Illinois's CDL manual and DMV CDL Practice Tests

for all endorsements

Illinois's CDL Manual

Commercial Driver Handbook

Minimum Requirements For Getting A CDL In Illinois: To being the application process for getting a CDL in Illinois, you must meet these requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years old (must be 21 to drive out of state/transport passengers)
  • Have a valid, non-CDL driver's license
  • Be able to provide legal proof of residence in the U.S.

NOTE: if you have a CDL in another state and want to change it to an Illinois CDL, you must go through the same process as a first-time applicant. Physical Requirements For Getting A Illinois CDL:

  • To prove you are physically capable of driving a CMV, you must meet these federal requirements.
  • You and your doctor must fill out the Medical Examination Report and you must self-certify that you are able to drive a CMV in accordance to federal requirements.

Testing For Your Illinois CDL: Here is the official study guide for getting a CDL in Illinois. Before having your CDL, you must obtain a Commercial License Permit. To get your CLP, you must:

  • Pass the knowledge written exam
  • Pass the required skills exam
  • Current or recently discharged service members with military CDL experience may be eligible to have the skills/driving portion of the CDL process waived in Illinois. You can apply for this waiver here.
  • Submit a review of your driving record The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires you to submit your driving record from the last 10 years. Your record will be checked for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
  • One (1) document proving legal residence in the U.S.
  • Valid Medical Examiner's Certificate
  • $50 CLP examination fee.

DMV CDL Practice Tests

General Knowledge

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.

Air Brakes

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.

Hazardous Material

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.

Doubles / Triples

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

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.

Pre Trip Inspection

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.