Skip to main content

Alabama Commercial Driver License (CDL): What is CDL?

Information for obtaining an Alabama Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

General Information

The federal government requires each state to have minimum standards for the licensing of commercial drivers.

You must have a CDL (Commercial Driver License) to operate:

  • Any single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more
  • A trailer with a GVWR of more than 10,000 pounds if the gross combination weight rating (GCWR) is 26,001 pounds or more
  • A vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver)
  •  Any size vehicle that is used in the transportation of any material that requires hazardous materials placards or any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR 73

To get a CDL, you must pass knowledge and skills tests. The Alabama Department of Public Safety strongly urges you to study the contents of the Alabama Commercial Driver License Manual before a visit to a CDL test site for testing. The manual will provide material that is essential for you to meet the testing requirements and it also will inform you regarding penalties provided for fraudulent application and traffic law violations while operating a commercial vehicle.

However, the manual DOES NOT provide information on all the State and federal requirements that are needed before you can drive a commercial motor vehicle. For example, federal regulations through the Department of Homeland Security, require a background check and fingerprinting for the Hazardous Materials endorsement. Contact your local department of driver licensing for more information.

It is suggested that you call the Alabama Department of Public Safety, Driver License Division, at (334) 242-4400 (Menu Option), for additional information.

When you have successfully passed all required knowledge tests, you can call the Huntsville Driver License office on 1115-A Church Street, (256) 539-0681, to schedule the skills part of the test. (Driver License contact information for other cities can be obtained from the Alabama Public Safety website.  To determine if you need a CDL go to Do You Need A CDL?

Driver License Division Office Schedules

An asterisk (*) indicates offices that offer driver records, crash reports, and driver license reinstatements. Since testing times vary, please call the office you wish to visit to verify the exact times that tests will be given.

Huntsville*

CDL
Yes

M,T,W,Th,F 8AM-4:30PM OPEN
LUNCH
HOURS 
(256) 539-0682
(GENERAL)
(256) 539-0681
(CDL)
1115-A Church St.
Huntsville, 35801

 

Here are office schedules for other Driver License offices within the State of Alabama:

http://dps.alabama.gov/Home/DriverLicensePages/wfDLOffices.aspx

Classes, Endorsements, Restrictions (All Licenses)

Classes:

  • Class A —Any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more) provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds).
  • Class B —Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 11,794 kilograms or more (26,001 pounds or more), or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) GVWR.
  • Class C —Any single vehicle, or combination of vehicles, that meets neither the definition of Group A nor that of Group B as contained in this section, but that either is designed to transport 16 or more passengers including the driver, or is used in the transportation of materials found to be hazardous for the purposes of the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act and which require the motor vehicle to be placarded under the Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR part 172, subpart F).
  • Class D – Private passenger, regular operator.
  • Class M – Motorcycle
  • Class V – Water Vessel

Endorsements:

  • T – Double/triple trailers
  • P – Passenger vehicles
  • N – Tank vehicles
  • H – Haz- Mat
  • X – Haz-Mat and Tank
  • S - School Buses

Restrictions:

  • A – Corrective Lenses
  • B – Motor Driven Cycle
  • D – Outside Mirror - Left
  • E – Daylight Driver only
  • F – Hand Controls
  • G – Automatic Transmission
  • H – Outside Mirror – Right
  • I – Outside Mirror – Right and Left
  • J – Hearing Impaired
  • K – Commercial Vehicles without Air Brakes
  • L – Power Steering
  • M – Power Brakes
  • N – Built up Pedals
  • O – Built up Seat
  • P – Left Foot Accelerator
  • R – Mechanical Signals
  • V – CDL Medical Variance
  • W – Intrastate Commerce Only
  • Y – Learner’s License

Driving-Tests.org with CDL Practice Test & Handbook

Check out this free online resource to study for your driving permit or review Alabama’s traffic laws and regulations.  It includes a commerical driver's license practice test and CDL handbook for the state of Alabama.  The general knowledge CDL practice test covers all aspects of commercial driving in Alabama based on the AL CDL manual (2014).

In partnership with Driving-Tests.org, HMCPL is providing this free, online resource with unlimited access to high quality online driver education resources covering Alabama law and regulations. Other resources include: automobile permit practice tests, motorcycle practice tests and driver handbooks.

Just click the link to http://hmcpl.driving-tests.org/alabama/ and you will be directed to the resource homepage.  Next, look for the 1 CDL Practice Test and Handbook tabs.

Library Resources

OTHER LIBRARY RESOURCES

The LearningExpress Library for the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library (HMCPL) provides online access to practice tests, exercises, courses for building some skills, eBooks, and information needed for school, work, or just  improving your life.

Please note that LearningExpress is a service that HMCPL uses for its patrons and has its own Customer Service department. Should you have problems accessing your account, use the Help link or send an e-mail to libraries@learningexpressllc.com or call (800) 295-9556 extension 2.

To use this resource for the first time you must register using the register section on the webpage to create an account with a user name and password.  User name and password must be a minimum of six characters each with no spaces. To simplify this process, you can use your 14-digit library card as your user name and then create a six digit or character password. It is optional to give your e-mail address, however, this information enables you to receive a new password by e-mail if you forget yours. If you do not have an e-mail account, you can set one up for free by visiting www.gmail.com. Once you have registered, you do not have to do so again.

You can quickly identify Commercial Driver License material on this website by typing "CDL" in the Search box. This will give you an overview of all items available on this subject (including eBooks).