If you are going to obtain a CDL, knowing about its cost and then deciding which type of license do you want to achieve is not a bad idea. In this article, we are going to provide readers with vital information on CDL License cost, and what factors affect the fee you will pay for. In addition, we also answer the related FAQs about this topic as well as the CDL in general. Let’s move to the first section!


cdl cost
How much a CDL cost?


1. What factors affect the CDL license cost? 

In the US, to legally operate a commercial vehicle, you definitely need to own a CDL. However, the CDL is not a piece of cake that you can achieve immediately. In general, test-takers often spend at least a month to receive their license, including the self-practice and training time at the CDL school. Thus, it leads to monetary CDL costs. The question is what factor can affect the CDL cost? We divided them into three factors:


1.1. State

Because each state has its own requirements as well as the test content, therefore, the CDL license cost will also be different. For example, let’s take a look at the table below to know about the differences between CDL costs in 2 states Maryland and California:

Categories Maryland California
CDL Renewal/Conversion $68 $85
CDL Duplicate $20 $50
CDL Skill Retest $20 $39
CDL Learner’s Permit  $90 $85
CDL HAZMAT background check $87.25 $50


1.2. The type of CDL you are getting 

Overall, the CDL license includes 3 main types, depending on which vehicle you are going to operate that you will apply for the proper types. 

  • CDL Class A: A vehicle that has a gross weight of over 26,000 pounds and towing over 10,000 pounds or an 18-wheelers vehicle, such as flatbeds and livestock carriers, etc
  • CDL Class B: Straight trucks, box trucks (such as delivery trucks), big buses (such as school buses, city buses, and tourist buses), and dump trucks with tiny trailers drivers
  • CDL Class C: Single vehicles with GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rate) under 26,000 pounds or towing one with GVWR under 20,000 pounds such as large vans or small trucks or passenger vehicles with less than 24 customers


1.3. Endorsements

If you want to operate more than one type of CDL vehicle, you can apply for different CDL endorsements. However, not all the endorsements’ prices are the same as well as the price for each state is also quite different. In the next section of this article, we will give you a detailed look at the CDL endorsements cost.


cdl license cost
Obtain an endorsement to advance your career


2. How much does it cost to get a CDL license?


2.1. CDL Class A

A CDL Class A fee will include the following list: 

  • Knowledge Test – Expect to pay between $5 and $20 for the test, which frequently includes the issue of a Commercial Learners Permit, but some states charge separate costs for the test and the CLP.
  • Road Skills Test – Expect to pay between $30 and $60, with certain jurisdictions charging extra for endorsements.
  • Standard CDL license costs between $75 and $100, while some jurisdictions charge more.
  • Endorsements – Expect to spend $5 to $10 for each endorsement, which may entail extra knowledge and skills assessments.
  • Application fees, drug screens, fingerprints, background checks for HAZMAT Endorsements (usually $100), and re-test fees are some of the additional expenditures.

Usually, learners also need to pay tuition fees which can range from $1,000 to $5,000. Thus, a class A license cost may be from $2,000 – $5,500 for all. 


2.2. CDL Class B

On average, the cost of a CDL Class B is between $2,500 and $8,000 in general.

The Class B tuition fee is estimated between $2,000 to $2,800. This comprises 80 hours of classroom instruction, in-cab inspections, pre-trip checks, air brakes, and other driving skills.

However, at a separate institution, the class B CDL costs an average of $4200 with a $200 non-refundable administrative charge that includes:

  • Learner’s Permit for CDL
  • DOT Physical Examination and Drug Screen
  • Materials for the classroom
  • After completing CDL testing, you will be issued a CDL license
  • CDL State Exam


2.3. CDL Endorsements

The table below illustrates the average  CDL cost of each CDL endorsement:

Endorsements Cost 
N endorsement  $65
H endorsement $100
X endorsement $50
P endorsement $35
S endorsement $30
T endorsement  $25


cdl license cost for truckers
CDL Endorsements cost 


3. What have the frequently asked questions ( FAQs ) about CDL license cost?  


3.1. What is the cheapest way to get a CDL?

You should be aware that training with a respected OTR firm is the most cost-effective approach to earn a CDL, especially for those who have never been inside a truck before. If you locate an OTR firm prepared to teach and develop your abilities as a new driver, there is typically no expense.


3.2. Can I get a CDL without going to school? 

It is feasible to study for and take your CDL exam without enrolling in professional truck driving training. However, keep in mind that finding a trucking firm or corporation that would hire you to drive for them will be difficult.

You’ll be relieved to discover that there are a plethora of free internet resources available to help you prepare for your CDL knowledge and professional driving examinations. You can find the CDL Practice Test Online to take the practice and pass the exam successfully. 

However, you may have to pay to schedule driving practice sessions. It’s also worth noting that you may study for and take your endorsement exams without attending any recognized driving school. Remember that if you receive your CDL without completing a professional course, it may be more difficult for you to get work. This is due to the fact that most firms want their truck drivers to finish a certified driving program that involves at least 160 hours of training, generally for insurance and company policy reasons.


3.3. How much does it cost to get a CDL in Arkansas?

In Arkansas, you’ll have to pay $92 in fees to earn your CDL. This includes a $50 testing charge as well as a $42 licensing fee. However, if you are acquiring a Class A or B CDL, you may have to pay extra for theory and behind-the-wheel training from an FMCSA-approved training facility. (Without the CDL tuition fee)


3.4. How long is CDL school?

It will take between 5 to 10 weeks.


3.5. What can I do to achieve my CDL license?

After you’ve completed researching and making selections, there are three primary processes to obtaining a CDL:

  • Step 1: Obtain your Commercial Learners Permit (CLP)
  • Step 2: Finish your entry-level driver training.
  • Step 3: Obtain your Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)


The above is the necessary information of CDL license cost that learners should know in order to obtain a CDL and start their trucking career. We hope this article is helpful for your upcoming CDL exam. If you want to find a place to practice, start now with CDL Practice Test