Kentucky CDL License Requirements

To start a career in truck driving in Kentucky, you may first require a Kentucky commercial driver's license (CDL). In Kentucky, a CDL may be required to drive the following types of commercial vehicles:

  • Class A: Combination vehicles with a total weight of 26,001 pounds or above, where the towed vehicle(s) is over 10,000 pounds.
  • Class B: Vehicles weighing 26,001 pounds or more, where the towed vehicle(s) is less than 10,000 pounds.
  • Class C: Vehicles weighing under 26,001 pounds, used for transporting sixteen or more passengers or hauling hazardous materials.

To obtain a Kentucky CDL, you must be at least 18 years old, have a valid Kentucky driver's license, pass a vision exam and obtain a medical certificate. Transportation of cargo across state lines is regulated by the federal government and the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). USDOT requires all drivers who transport materials across state lines to be at least 21 years old. Applicants then need to take a general knowledge exam and a skills test. The three part skills test includes a pre-trip vehicle inspection, a basic vehicle control test, and an on-road driving test. For the driving test, applicants must test in the class of vehicle for which they would like to obtain a CDL license. Ref:

Depending on the type of truck you wish to drive or the cargo you intend to transport, additional endorsement may be required. For example, endorsements may be needed to drive a truck with air brakes, a tanker truck, a school bus or a truck with double/triple trailers. Endorsements may be needed to transport passengers or to haul hazardous materials. A background check by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) may be required for transportation hazardous materials (Hazmat endorsement). Truck driving schools may provide the training and education needed to pass the Kentucky CDL requirements.

Resources for Kentucky CDL Requirements

Visit the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Division of Driver Licensing (DDL) website for more information.

Learn more about Kentucky trucking schools.

Truck Driver Salary in Kentucky

Location 25th Percentile 75th Percentile Annual Salary
United States $31,270 $48,330 $38,700
Kentucky $28,780 $46,530 $36,370
Bowling Green, KY $27,210 $43,870 $31,180
Elizabethtown, KY $25,610 $37,040 $30,070
Lexington-Fayette, KY $26,840 $49,310 $33,370
Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN $32,990 $54,230 $40,980
Owensboro, KY $28,760 $43,650 $35,290

Table data taken from 2015 BLS (