CDL Frequently Asked Questions | Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (2024)

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Commercial Driver License Frequently Asked Questions

What is the CDL Self Certification?

Pursuant to Federal Regulations 49 CFR 383, 384, 390 and 391, all Classes A, B or C Commercial License (CDL) holders must certify to the type of commercial operation they’re engaged in. You can certify on our website at and visit the Driver License home page, under Division Links, CDL Self Certification.

How often do I need to submit/re-submit my self-certification?

Once submitted, unless you change the type of transportation you are involved in, you do not need to submit another self-certification. To change your certification you can visit our website

You may change your self-certification status.

Required forms may be submitted by one of the following:

Alabama Law Enforcement Agency

CDL Unit

PO Box 1471

Montgomery , AL 36102-1471

What if I do not provide ALEA DL Division with my self-certification and if required, my medical examiner’s certification (card) and any required variance (wavier) document or my medical certificate (card) and any required variance (wavier) document is ab

ALEA will notify you that you are no longer medically certified to operate a CMV. You must have a new medical examination and obtain a new medical certificate (card) and any required variance (wavier). You must then provide the ALEA DL Division the new medical examiner’s certificate (card) and any required variance (wavier). You are responsible for contacting and applying to FMCSA for Renewal of your variance (wavier) if applicable. If you do not provide the self-certification, the medical examiner’s certification (card) and any required variance (wavier) within 45 days of the notice from ALEA, then all CDL privileged will be removed from your license.

What must I do to comply with the new requirements for making my medical certification part of my CDL driving record?

Starting on January 30, 2012, when you:

  • Apply for a CDL:
  • Renew a CDL;
  • Apply for a higher class of CDL;
  • Apply for a new endorsem*nt on a CDL; or
  • Transfer a CDL from another State

You will be required to self-certify to a single type of commercial operation on your driver license application form. Based on that self-certification, you may be required to provide ALEA with a current medical examiner’s certificate and if applicable, provide any variance (wavier) you may have along with the medical certification card.

Where do I get a medical card? Can my regular Doctor give me one?

Only doctors certified by FMCSA can administer the DOT physical. They will have a Federal Registration number, and they will have the correct form(s). For more information regarding Medical Certification Please see:Federal Regulations: Medical examination; certificate of physical examination.

When do I need to submit my DOT medical card?

As long as you remain in the Non-Excepted Interstate self-certification category, your medical card needs to be submitted before the current one on file expires. To avoid any overlap with your driving privilege, it is recommended to submit it at least 2 weeks prior to the expiration date.

How do I submit my DOT medical certification?

You can upload your DOT Medical Examiner’s Certificate online at or mail a copy to: CDL Unit, P. O. Box 1471, Montgomery, AL 36102.

What should I (as a driver) do with the medical examiner’s certificate beginning on January 30, 2014?

After you provide ALEA Driver License Division and your employer with the medical examiner’s certificate (card), the medical examiner’s Certificate (card) will only be valid to present law enforcement for the first 15 day after it was issued, after that time the information will be accessed by law enforcement via CDLIS. Your medical examiner’s certification information will be recorded on your driving record and will become the valid version of your medical certification (card).

How can I get back my CDL privileges?

If the medical examiner’s certificate has expired, you must obtain a new one and provide it to the ALEA Driver License Division, and if applicable, if the variance has expired, you must renew it with FMCSA and provide it along with your medical certification to ALEA Driver License Division. NOTE: RE-examination will be required if your Alabama CDL has been expired over three (3) years.

Do I have to get a Commercial Learner Permit (CLP) before I can be issued my Commercial Driver License?

Yes, if being issued a CDL for the first time, or upgrading, a CLP be issued first and must be held for at least 14 days before testing for the CDL.

How long is the Commercial Learner Permit (CLP) issued?

The CLP is valid for 180 days and may be renewed one time.

If I drove Commercial size vehicles in the military, do I have to test for my CDL?

Military service members who are currently licensed and who are or were employed within the past year (12 months) in a military transportation unit requiring the operation of a military motor vehicle equivalent to a Commercial Motor Vehicle are eligible for a military skills waiver. These individuals will still have to take the knowledge portion(s) of the CDL test, but the skills will be waived. The form to have the skills portion waived is available at any ALEA CDL testing office and should be requested at the time the knowledge test(s) are being taken.

More In This Division

  • Document Requirements And Fees
  • Driver License Offices
  • Driver License Information
  • CDL Frequently Asked Questions
  • Driver Records, Crash Reports, and Driver License Reinstatements
  • Driver License Point System
  • Driver License Forms
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  • ATV/UTV Registration
  • Star ID
    • Document Help
    • STAR ID Document List
    • STAR ID Frequently Asked Questions
  • License and ID Cards
    • Boat/Vessel License Requirements
    • Driver Licenses - Classes, Endorsem*nts, and Restrictions
    • Graduated Driver License
    • Hardship Driver License
    • Ignition Interlock Laws
    • Road Test Study Guide
    • Sex Offender Driver License Designation

Online Resources

CDL Frequently Asked Questions | Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (2024)


What is the Taylor's law in Alabama? ›

The Taylor's Law is a set of regulations that dictate the rules and responsibilities of drivers on the roads of Alabama. It covers a wide range of topics, including traffic violations, accident reporting requirements, insurance coverage, and liability in case of a collision.

What disqualifies you from getting a CDL in Alabama? ›

(1) Driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, or a controlled substance or any other drug which renders a person incapable of safely driving. (2) Driving a commercial motor vehicle while the alcohol concentration of the person's blood, urine, or breath is 0.04 or more.

Can I keep my CDL without a medical card in Alabama? ›

If a current medical examiners certificate and if applicable the variance (waiver) is not received within 45 days all your CDL privileges will be removed from your license.

Which type of CDL is the most common? ›

A class A CDL is the most common type of commercial drivers license.

What is Carly's law in Alabama? ›

The effect of Carly's Law is that an individual who has a debilitating epileptic condition and receives a prescription for CBD approved by the UAB Department of Neurology, who is then criminally prosecuted for unlawful possession of marijuana,iii may be excused for his or her otherwise unlawful conduct.

What are Romeo and Juliet laws Alabama? ›

Close-in-age exemptions: Also known as “Romeo and Juliet laws,” these laws protect individuals from criminal charges when the age difference between the parties involved is small. In Alabama, a minor 12 years of age or older is allowed to engage in sexual activity with a person less than two years older than they are.

Can I get my CDL back after downgrade in Alabama? ›

Once the downgrade has been applied, the driver must complete the DCAH process as required to have his/her license re-activated to full CDL privileges. Once the privileges have been updated, the reinstatement process with the State CDL office may be completed (see attached letter).

How do I self-certify my CDL in Alabama? ›

You can certify on our website at and visit the Driver License home page, under Division Links, CDL Self Certification.

What happens if your dot medical card expires in Alabama? ›

Expiration: If your medical card expires, and you haven't renewed it, Alabama DPS will notify you that you are no longer medically certified to operate a CMV in non-excepted Interstate commerce.

What state is the hardest for CDL? ›

Which State Has the Hardest CDL Test?
  • We've identified the top 3 states that have difficulty in passing the SDL: they are Washington, Massachusetts, and Illinois.
  • According to our data, Washington is the most difficult state in the country to get a driver's license.
Mar 19, 2024

What is the hardest CDL endorsem*nt? ›

Due to the potentially dangerous nature of the freight hauled by HazMat drivers, the process of getting a HazMat endorsem*nt may take a little longer than other endorsem*nts.

What is the hardest part of getting your CDL? ›

The general consensus is that the road test is the hardest part of getting your commercial driver's license (CDL). However, that could depend on how much you study and practice or how you feel about taking written tests.

What is the Taylor law for dummies? ›

Taylor. It authorizes a governor-appointed State Public Employment Relations Board to resolve contract disputes for public employees while curtailing their right to strike. The law provides for mediation and binding arbitration to give voice to unions, but work stoppages are made punishable with fines and jail time.

Does Alabama have a No Child Left Behind Act? ›

Alabama public schools are no longer operating under the Bush-era education reforms known as No Child Left Behind. State education officials announced today that the U.S. Department of Education has granted the state's waiver request to be removed from the many requirements of No Child Left Behind.

What is the Annalyn's law in Alabama? ›

The law states that juvenile sex offenders must submit an application to all school property and school functions and must meet with school personnel to create and implement an individualized safety plan.

What are the laws for 16 year old drivers in Alabama? ›

A 16-17 year old Alabama driver with a Graduated License may NOT: 1. Have more than ONE* non-family passengers other than the parent, guardian, or supervising licensed driver at least 21 years of age. Violations will result in an extension of the graduated license period and/or suspension of the license.

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