How to Get a CDL A in Nevada
If you want to start a commercial truck driving career in Nevada, you'll first need to obtain your commercial driver's license (CDL). Nevada's Department of Motor Vehicles is the authority for all driving licenses in the state, including the CDL.
The Nevada Commercial Driver License Manual is the official source for information about what it takes to get and maintain a CDL in Nevada, including which class of CDL you need.
Nevada CDL Classifications
Nevada has three classes of commercial driver's licenses based on the type of vehicle you're driving.
- Class A: Class A is required when you have a combination vehicle with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of more than 26,000 pounds and if the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the trailer is more than 10,000 pounds.
- Class B: Class B is required when a single vehicle weighs 26,001 or more pounds, or you're towing a vehicle with a GVWR of fewer than 10,000 pounds.
- Class C: Class C is required for vehicles that don't meet the weight requirements of Class A or Class B but are designed to carry at least 16 people or are placarded for hazardous materials.
A Class A CDL is a higher class than the Class B CDL, and the Class B CDL is a higher class than the Class C CDL. If you have a valid commercial driver's license, you do not need to maintain a separate personal license. The CDL is a higher-class license that covers lower classes, such as a regular driver's license.
Nevada CDL Endorsements
In addition to your CDL A, you may need CDL endorsements depending on the type of vehicle you'll be driving and the cargo you'll haul:
- T for double or triple trailers
- P for passenger vehicles
- N for tank vehicles
- H for hazardous materials
- X for hazardous materials and tankers.
- S for school buses
You'll test for your endorsements when you take the knowledge tests for your commercial learner's permit or your CDL. Permit holders can only hold the P, S, and N endorsements.
Nevada CDL Training Requirements
Nevada has a commercial learner's permit (CLP) requirement. You must hold it for a minimum of 14 days before taking the skills test for the full CDL. Prior to the Entry-Level Driver Training rules in effect February 2022, there are no specific training requirements other than that you need to get enough training to pass the road exam. The permit is valid for up to 180 days if you need more training time. If you let your permit expire for more than 30 days, you must retake all the knowledge tests to obtain your permit.
Nevada CLP holders must currently have a lower class of Nevada license. This could either be a lower-class commercial license or your personal (non-commercial) driver’s license.
In addition, a permit holder must always be accompanied by a driver seated next to them who meets all CDL requirements for that vehicle. The supervising driver must also be at least 25, have held the classifications and endorsements the permit holder is training for at least one year, and have a medical certificate dated within the two previous years.
Getting a Nevada Commercial Driver's License
The state of Nevada requires you to visit a CDL office to obtain a CLP and commercial driver's license. CDL candidates in Nevada must first pass the basic knowledge test and present a Medical Examination Card. Once you've held your permit for two weeks, you can take the road skills test for your CDL.
Cost of a Nevada CDL
- Learner's Permit: $57.25
- License: $141.25
- Endorsements: $14 each
- Renewals: $57.25 - $141.25, depending on type
CDL Age Requirements for Nevada
You must be at least 21 to operate a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce (across state lines), to receive a passenger endorsement, or to receive a hazardous materials endorsement.
Drivers who are 18 to 20 may only drive within the state of Nevada and not the types of vehicles with higher age requirements. Truck drivers must be 25 years old to receive an endorsement for vehicle combinations over 70 feet in length.
Additional CDL Application Requirements in Nevada
To apply for your CDL in Nevada, you must provide a list of all states where you have held a commercial or personal driver's license in the last 10 years. You'll also need to provide proof of residency and identity and certify the type of driving you plan to do.
Nevada requires you to show one of the following forms of valid and unexpired identification:
- A driver's license or ID card from another state if it meets Department of Homeland Security Real ID requirements
- Certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate
- Consular report of birth abroad
- U.S. Passport
- U.S. Passport card
- Permanent resident card
- Certificate of naturalization
- Certificate of citizenship
Who Does the CDL Medical Examination?
The medical examination does not take place at the CDL office. You must select a physician who is on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.
All medical certificates have an expiration date. Before yours expires, you must either renew it or downgrade your CDL so that you are no longer required to have a medical certificate. If you allow your medical certificate to expire, the state may cancel your CDL.
Driving Record Requirements for a Nevada CDL
You may only have a CDL from one state. If you are applying with an out-of-state license, you must intend to cancel it when you receive your Nevada license. Your license must not be suspended, revoked, or canceled in any state and can't be currently subject to such actions via an open traffic case that could result in a suspension, revocation, or cancelation.
How Do You Upgrade to a Nevada CDL A?
Each classification and endorsement of a CDL is a separate license. That means that you must start the process over if you wish to upgrade your license or add endorsements.
For example, a current Class B license holder would need to obtain the learner's permit for a Class A license and pass the appropriate tests. You would not give up your Class B while attempting to obtain a Class A.
You do not have to hold a Class B or C CDL to obtain a Class A. Experience driving with a lower-level license is not a legal requirement. You only need the appropriate learner's permit. If you meet the requirements, it is possible to obtain a CDL A directly without a prior commercial license.
Nevada CDL Renewal
You must renew your CDL every eight years, or every four years if you are over 65. You will need to submit a current medical certificate, pass any required tests, and pay the renewal fee. If you hold a hazmat endorsement, you'll need to pass the hazardous materials endorsement test and undergo a background check.