for all endorsements
Commercial Driver Handbook
DC DMV offers a commercial driver license (CDL) to professional drivers who reside in the District. The DC DMV CDL is a credential that complies with federal identification guidelines and can be used as a federal-level ID. It is valid for 8 years and can be renewed. CDL holders are held to a higher standard when they operate any type of motor vehicle on public roads.
Driving a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) requires a higher level of knowledge, experience, skills, and physical abilities than driving a car or other non-commercial vehicle. To get a DC DMV CDL, you must pass both skills and knowledge testing geared to these higher standards. Additionally, you must take Entry-Level Driver Training by a FMCSA approved training provider for first time Class A and Class B CDL holders; CDL upgrades to Class B and A; and Endorsements S, P and H.
DC DMV groups types of CMVs and provides a DC DMV CDL for these classes of CMV with additional endorsements and restrictions for specific types of vehicles.
To get a DC DMV CDL, you must:
The general knowledge test is the first of several tests that you will have to complete in order to get your CDL. The questions cover general information about commercial vehicles, driving, and vehicle inspections. The test has a total of 50 questions, and requires at least 40 correct answers to pass.
You must have an Air brake endorsement on your driver's license to drive a vehicle equipped with an air brake system. This test will test your knowledge of the function, parts, and braking distance of air brakes. The test will consist of 25 questions, and at least 20 correct answers are needed to pass.
The combination endorsement allows you to drive a vehicle with a power unit and one trailer. This test will cover the "ins and outs" of operating articulated vehicles. The exam consists of 25 questions, and requires at least 20 correct to pass.
The Hazardous Material endorsement allows the driver to operate a vehicle containing items such as poisons, explosives, flammables, etc. You will also have to pass the TSA Hazardous Material Threat Assessment to get this endorsement. There are 30 questions, 24 correct required to pass.
The Tanker endorsement allows the driver to operate a vehicle weighing more than 26,000 pounds designed to transport any liquid or gaseous material within a tank that is permanently or temporarily attached to the vehicle. There are 20 questions, 16 correct required to pass.
The Doubles/Triples endorsement is required for drivers to pull 2 trailers (doubles) or 3 trailers (triples) connected to a single power unit. There are 20 questions on this test, and 16 correct answers are required to pass.
Bus drivers must have a commercial driver's license with a passenger endorsement in order to operate a vehicle which seats 16 or more, including the driver. There are 20 questions on this test, and 16 correct answers are required to pass.
School Bus Endorsement is required for any driver who operates a school bus. After the permit tests the training can be only completed by a local school district. There are 20 questions on this test, and 16 correct answers are required to pass.
The Pre-Trip exam is an oral exam where you are expected to check the vehicle parts to insure it is safe for road use. The amount of parts you need to check increase with the size of the vehicle, and by type of vehicle.