Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Requirements and Procedures

What is the Commercial Driver’s License Law?

On October 26, 1986, United States Congress passed the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act.  This law requires each State to meet the same minimum standards for commercial driver licensing.  The standards require commercial motor vehicle drivers to get a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) with a classification of A, B, or C.

What is covered by the Law?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, through the Department of Transportation (DOT), requires Drug and Alcohol testing for heavy truck and bus operators.  These regulations will guarantee the fitness of commercial motor vehicle operators by requiring demonstrated ability to drive heavy vehicles before a license is issued.  The Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) laws and standards cover drivers in all 50 states, including the District of Columbia, Mexico, and Canada.  Motor Carriers and companies are held responsible if their drivers operate a commercial motor vehicle without a valid CDL.

Why is a CDL required?

The employee’s job title is considered a safety-sensitive function, which requires the employee to operate a single commercial motor vehicle or a combination of vehicles weighing 26,001 lbs. or more.

How to apply for a CDL?

The employee must provide a valid DOT medical certificate and complete an application at the local Circuit Court Clerk’s office.  All applicants will be required to pass a written test and a vision test.  Ten (10) days after the permit has been issued, the required road skills test can be scheduled with the State Police.

What is a Wants and Warrants check?

All applicants for a CDL (original and renewal) are required to undergo a "hot file" check conducted by Kentucky State Police. The cost is $3.00 and will be collected by the Circuit Court Clerk's office at the time of issuance. It will be an instantaneous check and will not delay the driver in receiving his/her CDL. If a "hit" occurs, a notice will be sent to the law enforcement agency that originated the warrant for further investigation.

What does Kentucky Law say about CDL Drivers Driving under the Influence?

It is against the law to operate a commercial vehicle with any amount of alcohol or controlled substance in the blood, breath, or urine. If a driver tests from .01% BAC to .039% BAC, that driver shall be put out of service for 24 hours. Drivers testing at .04% BAC or higher will be disqualified for one year. A second conviction carries a penalty of disqualifying a commercial driver for life. Penalties apply to the commercial driving privileges only.

Where can I find UofL’s Policy and Procedures regarding CDL Drivers?

The policy and procedures for CDL drivers can be found on the Human Resources webpage by clicking the policy tab.  The Driver's Alcohol and Controlled Substance Testing Policy is PER-1.20.  If you have questions or need additional information please contact the Staff Development and Employee Relations Office email employee relations .