Oregon CDL License Requirements – Driver’s Guide

| Last Updated: December 18, 2021

Getting an Oregon commercial driver’s license is one of the best decisions you can make for assured employability and job security. 

Many aspiring commercial drivers find CDL requirements overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be so if you know what you have to do right from the start. 

In this article, we explore all applicable Oregon CDL  requirements and why getting your CDL in the state is a great idea. 

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How to Get a CDL in Oregon

To obtain your Oregon commercial driver’s license (CDL), you must fulfill the requirements stipulated by the Oregon Driver & Motor Vehicle Services Division

The section below explores the applicable requirements in detail. 

Oregon CDL Requirements

Each CDL applicant must fulfill the following requirements to be issued with a CDL in Oregon. 

Age Requirements

  • You have attained 18 years of age to be allowed to obtain a CDL and drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) within Oregon state lines (Intrastate)
  • You must have attained 21 years of age to obtain a CDL for interstate driving, carrying passengers, or transporting hazardous materials.

Proof of Lawful Residence and Identity

You must prove that you are a lawful resident of Oregon and a legal US citizen. The following personal identification means may be required:

  • Valid US ID card
  • Valid US passport
  • Valid Green Card if you are a non-US citizen
  • Valid Social Security Number/Card
  • US Birth certificate
  • Any document showing proof of Oregon address

Fees

Each CDL applicant must pay all the applicable fees to obtain an Oregon CDL. The different fees required are discussed in depth below. 

Prior Driving Experience and Existing Driver’s License

Oregon state requires each CDL aspirant to have at least one year of driving experience using a non-commercial Oregon Driver’s License. 

You must agree to a Driving Record Check. Your non-commercial Driver’s License must be in good standing and not canceled, revoked, or disqualified. 

Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP)

You will be required to obtain this permit to allow you to start training as a student CMV driver. 

The General Knowledge Test is mandatory to obtain the CLP. 

Your CLP will be valid for only one year, within which you must take and pass the CDL Skills Test. Otherwise, you would have to retake the Knowledge Test and apply for the CLP anew. 

CDL Tests

You must take and pass various CDL tests. Applicants are required to score at least 80% to pass each written test. These tests include:

  • General Knowledge Test – Has a set of 50 questions. 
  • Combination Vehicles Test – For drivers who intend to operate Class A combination CMVs
  • Endorsement Knowledge Tests – For each endorsement, you would like to add to your CDL
  • CDL Skills Test – The skills test comprises The Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection, Basic Controls Skills Test, and the On-Road Driving Test. 

The Pre-trip Vehicle Inspection Test requires you to go round your vehicle and explain to your examiner what you are inspecting and why. 

The Basic Controls Skills Test checks your ability to control the vehicle with maneuvers such as backing, parking, and docking. 

Passing these first two tests allows you to take the On-Road Driving Test that checks your ability to perform various driving aspects on the road. 

Aspects tested here include observing traffic signs, lane positioning, rail-road crossing measures, bridge clearance, starting, stopping, safe driving, and more. 

Each CDL aspirant must provide a test vehicle for the CDL Skills Test, together with proof for the vehicle’s registration and valid insurance. 

English Language Comprehension

Since written tests are only offered in English and translators aren’t allowed, you must be able to write, read, and speak English fluently. 

Oregon CDL Medical Card Requirements

Besides the above requirements, you must provide a valid medical card and medical examiner’s certificate as part of Oregon’s medical and physical requirements. 

The two medical documents must be completed by any of the following:

  • Chiropractor
  • Licensed Physician Assistant
  • Licensed US Doctor of Medicine
  • Advanced Practice Registered Nurse
  • Doctor of Osteopathy

The physician you choose must be certified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and you can find one from the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

The Medical Examiner’s Certificate must be valid and not expire within 60 days from the day you obtained it if you are a first-time CDL applicant. 

The physical requirements for Oregon include:

  • Ability to distinguish the colors of traffic signals 
  • Maximum permissible blood pressure of 160/100. You are allowed to use prescription medicines to control blood pressure levels. 
  • Your blood sugar level shouldn’t exceed 200
  • You should be free of narcotics, habit-forming drugs, amphetamine, or Schedule 1 Drugs
  • Ability to perceive forced whispers from at least five feet away
  • 20/40 vision for each eye on its own as well as both eyes together. Visual enhancement devices like contacts or glasses are allowed. 
  • At least 70 degrees of horizontal field of vision in each eye
  • If you have any physical impairment, such as a missing limb, you must take and pass the Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE) to obtain a “Variance” document. 
  • You’ll also be required to self-certify the type of commerce you are planning on doing and whether you must have a DOT medical card. 

    You can self-certify in any of the following four categories of commerce:

    • Intrastate Excepted – Not required to have a medical card to drive CMVs within Oregon state lines
    • Intrastate Non-excepted – Required to have a medical card to drive CMVs within Oregon state lines
    • Interstate Excepted – Not required to have a medical card to drive CMVs across state lines
    • Interstate Non-excepted – Required to have a DOT medical card to drive CMVs across state lines. 

    Note that each CDL holder automatically provides implied consent to alcohol testing, meaning you can be stopped at any time and be asked to take an alcohol or controlled substance test. 

    How Much Does It Cost To Get a CDL in Oregon?

    The total cost of getting an Oregon commercial driver’s license depends on several individual components. Below is a breakdown of the various components. 

  • Average CDL trucking school cost: $5,999
  • DOT medical test: $105 (may vary, depending on the practitioner)
  • CLP fee: $23
  • CLP renewal fee: $26
  • CDL fee: $75 (If you have an existing Oregon Driver’s License)
  • CDL fee: $135 (If you don’t have an Oregon Driver’s License)
    • CDL renewal fee: $61
    • CDL replacement fee: $26
    • CDL replacement fee to add or remove an endorsement (except farm): $26
    • General Knowledge Test fee: $10
    • CDL Skills Test fee: $70
    • CDL Skills Test fee: $40 (if administered by a Third-party examiner
    • Endorsement fees: $10 (for each endorsement added)
    • Certificate of Test Completion fee: $40 (If tested by a Third-party examiner)
    • Certificate of Test Completion fee: $40 (Tested by a Third-party examiner and with a P and/or S endorsement)

    How Long Does It Take To Get a CDL in Oregon?

    It takes four to eight weeks to obtain an Oregon commercial driver’s license. Drivers who attend full-time training programs can obtain their CDL in an average of seven weeks.

    CDL drivers in accelerated programs can obtain their license in four weeks. 

    You must have held your CLP for at least 14 days before scheduling and taking the CDL Skills Test.  

    Oregon CDL Disqualifications

    Obtaining your CDL can be one huge process, and you could easily lose the license if it is disqualified for any or a combination of the following issues.

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    Major Offenses

    • Refusing to take an alcohol test as required by the implied consent to testing regulations
    • Driving under the influence of controlled substances
    • Operating a CMV with 0.04 or greater blood alcohol concentration
    • Being under alcoholic influence contrary to state laws
    • Committing a felony with a CMV
    • Fleeing from an accident scene
    • Causing a fatality or vehicular manslaughter with a CMV through operational negligence 

    If you are caught for the very first time for a major offense, your CDL will be disqualified for up to one year or up to three years if you transport hazardous materials. 

    Repeat offenses attract lifetime CDL disqualification. 

    Serious Traffic Violations

    • Reckless driving
    • Erroneous lane changes on the road
    • Excessive speeding at 30 mph or more above the recommended speed limit
    • Failure to keep considerable distance between you and the vehicle ahead
    • Operating a CMV with a CDL or endorsement that doesn’t correspond with the vehicle class
    • Operating a CMV without a commercial driver’s license on you
    • Operating a CMV without a commercial driver’s license

    First-time serious traffic violations may not attract a CDL disqualification, but the second attracts disqualification of up to 60 days and at least 120 days for third violations. 

    Railroad-Highway Crossing Offenses

    • Failure to stop or slow down at a railroad crossing to check for oncoming trains when you are not required to stop

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    • Failure to stop before driving through the crossing when you are required to stop
    • Failure to obey the directions of a traffic control device or an enforcement officer at the crossing
    • Failure to ensure you have enough space to fully cross through without stopping
    • Failure to negotiate the crossing because your undercarriage clearance was insufficient

    Railroad crossing violations attract disqualification of 60 days for the first offense, 120 days for a second offense within three years, and at least one year for a third offense within three years. 

    Out-of-Service Order Violations

    Your CDL will be disqualified further if you are found operating a CMV before an earlier disqualification period is over. 

    Commercial License Types & Classes in Oregon

    The state of Oregon has the following three CDL classes based on the weight rating and type of the commercial motor vehicle (CMV).

    Class A CDL

    A Class A CDL allows you to drive any combination vehicle with a Gross Combined Vehicle Weight Rating (GCVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more that pulls a unit exceeding 10,000 pounds in gross weight. 

    Class A CDL drivers can drive vehicles listed in Class B Na C once they obtain relevant endorsements. 

    Class B CDL 

    A Class B CDL is necessary for driving a single or combination vehicle whose Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is 26,001 pounds or more, with a towed unit weighing 10,000 pounds or less in gross weight. 

    With the right endorsements, Class B CDL drivers can operate Class C vehicles. 

    Class C CDL

    A Class C CDL is required for any single or combination vehicle that doesn’t fit in Class A or B, is meant to transport 16 or more people with the driver included, or is designed to transport hazardous materials. 

    Oregon CDL Endorsements

    The CDL endorsements below are applicable in Oregon:

    • H (HazMat) – for transporting hazardous materials 
    • N – for tank vehicles that haul gases or liquids in bulk
    • X – for transporting hazardous materials in a tank vehicle
    • P – for Class A and Class B CMVs that transport passengers in commerce or Class C CMVs that carry 16 or more passengers, inclusive of the driver
    • S – for driving any kind of School Bus
    • T – for driving doubles or triples with a Class A CDL.

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

    You don’t just start your trucking career in any state. Here are a few aspects that make Oregon a good state to begin your career. 

    Job Security

    Job stability in the trucking world has grown tremendously in the COVID-19 era as most people stay indoors and rely on truckers to deliver goods bought online. 

    You are assured of job security as a trucker because goods will always be in high demand not just in Oregon but other states as well. 

    Attractive Benefits

    Many trucking companies in Oregon offer their CDL drivers benefits such as vision, dental, paid vacations, medical, and retirement benefits. 

    Top Trucking Companies

    Oregon is home to top US trucking companies such as Pro Truck Lines, May Trucking, Express Transport, Leavitt’s Freight Service, Central Transport, and Tradewinds Transportation. 

    You can be sure to find quality work with these and many other companies. 

    Job Outlook and Salary For Truck Driving in Oregon

    If you are convinced that a trucking career in Oregon is a great choice for you, you’ll next want to know how much truckers earn in the state and how the job scene looks like. 

    Let’s break this down for you. 

    What is the Demand For Truck Drivers in Oregon?

    A growth rate of 5 percent higher than the rest of the US is expected for trucking jobs in Oregon between now and 2026. This growth will bring the total to over 26,000 truck drivers. 

    How Much Do CDL Drivers Make in Oregon?

    According to Indeed, the average base salary for truck drivers in Oregon is $71,646 per year, the same as the national average. 

    The pay rate depends on various factors, such as the level of experience, route type, and operating mode. 

    Based on experience, truck drivers make $67,723 with less than one year of experience, $76,496 with 6-9 years, and up to $80,8899 with more than ten years of trucking experience.

    Conclusion 

    If you are considering starting a career in trucking, you might want to start it in Oregon. 

    Despite the state’s long list of CDL requirements, you can enjoy your career with attractive benefits such as over $71,646 in annual salary, dental, vision, retirement, and paid vacations.

    People Also Ask

    If you have any questions about obtaining a CDL in Oregon, this section will clear them to give you a clearer understanding of the subject. 

    When is an Oregon CDL Required?

    You must have a CDL to operate any CMV that falls under the following categories:

    • A single or combination vehicle with a Gross weight of 26,001 pounds or more
    • A combination vehicle with a Gross weight of 26,001 pounds, with a towed unit weighing over 10,000 pounds
    • A single or combination vehicle with a gross weight of 26,001 pounds, with a towed unit weighing 10,000 pounds or less
    • Any vehicle meant to transport hazardous materials or carry 16 or more passengers, including the driver. 

    How to Apply for an Oregon CDL

    You can apply for an Oregon CDL through the Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division.

    You must fulfill all the requirements such as age, medical standards, prior driving experience, fees, and proof of identity and residence. 

    Can You Transfer a CDL to Oregon?

    You can transfer your CDL to Oregon from another state.

    Technically, CDLs do not transfer from state to state. Instead, most states require you to surrender an out-of-state CDL and obtain a new CDL for the state. 

    In Oregon, you must submit the out-of-state CDL and go through the usual procedure to obtain an Oregon state CDL. 

    The process means you must have an Oregon Driver License, which necessitates living in the state for six or more months prior. 

    Can You Get a CDL With a DUI in Oregon?

    You can still get a CDL with a DUI in Oregon if the disqualification period following DUI conviction lapses. 

    Oregon issues two types of CDL suspensions for DUI. An administrative suspension is issued to drivers who refuse to take an alcohol test. 

    The suspension lasts one year or a lifetime if transporting hazardous materials. 

    A criminal suspension is issued to drivers convicted of a DUI. The CDL is suspended for one year and three years if you were transporting hazardous materials at the time.



    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.