driver’s License in Washington State

Class B Commercial Driver’s Licenses allow drivers to operate single or combination vehicles where the gross vehicle weight rating is more than 26,000 pounds. However, the vehicle or trailer being pulled cannot be more than 10,000 pounds.

Class C Commercial Driver’s License in Washington State

Class C CDLs allow drivers to operate a single vehicle or a combination of vehicles that is either designed to transport 16 passengers or more (including the driver) or is used in the transportation of hazardous materials.

How Much Does it Cost to Get Your CDL in Washington State?

who needs washington state cdl

Dreaming of a life on the road? Contact Western Pacific Truck School to find out more about Washington State CDL requirements!

The Washington State DOL requires fees for obtaining a CDL. These fees include, but may not be limited to:

  • Commercial Driving Permit. A commercial driving permit costs $40 to obtain.
  • CDL Knowledge Test. The CDL knowledge test costs $35 to take.
  • CDL Skills Test. The Washington State CDL skills test costs $250 to take. The fee covers two attempts, though if you change instructors between the first and second attempt, you may have to pay the fee again.
  • Add CDL Endorsement to License. It costs $10 plus $17 per year remaining on your existing Washington Driver’s License to add the CDL endorsement.
  • Transfer an Out-of-State CDL. It costs $191 to transfer an out-of-state license and CDL to a Washington State CDL-endorsed license.

Basic Requirements for a Washington State CDL

The following are the basic requirements for a driver to obtain a CDL endorsement on their Washington State driver’s license:

  • 18 years or older with a valid Washington driver’s license.
  • Proof of U.S. Citizenship, lawful permanent residency, or an on-domicile document.
  • Self-certification of the type of operation the driver will conduct. Medical documents may be required.
  • Pass the knowledge test for the type of vehicle the driver will be licensed to operate.
  • Get a Commercial License Permit (CLP).
  • Submit the training certificate to the appropriate agency for approval.
  • Schedule and pay for the skills test.
  • Conduct and pass the skills test.

Physical Requirements for a Washington State CDL

In addition to the minimum requirements for a Washington State Commercial Driver’s License, there are certain physical requirements that truckers need to meet in order to be eligible for a CDL. Those requirements include:

  • Vision in both eyes and each individual eye is at least 20/40; corrective lenses and glasses are allowed.
  • Able to distinguish colors as necessary for safe operation of the vehicle.
  • Able to perceive a forced whisper at a distance of at least 5 feet.
  • Maximum blood pressure of 160/100; use of prescription medication to achieve this threshold is allowed.
  • Diabetes controlled through diet and medication is allowed; diabetes controlled through insulin injections is not permitted.
  • Blood sugar no higher than 200.
  • No use of a Schedule 1 drug, amphetamine, narcotic, or any habit-forming drug is permitted.

How Can Western Pacific Truck School Help You?

There’s a lot to know when it comes to obtaining your CDL in Washington State. However, ensure that you pass your knowledge test by enrolling in classroom instruction and commercial driver training at Western Pacific Truck School. No matter your level of driving experience, the driving program at Western Pacific has convenient locations for you to obtain your driver license with a CDL endorsement. The driving instruction program at Western Pacific covers all applicable state law, state requirements, and driving laws for truckers in Washington State. Get your truck driving instruction at a trucking school with an excellent reputation in the PNW. Call today for more information!