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Old 02-04-2013, 07:39 PM   #1
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Obtaining a CDL

I have a dilemma. I would like to get a Class B CDL with Passenger Bus and Airbrake endorsements over the summer. (It will be very useful for our volunteer position next winter). I hold a South Dakota drivers license, and we will be spending the summer in Oregon. Any suggestions on 1. do I need a CDL "Learners Permit" to practice driving in Oregon, and 2. do I have to travel to South Dakota to take the test?
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:03 PM   #2
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I would think both questions would be best answered if you contacted the motor vehicle License Departments of each State
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:17 PM   #3
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I found CDL drivers license program. with a quick internet search, hope it helps.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:54 PM   #4
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South Dakota does not require a CDL to operate a Class A Coach. That being said, if you could find a Class A Coach with air brakes to practice on that would negate the need for a learners permit.

As to your second question, yes you would need to return to SD to test for your Class B CDL with Passenger and Air Brake Endorsements. In order to obtain a CDL learner's permit you would be required to take and pass the written General Knowledge Test and also the written tests for both endorsements before being issued a Learner's Permit. In any event you should contact South Dakota Department of Public Safety: : Home Page for the full scoop.
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Old 02-05-2013, 09:55 AM   #5
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Since you hold a South Dakota license and want a SD-issued CDL, you need to do what the South Dakota DMV requires, which will include a SD CDL driving test. You can practice whenever and wherever you like, but the testing procedure will be per SD DMV rules.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:56 AM   #6
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You also need a real address for a CDL, not a forwarding service.

My forwarding service once told me a woman down the street "rented rooms" for $100 a year to meet that requirement.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:05 AM   #7
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You could also check into taking driving classes with semi's. If it's anything like most motorcycle classes if you pass the class you get the endorsement from the DMV.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
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You also need a real address for a CDL, not a forwarding service.

My forwarding service once told me a woman down the street "rented rooms" for $100 a year to meet that requirement.
Amazing how she got all those "rooms" into that tiny house, ain't it?
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:12 AM   #9
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Amazing how she got all those "rooms" into that tiny house, ain't it?
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:41 AM   #10
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Not to muddy the waters here, but are you planning on doing commercial hauling/trucking? Trying to figure out if you are doing this for an Oregon summer or what. Cannot say about Oregon if you are going to be there for the summer, but most states have reciprocal agreements on licensing issues. We are fine in SD with our Ga licenses.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
Since you hold a South Dakota license and want a SD-issued CDL, you need to do what the South Dakota DMV requires, which will include a SD CDL driving test. You can practice whenever and wherever you like, but the testing procedure will be per SD DMV rules.
Thanks Gary. I'd plan to return to SD for the test. I recall reading somewhere that some kind of "learners permit" may be required for practicing in a commercial vehicle. The long term objective here is to be licensed to drive retired school buses on a National Wildlife Refuge doing visitor tours.
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Old 02-05-2013, 08:46 PM   #12
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bdickson, read the link I provided closely. It has all the details you need. It even says you only need a class C CDL to drive a school bus.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:34 PM   #13
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When I got my class A CDL 20 years ago, I had to pass a written exam (actually computerized) for General Knowledge, Air Brakes, Combination, and Haz Mat endorsements.
After I paid the proper fees and passed the written exam, I was issued a CDL "learners permit" that was valid for 6 months. It worked just like a regular learners permit, I had to have a CDL driver in the cab with me whenever I "practiced" driving a commercial vehicle. (I still had my regular license during all of this)
When I was ready to take my 'hands on' test, I had to hire a 3rd party instructor to give me the road test and I had to supply the truck as well.
When I completed all of that, I had to surrender my Class E and get my CDL.
Since you only want a class B, you will only need to take General Knowledge and Air Brakes, and then get a passenger endorsement to drive a bus.
You will also be required to pass a D.O.T. medical examination every two years. If you are diabetic or have high blood pressure, I advise you to seek another profession, it's a big hassle to keep a CDL with either one.
With all of that being said, that was in 1993 and it was in the State of West Virginia. However, I doubt the SD process is very different since the U.S.D.O.T. sets the requirements for the CDL program.

That's about all I remember, other than the details of the road test and such. Hope it helps!
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Old 02-07-2013, 09:23 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phobos View Post
When I got my class A CDL 20 years ago, I had to pass a written exam (actually computerized) for General Knowledge, Air Brakes, Combination, and Haz Mat endorsements.
After I paid the proper fees and passed the written exam, I was issued a CDL "learners permit" that was valid for 6 months. It worked just like a regular learners permit, I had to have a CDL driver in the cab with me whenever I "practiced" driving a commercial vehicle. (I still had my regular license during all of this)
When I was ready to take my 'hands on' test, I had to hire a 3rd party instructor to give me the road test and I had to supply the truck as well.
When I completed all of that, I had to surrender my Class E and get my CDL.
Since you only want a class B, you will only need to take General Knowledge and Air Brakes, and then get a passenger endorsement to drive a bus.
You will also be required to pass a D.O.T. medical examination every two years. If you are diabetic or have high blood pressure, I advise you to seek another profession, it's a big hassle to keep a CDL with either one.
With all of that being said, that was in 1993 and it was in the State of West Virginia. However, I doubt the SD process is very different since the U.S.D.O.T. sets the requirements for the CDL program.

That's about all I remember, other than the details of the road test and such. Hope it helps!
So it looks like the order of business is: Study, take the written test, get a medical, get a learners permit, practice on the road, take the road test. Looks like I would have to be in South Dakota twice during this process. That, and the fact I take blood pressure and diabetes meds is making me think that someone else can drive the bus next year. Thanks to everyone for the input.
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