Step-by-Step guide to obtaining a KY CDL A

Step-by-Step guide to obtaining a KY CDL A 2019-06-10T14:16:45+00:00

A Step-By-Step guide to obtaining your Class A CDL in the state of Kentucky

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1) Obtain a DOT Physical

WHAT: All commercial drivers of vehicles in interstate commerce with a maximum gross vehicle weight rating of over 10,000 pounds (4,536 kilograms) are required to obtain and maintain a valid DOT Physical, which includes a DOT Medical Card.

You can obtain a DOT Physical at any DOT Physical Lab. Some personal doctors can conduct a DOT Physical, but many cannot. Make sure to use a DOT Certified Physician.


National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners Search:

COST: The average cost of a DOT Physical is $75.

2) Submit your DOT Physical, Self-Certification and CDL Application

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WHAT: All CDL holders must declare to their State Driver Licensing Agency (SDLA) that they only operate or expect to operate commercially in 1 of 4 possible categories with their CDL. This process is called self-certification.

When you submit your self-certification and application, you must also submit a scanned copy of your DOT Medical Card.

You must wait 10 business days after submitting your DOT Physical, Self-Certification and CDL Application before you can test to take your CDL A Permit (next step).

Don’t worry about doing this – TAT will take care of this for you!


How to Determine which of the 4 categories of commercial motor vehicle operation to self- certify (applicants almost always elect Non-excepted interstate):

KY CDL Portal:

COST: Free

3) Get a CDL Permit

WHAT: Much like getting a regular driver’s license, a permit is required to move forward with the steps of obtaining a CDL.  You can get a Class A CDL permit by passing series of written exams. The written tests to get a Class A CDL permit include: General Knowledge, Air Brakes and Combination vehicles.

Exams are based on your state of residency CDL A Manual. TAT has training material and practice exams to help you pass the CDL Permit with flying colors.


A Commercial Driver’s License handbook can be found at:



Kentucky residents pay $50 for the permit + $50 for the Ky Skills testing fees at the DMV.

4) Truck America trains you to take the Skills Test.

A CDL driving test must be passed in which the driver completes a 3-part exam that includes a pre-trip inspection test, basic maneuvering skills test, and a driving test.

5) Take the CDL Skills test

TAT allows you to test in their truck at a test site with an official testing officer.

COSTS: Kentucky residents pay $50 at the time of their permit to cover the cost of their first Skills Test. If a person must take the test again, he or she will pay the state of Kentucky $52.50 for each re-test that must be taken.

6) Obtain your CDL A

After you have successfully passed all three portions of your Skills Test, you go back to your local license branch to be issued your official CDL A.


Kentucky residents pay $50 for the issuance of the CDL A license.