Montana CDL Requirements

In State Driving Age:
Driving Between States Age:
Hazardous Age:
Exams Required:
  • Vision
  • Health
  • Written Test
  • Driving Test
IDs Required:
  • State ID
  • Birth Certificate
  • Social Security Card

Montana residents can apply for a commercial driver license (CDL) in Montana if they are 18 years old and not planning to drive the vehicle out of state. They must not be planning to drive a commercial vehicle with a double or triple trailer, and they cannot be planning to transport hazardous materials. In order to perform the aforementioned duties, applicants must be at least 21 years of age.

The Examination Process

The first thing that Montana residents will need to do is pass a physical examination. Upon successful completion of this examination, they will receive their Department of Transportation (DOT) medical certificates. In order to begin this process, they must currently have a Montana driver license.

The Necessary Materials for Applying for a CDL

Application requires the following documents/items:

  • A current Montana driver licenses
  • Their social security cards
  • Application and testing fees

Applying without a Current Montana Driver License

Those who do not currently have a Montana driver license may apply for a CDL in Montana. They will need to provide proof that they are United States citizens or that they are legal residents.

Whey they apply for a CDL, they will be required to take the general knowledge test. Some applicants will also be applying to add endorsements to their licenses, such as the Hazmat endorsement. If this is the case, they will have extra written knowledge tests to take. They will also need to pass the vision test.

The Written Tests

Every applicant for the CDL in Montana will take the general knowledge test. The written exam covers the Montana CDL Manual while the driving test covers your inspection and operation of the vehicle. 

However, additional tests will be required for the following reasons:

  • If the vehicle has air brakes
  • If it is a combination vehicle
  • If the vehicle will be required to carry hazardous materials placards
  • If the vehicle has a double or a triple trailer
  • If the vehicle has a tank with the capacity to carry at least 1,000 gallons
  • If the vehicle is a passenger bus

The Driving Skills Tests

After drivers have passed all of their tests and paid their fees, they will be able to schedule their driving skills tests. During these examinations, they will be tested for their abilities to identify that their vehicles are safe enough to take on the public roads. Then, they will be asked to demonstrate that they can properly control the vehicle by moving it forward and backward. They will also need to show that they can make turns. The third part of the examination will take place on the road.


In Montana, drivers must self-certify that they will be operating their commercial vehicles within the state’s borders or that they will drive these vehicles from state to state. Then, they will need to state that they are excepted or non-excepted drivers. Determining whether or not they are excepted or non-excepted depends on whether or not they must be eligible to meet federal MEC requirements.

The new Montana law requires that commercial vehicle drivers self-certify their vehicles in the excepted or non-excepted categories by 2014.

Montana re-licensing information only gives you three months post-expiration to renew. Failure to do so will result in retesting. Individuals are expected to renew their licenses at the following rate:

Age 21-70 – 5 years
Age 71 + 75 – 4 years
Age 18 + 72 – 3 Years
Age 19 +73 – 2 years
Age 20 + 74 – 1 year

View Truck Driving Schools in Montana to receive your CDL training. 

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