Kansas CDL License Requirements – What You Need to Know

| Last Updated: December 18, 2021

Kansas state expects all commercial drivers to obtain a commercial driving license and renew it every four years. Yet, not many understand what it takes to get one.

This guide explains everything you need to know to apply for a CDL in Kansas successfully. That includes the requirements, the fees, procedure, CDL license types, and endorsements.

How to Get a CDL in Kansas

You need to visit the Department of Motor Vehicle in Kansas with the necessary documents, including an ID, DoT examiner report, and social security card.

You’ll pay $13 for the commercial learner’s permit, which you’ll be tested on, and wait for 14 days for its results.  

Upon receiving the results of the learner’s permit, you’ll need to pay $18 for a 3-part CDL skill test, $18 for the license application, and $8 for a mandatory photo – everything amounting to $44.

Depending on the license class you are applying for, you can add as many endorsements as you want, which will cost you $10 per endorsement.

The whole process takes about seven weeks, and once you receive your CDL, it’s valid for four years from the issuance date.

Kansas CDL Requirements

Here are the basic requirements for obtaining a commercial driving license in Kansas:

  • Minimum age – You should be at least 18 years to drive a commercial vehicle within Kansas (or intrastate) and at least 21 years to handle hazardous materials or drive across state lines (or interstate).
  • Driver’s license/permit – You must provide a valid commercial learner’s permit or a valid CDL from another state.
  • Test requirements – You only receive the CDL after passing a 3-part CDL test. The test involves a pre-trip inspection (that tests your understanding of your commercial vehicle), a basic skills test (which tests your off-road maneuvers), and a road test (which examines your ability to drive safely).
  • Proof of residence/citizenship – You must provide a national ID or proof of legal permanent residency to prove your legal status in the US. For proof of Kansas residency, you can provide your vehicle registration number, utility bill, or anything else that shows your current address and name.
  • Other documentation includes a social security card, proof of vehicle registration, and vehicle insurance (if you are taking an owner’s operator CDL).
  • Medical requirements – You need to pass a vision test and provide a DoT medical examiner’s report, which should be older than two years. You can get the DoT examiner’s report from a licensed US doctor, physician assistant, advanced practice nurse, doctor of osteopathy, or chiropractor.
  • Fees – You’ll need to pay $44 for the CDL license, including the license fee, the photo fee, and the tests fee. Additionally, you’ll pay $10 for every endorsement you take up. As for the CDL permit, you’ll pay $13, including the permit fee and the mandatory photo fee.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a CDL in Kansas?

Here is a breakdown of the costs of obtaining a CDL in Kansas:

First; $13 for the commercial learner’s permit, which includes:

  • $5 for the permit
  • $8 for the mandatory photo

Secondly, $44 for the CDL, which includes:

  • $18 for the license application
  • $3 for the written exam
  • $15 for the road skill test
  • $8 for the mandatory photo

In addition to the $44 CDL costs, you’ll pay $10 for each endorsement you apply for.

In case you sit for a retake, you’ll need to pay $1.5 for its written exam and $3 for its skill test. And if you want to replace your CDL, it’ll cost you $16.

How Long Does It Take to Get a CDL in Kansas?

Depending on the complexity of the process, a CDL can take three weeks to six months to obtain. Most people who attend full-time CDL training take seven weeks on average. 

Note, however, that it takes up to two weeks to receive the results of your commercial learner’s permit, which you use to apply for the CDL.

Commercial License Types & Classes in Kansas

Essentially, there are three categories of commercial licenses in Kansas, and they are as follows:

Class A CDL

You need a class A driving license to operate a combined vehicle with a GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating) of more than 26,000 pounds but with a towed vehicle or trailer weight of more than 10,000 pounds. 

Examples of combined vehicles are tractor-trailers, tankers, and bus trailers.

Class B CDL

A Class B CDL is necessary for driving singles or combined vehicles with a GVWR of 26,000 plus pounds but a towed or trailer load that’s less than 10,000 pounds.

Class C CDL

Vehicles that don’t meet the specifications of Class A and B but either haul hazardous materials or carry more than 16 passengers (counting the driver) require a Class C CDL.

In addition to the license, you need to obtain a CDL endorsement to transport people or hazardous materials.

Kansas CDL Endorsements

Currently, there are six types of CDL endorsements in Kansas:

  • H Endorsement (or Placard Hazmat Endorsement) – Necessary for transporting hazardous materials
  • N Endorsement – Necessary for transporting bulk liquids or gasses, at least 1000 gallons
  • X Endorsement – Necessary for hauling hazardous material in a tanker vehicle
  • S Endorsement – Necessary for operating a school bus
  • T Endorsement – Necessary for operating multiple trailers
  • P Endorsement – Necessary for passenger transportation

Why Kansas is a Great Place to Start a Truck Driving Career

Kansas is generally a great place to start your truck driving career due to these four reasons:

  • Fast-growing economy – Kansas economy is fast-growing and more businesses are coming up. 

The state is also home to many established companies, which presents work opportunities to truck drivers. These include companies such as Barned & McDonnel, Garmin, and Sprint.

  • Better-paying jobs – Truck drivers earn decently in Kansas, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With heavy truck drivers averaging $19.87 hourly and about $41,340 yearly, you can make a decent living in Kansa as a truck driver.
  • Low cost of living – Nationally, Kansas ranks fourth when it comes to states with the lowest cost of living. While the national housing cost is $231,200, that of Kansas is about $137,000. That clearly shows houses are more affordable. 

Also, Kansas produces a lot of consumable goods, more so food, which also lowers the cost of living.

  • Fun spots – You don’t expect to work every day. So, having the best place to hang around when you are not at work is a good idea. Luckily, Kansas never runs short of country clubs, botanical gardens, libraries, museums, hiking trails, and shopping centers.

Job Outlook and Salary for Truck Driving in Kansas

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Kansas is projected to experience a 4-6% growth in truck driving jobs yearly between now and 2024.

Though that is slightly lower than the 7% national average, it’s not a big concern, given that the number has been consistent since 2014, according to the report.

Overall, the BLS report shows that truck drivers in riskier jobs make the most money, especially those transporting hazardous materials.

Experience level, certifications, and endorsements generally make truck drivers more marketable in Kansas. As a result, they are likely to get better-paying jobs.

What is the Demand for Truck Drivers in Kansas?

According to Kmbc.com, one major issue paralyzing the Kansas supply chain is the shortage of truck drivers. Companies have no choice but to attract new drivers with good salaries and massive bonuses.

Interestingly, sign-up bonuses of up to $10,000 are becoming a norm, according to the report.

Understandably, the truck driving sector, like every other, has been hit by Covid 19, and so things are relatively slow given the strict COVID-19 protocols.

How Much Do CDL Drivers Make in Kansas?

According to the Bureau of Labor statistics, heavy truck drivers make $19.87 per hour on average, while light truck operators and passenger vehicle drivers average $14.57 and $13.55 per hour, respectively.

Overall, commercial heavy truck jobs pay the highest, where the national average is $19.87 hourly and $41,340 yearly. According to BLS, the lowest earners in the heavy truck categories average $26,920 while the highest earners average $63,140 annually in Kansas.

As for light trucks, the national average is $34,170 yearly or $14.57 hourly. Passenger vehicle drivers also earn decently, given that the national average is $31,920 annually and about $14.96 hourly.

Kansas bus drivers, however, make the least money in the passenger vehicle categories, given that they average $28,180 yearly or mean hourly earnings of $13.55.

Conclusion

Whether you are a heavy truck driver, a light truck driver, or a passenger vehicle driver, getting a CDL in Kansas is advisable. Not only does that allow you to get better-paying hauling jobs, but it also proves your capability as a CMV driver. 

Be sure to use the above guide to start applying for your  Kansas commercial driving license.

People Also Ask

While we have covered the basics for obtaining a CDL in Kansas, the topic is pretty broad. So, a few questions are likely to arise. Here are some common ones:

Can a Felon Get a CDL in Kansas?

A felon cannot get a CDL in Kansas, especially if it’s a serious offense. Moreover, you could lose your CDL for life if charged with a felony for committing grievous traffic offenses like:

  • Exceeding the speed limit by more than 15mph
  • Reckless driving
  • Fleeing the accident scene after being at fault of the crash

How Long Does a CDL Permit Last in Kansas?

A CDL permit only lasts six months in Kansas. After that, you need to reapply and retake the test. Alternatively, you should get a CDL license, which is renewable after four years.

How Much Does CDL School Cost in Kansas?

Depending on the CDL school you enroll in, CDL training costs $3,000-$7,000 in Kansas. 

However, note that private truck-driving institutions are likely to charge more but promise better value for money.

Can You Get a CDL with a DUI in Kansas?

The state of Kansas disqualifies you from getting a CDL if you are convicted of a DUI charge. 

Your blood alcohol concentration should be less than $0.04 when driving a CMV, and you shouldn’t be under the influence of a controlled substance. If you are a CDL holder, you can lose your license for DUI.

Where Can I Find the Kansas CDL Practice Test?

The Internet offers you lots of options when it comes to practicing for the Kansas CDL tests. Apps like CDL Prep Test 2022, CDL Practice Test-CDL Test Prep, and CDL Permit Practice Test can help.

What is the Kansas Non-Commercial Class a Drivers License?

A non-commercial class driver’s license is a special driver’s license needed to operate a truck-tractor or semi-trailer whose GVWR is over 26,000 pounds, and that of the trailer is more than 10,000 pounds.

This license is necessary to operate a combined vehicle that’s exempted from the basic CDL requirements of a commercial Class A vehicle.

How Can You Do the Kansas CDL Self Certification?

Kansas requires CDL holders to declare the type of driving they’ll be doing (interstate or intrastate). They should also self-certify if they meet the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Standards.

The declaration happens at the State Driver Licensing Agency (SDLA).



After spending years on the road, I had a lot of time to think about the hardships that came with the trucking industry. I realized there was an opportunity to lend a hand a create a resource for truckers by truckers. With the help of my tech-savvy son, I built Trucker Geek as a way to show people that becoming a driver doesn’t need to be a stressful headache.