Offical Nebraska Government Website

Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs) and Commercial Learner’s Permits (CLPs)

VEHICLES EXEMPT FROM NEEDING A CDL:

  1. Covered farm vehicles, including an articulated motor vehicle, operated anywhere in Nebraska and across state lines, provided it is operated within 150 miles of the farm or ranch.
  2. Recreational vehicles.
  3. Emergency vehicles operated by a public or volunteer fire department.
  4. Military vehicles driven by active duty military personnel.
  5. Vehicles driven by members of the military reserves, other than military technicians.
  6. Vehicles driven by active duty United States Coast Guard personnel.
  7. Vehicles driven by members of the National Guard on active-duty including:
    • Personnel on full-time National Guard duty;
    • Personnel on part-time National Guard training; and
    • National Guard Military Technicians required to wear military uniforms.

New Information and General Information Regarding Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs) and Commercial Learner’s Permits (CLPs).

NEW REQUIREMENTS EFFECTIVE JULY 8, 2015:

  • Applicants applying for Commercial Learner’s Permits (CLPs) and Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs) are required to provide proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful status (see below).
  • In order to take skills tests for a CDL, drivers must first have a CLP and hold it for at least 14 days.
  • If a CLP expires and all three segments (pre-trip vehicle inspection, basic controls skills and road test) of the skills test have not been passed, any skills tests previously passed are invalid and ALL skills testing must be retaken.
  • CLPs will have a class and may have endorsements and restrictions. CLPs require all applicable written tests be passed as a condition of issuance.
  • Two new CDL restrictions will go on a CDL as a result of the vehicle used for testing:
    E – No Manual Transmission equipped CMV. If you complete skills testing in a vehicle that has an automatic transmission or in which the driver is not responsible for 100% of the shifting, an E restriction will be placed on the CDL. Current CDL holders who do not have this restriction will not receive it if upgrading their license in a vehicle with an automatic transmission.
    Z – No Full Air Brake equipped CMV. This is commonly referred to as Air over Hydraulic systems. Any CMV tested that has elements of the air brake system, but is not the standard systems used in most CMV’s with full air brake system will get the Z CDL restriction. Current CDL holders who do not have this restriction will not receive it if upgrading their license in a vehicle with this type of braking system.

Applying for a NE Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) or Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP)?
When applying for a NE CDL or CLP, you must present documentation of:
  1. Valid U.S. Citizenship or Proof of Lawful Status and U.S. Based Identity containing Name and Date of Birth.
  2. Current Principal Address in Nebraska
  3. Applicants must disclose their valid social security number.
    • All commercial motor vehicle applicants must provide proof of U.S. Citizenship or Lawful Status on or after July 8, 2015. Once U.S. citizenship has been verified, proof need not be presented again. Proof of lawful status is required to be presented upon the initial visit to a driver licensing office and all subsequent visits.
    • Proof of identification must be presented at each visit. The digital image (photo) retained by DMV cannot be used as proof of identification.
    • When possible, documents/information presented will be verified for authenticity before being accepted.
    • Documents must be certified with a raised seal or stamp.
    • Faxed or photocopied documents will NOT be accepted.
    • Documents are subject to departmental review and approval. Additional information may be required.
    • In some cases, document approval may not occur on the same day and may require an additional visit to the driver licensing office.
    • Any document which states “NOT TO BE USED FOR PROOF OF IDENTIFICATION” will not be accepted for identity verification purposes.
    • The Department may retain copies of any document presented.
1. Valid U.S. Citizenship or Proof of Lawful Status and U.S. Based Identity
Present ONEU.S. Based documentto establish citizenship or proof of lawful status and ONEU.S. Based document to prove identity. Note: #1 - #9 documents can be used to meet requirements for both purposes. Document #10 can be used for proof of U.S. based identity only.
In the event of a name change, you must present one document (certified marriage license, certified divorce decree or court order) that links your new name to the name that currently exists on your license or permit. Lawful Status applicants may use a petition of Name Change.
  1. A certified birth certificate issued by a State Government Office. Individuals presenting city or county birth certificates may be asked to provide additional identification documents. Hospital issued birth certificates cannot be accepted nor can Puerto Rican birth certificates issued prior to September 30, 2010.
  2. A valid, unexpired U.S. passport or passport card.
  3. Certificate of Naturalization, Form N-550 or Form N-570.
  4. Certificate of Citizenship, Form N-560 or Form N-451.
  5. Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) issued by the U.S. Department of State, Form FS-240, DS-1350 or FS-545.
  6. A valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card (I-551).
  7. A valid, unexpired ADIT stamp “Processed for I-551, temporary evidence of lawful admission for permanent resident until ________” in a valid foreign passport. After June 28, 2004 printed statement “Upon Endorsement Serves as Temporary I-551 Evidencing Permanent Resident for 1 Year” in a valid foreign passport, providing the proper placement of an admission stamp.
  8. A valid, unexpired Employment Authorization Card (I-766).
  9. A valid, unexpired Record of Arrival and Departure in a valid foreign passport (I-94 or I-94A). If you have a current I-797 for any I-94 status, you may want to show this to help simplify the process. Visas, Form I-151, I-94W or I-94 Border Crosser will not be accepted.
Proof of Identity Only:
  1. A valid Real ID compliant Nebraska or out-of-state permit, operator’s license or State ID Card (must have Real ID indicator on it), as long as the document is not mutilated or altered.
2. Principal Address Verification
Present TWO documents with your Nebraska principal address listed. A P.O. Box will not be accepted as proof of principal address. Proof of principal address must be from two different issuing sources.
  1. Account statement from a bank or other financial institution issued within the last 90 days.
  2. Pay stub or earnings statement issued within the last 90 days with the name and address of the employer.
  3. Federal, state or local government documents, issued within the last 90 days such as receipts.
  4. Magazines issued within the last 90 days.
  5. Any envelope, box or postcard that has been sent indicating a postmark or stamped date within the last 90 days.
  6. Any correspondence, receipt, invoice dated within the last 90 days.
  7. Valid Nebraska vehicle registration.
  8. Valid life, health, auto or home insurance policy or card.
  9. Valid real estate tax statement or receipt.
  10. Any valid license (driver’s, nursing, law, teaching, hair, fishing, etc.).
  11. Nebraska voter registration card.
  12. Mortgage, lease or rental agreement. (Lease and rental agreements must include the landlord’s name and contact information.)
  13. Nebraska DMV Renewal Notice.
  14. Blank check or deposit slip.

COMMERCIAL LEARNER’S PERMIT (CLP):

A CLP is a permit which when carried with a Class O license authorizes an individual to operate a class of commercial motor vehicle when accompanied by a holder of a valid CDL for purposes of behind-the-wheel training.

A Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP) is valid for 180 days.

The issuance of a CLP is a precondition to the initial issuance of a CDL. The issuance of a CLP is also a precondition to the upgrade of a CDL if the upgrade requires a skills test.

An applicant shall successfully complete all applicable written tests for the class and endorsements of CLP applied for.

A CLP may be renewed once before all applicable written tests must be retaken.

CLP TESTING:

  NEW PERMIT NEW RESIDENT PERMIT RENEWAL CLP
Vision Required Required Required
Written Required Required Waived

CLP Classes: A and B*
CLP Endorsements: P – Passenger; S – School Bus – N-Tank Vehicle*
CLP Restrictions – K – Intrastate only; L – Vehicles Without Air Brakes; P – no passengers; X – no cargo in tank vehicle; V- Medical Variance; M – No Class A Passenger Vehicle; N – No Class A or B Passenger Vehicle*
*See descriptions of Commercial Motor Vehicle Classes, Endorsements and Restrictions below.

COMMERCIAL DRIVER’S LICENSE (CDL):

A CDL authorizes the person to whom it is issued to operate a class of commercial motor vehicles or any motor vehicle, except a motorcycle, on highways.

CLASSES OF COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLES:

A – Combination of vehicles with Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds provided the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
B – Single vehicle with GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
C – Single vehicle less than 26,001 pounds GVWR, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR comprising of vehicles required to be placarded for hazardous materials or any bus designed to transport 16 or more passengers including the driver.

  • Any holder of a valid CDL is automatically licensed to drive a Class “O” vehicles (any non-CDL vehicle, exclusing motorcycles).
  • Any holder of a Class “A” CDL is automatically licnesed to drive a Class “B” and Class “C” commercial vehicle, if the appropriate endorsement(s) appears on the license.
  • Any holder of a Class “B” CDL is automatically licensed to drive a Class “C” commercial vehicle, if the appropraite endorsement(s) appears on the license.
CDL ENDORSEMENTS: CDL RESTRICTIONS:
H - Hazardous Materials E - No Manual Transmission
N - Tank Vehicle I - Intrastate Only (Impaired)
P - Passenger K - Intrastate Only
S - School Bus L - Vehicles Without Air Brakes
T - Doubles/Triple Trailers M - Except Class A Bus
X - Combination Tank Vehicle and Hazardous Materials N - Except Class A & B Bus
  O - Except Tractor Trailer
  V - Medical Variance required
  Z - No Full Air Brakes

MINIMUM AGE:

Class A, B, or C – 21 (interstate), 18 (intrastate)

EXPIRATION:

Licenses issued to individuals under the age of 21 expire on the license holder’s 21st birthday. Licenses issued to individuals 21 or older expire on the license holder’s birthday in the fifth year after issuance.

CDL TESTING:

  NEW LICENSE NEW RESIDENT RENEWAL LICENSE
Vision Required Required Required
Written Waived with Valid CLP May Be Waived* May Be Waived*
Skills Required MUST HAVE VALID CLP Examiner’s Discretion*** Examiner’s Discretion***
*A new resident surrendering a valid out-of-state CDL will not be required to take any CDL written tests previously passed (except hazardous materials.)
**Nebraska residents renewing their CDL (up to one year expired) will not be required to take any CDL written tests previously passed (except hazardous materials.)
***Skills tests must be taken with a vehicle representative of the class of license the applicant is applying for.

Drivers must have a valid CLP and hold for a minimum of 14 days prior to taking a CDL skills test.

At least one-day waiting is required to retest when written or skills tests are failed.

Audio versions of the written tests (except hazardous materials) are available at all driver licensing offices through the state.

CDL SKILLS TEST APPOINTMENT INFORMATION:

CDL skills test are administered by appointment only.
When all appropriate CDL written tests are passed and the driver holds the appropriate CLP for at least 14 days, a CDL skills test appointment may be scheduled by calling (402) 471-7983.

PRACTICE WRITTEN TEST:

The DMV offers an interactive written exam for the general knowledge test as a study guide to prepare you for the general knowledge written test.

PRE-TRIP VEHICLE INSPECTION:

These videos are designed to give drivers taking the CDL Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection Skills Test examples of how to perform a pre-trip vehicle inspection. These should help demonstrate the amount of information and the flow of how to properly inspect vehicle components and assist in completing the test in an efficient manner. These videos were designed specifically for drivers to watch PRIOR to taking their Pre-Trip Vehicle Inspection Skills Tests and are intended to augment Section 11 of the Nebraska Commercial Driver License Manual as study material to prepare for the test. Please click on the links below to view the videos:

Tractor-Trailer Pre-Trip Video
     School Bus Pre-Trip Video

CERTIFICATION AND MEDICAL INFORMATION:

All individuals applying for or holding a Nebraska Commercial Driver’s License are required to certify to the DMV what type of operation they engage in. If certifying as Category A: Interstate – Non Excepted, drivers are required to provide the DMV with a current copy of their medical examiner’s certificate (card – not long form) and keep current with the DMV. Medical examiner’s certificates (cards – not long forms) should be sent to:

Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles, Driver Licensing Services
P.O. Box 94726
Lincoln, NE 68509
402-471-3157 (faxed copies)
Dmv.exam-medcert@nebraska.gov (scanned copy)

After May 21, 2014, all Category A: Interstate - Non-Excepted drivers must have their medical examination performed by a certified medical examiner listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. To find a certified medical examiner, go to the National Registry website at http://nationalregistry.fmcsa.dot.gov/

Click Here for a chart that will assist in determing how to certify

Important information:

  • Keep your address current with the Department of Motor Vehicles to ensure you receive all mailings
  • If you have kept your address current with the DMV, you will receive a renewal notice. Please bring renewal notice with you to the driver licensing office prior to the expiration of your document.
  • Complete the CDL DATA FORM CDL Data Form
  • Determine the self-certification category (A-D) that applies to you using the CDL Self Certification Chart.
  • If you certify as Category A: Interstate – Non-Excepted, you must provide a current copy of your medical examiner’s certificate (card – not long form) to driver licensing staff at the time of renewal and keep current with DMV at all times.

MCISA:

The U. S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued regulations, which implement provisions of the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999 (MCSIA). These regulations significantly strengthened the licensing and sanctioning requirements of the CDL Program for truck and bus drivers required to hold a CDL. Click here to find out important information regarding the MCSIA Requirements for CDL Drivers.

TANK VEHICLE DEFINITION:

Tank vehicle means any commercial motor vehicle that is designed to transport any liquid or gaseous materials within a tank or tanks that have an individual rated capacity of more than one hundred nineteen (119) gallons and an aggregate rated capacity of one thousand gallons (1,000) or more and that are either permanently or temporarily attached to the vehicle or the chassis. A commercial motor vehicle transporting an empty storage container tank, not designed for transportation, with a rated capacity of one thousand gallons or more that is temporarily attached to a flatbed trailer is not considered a tank vehicle.

SECURITY THREAT ASSESSMENT:

Prior to the issuance of a Nebraska CDL with the hazardous materials endorsement, individuals will be required as per the U.S. PATRIOT ACT to have a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security threat assessment completed. Click here for important information regarding the US Patriot Act Hazmat Requirements. Renewal CDL applicants with the hazmat endorsement who have not completed their security threat assessment process will be granted a one-time 90 day extension per renewal period. The extension will be a letter sent from DMV to the applicant on the actual expiration date of their current CDL. This letter must accompany their expired CDL. The DMV computer record will reflect the updated expiration date.

RESTRICTED CDL:

Any resident of this state who is a seasonal commercial motor vehicle operator for a farm-related or ranch-related service industry may apply for a Restricted Commercial Driver’s license (RCDL). A RCDL authorizes the license holder to operate any Class B or Class C commercial motor vehicle. Any applicant for a RCDL must be 18 years of age or older and must have possessed a valid operator’s or Provisional Operator’s Permit during the twelve-month period immediately preceding the date of application.

SEASONAL PERMIT:

A permit which is valid for 180 consecutive days, issued to the holder of a Restricted CDL, authorizing the person to operate a Class B or Class C vehicle. May only be issued once in a 12-month period.

THIRD PARTY TESTERS:

Third party testers are companies that are authorized to conduct the driving skills examination for the issuance of the CDL for a fee. These companies must follow all requirements outlined in title 247 NAC, Chapter 8, Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles Rules and Regulations Governing the Certification of Third-Party Testers and Third-Party Examiners for the Commercial Driver’s License. You can view these rules and regulations and obtain a list of third party testers online or by contacting the DMV.

Drivers must have a valid CLP and hold for a minimum of 14 days prior to taking a CDL skills test. Skills tests appointments by Third Party Testers must be made a minimum of two days in advance of testing.

Applicants who are administered CDL skills tests at a third party tester location should be aware that they may be required to retake the skills tests administered by driver licensing staff or at a later date as part of the DMV audit process. If you are asked to retake the skills tests by driver licensing staff and refuse, the issuance of your CDL may be denied. If you fail the CDL skills tests as part of the audit process or do not appear at the time of audit, your CDL may be subject to cancellation.

Third Party Testers that are training schools may administer the CDL skills tests to individuals who have taken training in Nebraska, but are to be licensed in another state.

APPLICATION FOR MILITARY SKILLS TESTS WAIVER:

Service members who are currently licensed and who are or were within the past year (12 months) in a military position requiring the operation of a military motor vehicle equivalent to a commercial motor vehicle may use the CDL skills tests waiver form. This waiver allows a qualified service member to apply for a CDL without skills testing. CDL written test(s) cannot be waived. The application form is available on the DMV website or at any Driver Licensing office. The transfer of School Bus (S) and/or Passenger (P) endorsements under this waiver program are prohibited.

NON-DOMICILED CDLS:

Non-Domiciled CDLs are issued to applicants that:

  1. Are domiciled in another State that has been placed out of compliance and forbidden from issuing CDL documents by FMCSA.
  2. Are domiciled in a foreign country (except Canada or Mexico)

Non US Citizens obtaining a CLP or CDL must prove lawful status every time they apply for a document and verity thru the SAVE program. Non US Citizens presenting a Permanent Resident Card (I-551 card or stamp) are issued a Limited Term CLP or CDL document. Non US Citizens presenting a Record of Arrival and Departure (I-94) or Employment Authorization Card (I-766) are issued a Non Domiciled CLP or CDL document.

For additional information please contact the DMV home office at 402-471-3861.

June 2015 Nebraska School Transportation Association Summer Conference DMV Presentation on CDL changes related to School Bus drivers.

NOTE: REFER TO THE COMMERCIAL DRIVER’S LICENSE MANUAL FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.