Delaware CDL Requirements

As one of the original 13 colonies and states, Delaware is in a prime position on the Atlantic coast. Maryland is to the south and west, New Jersey is the northeast with Pennsylvania directly to its north. It was named after Virginia's first governor, Thomas West the 3rd Baron De La Warr. At just 96 miles long, it's the second smallest state - beaten only by Rhode Island. Despite its size, it's the sixth most populous state in the country. Curiously, Delaware considers itself the first state, as it was the first of the old colonies to ratify the US Constitution. The topography is lowland plain; even the highest peak in the state is just 450ft or 140m above sea level, making it a low, largely flat state without too much rough or rugged terrain. The north is the hilliest zone, rolling towards flat plains near the coastal areas of the south. The state's climate exists in the continental coastal plain with ocean currents keeping its climate relatively moderate throughout the year.

Which CDL Licenses are Available in Delaware?

Delaware offers all three CDL license types for applicants wishing to drive commercial vehicles requiring said license. All candidates will be expected to pass a series of tests.

Class A

This class of license is for prospective drivers wishing to command vehicles at 26,001lbs or heavier. This also includes trailers weighing in at 10,000lb or greater.

Class B

This class of license is for prospective drivers wishing to command vehicles at 26,001lbs or heavier. This also permits a trailer but weight must not exceed 10,000lb.

Class C

This class of license is for prospective drivers wishing to command vehicles lighter than 26,001lbs. Typically, these are passenger vehicles for 16 or more occupants. Class C licenses are required for transporting hazardous materials.

Class D

All applicants for the above three CLD licenses require a Class D license (the standard driver's license) for a minimum period of two years beforehand.

Most states, Delaware included, will require further training for endorsements applicable to driving other vehicle types.

CDL Eligibility in Delaware

Delaware is required to adhere to Federal laws on CDL licensing but is permitted to set some of its own criteria which it will examine and modify in line with regular reviews. Regardless of required class, applicants for CDL are subject to testing and medical checks.

License and Permits

  • You are required to possess a driver's license for a minimum period of two years for eligibility of application for any CDL
  • You are required to submit to relevant and necessary health checks to include a medical for ascertaining the quality of your vision
  • While you are not required to study a CDL education course, it may be advisable to do so based on stringent requirements of the tests
  • Delaware requires both a written and a driving skills exam with general knowledge section before CDL license is granted


  • Minimum age to apply for a CDL in Delaware is 18
  • 18-21-year-olds may not drive outside of the state, only within state boundaries

Proof of Residence of Delaware

  • You will require valid ID proving your residence in the state of Delaware
  • You will require valid Social Security Number at the application stage

CDL Requirements for Delaware Residents

  • You will require a driver's license issued by Delaware state for driving
  • A valid Social Security Number Card
  • You will require proof of insurance
  • The state of Delaware may subject you to further safety and security checks such as a TSA screening if you are to transport hazardous materials

Delaware CDL Requirements for Out-of-State Residents and Transfers

Delaware sets its own regulations for out-of-state criteria. Anybody moving from out of state is required to apply for a Delaware driver's license within 60 days and surrender your previous state license:

  • You will require your out of state CDL license - so long as it has not expired - along with any current, relevant medical certificate
  • Proof of US citizenship is required. Typically, your birth certificate or US passport is enough; originals are required. For a full list, please see the resource section
  • You will require proof of Delaware residency
  • A Social Security Number card or W-2 form

Non-U.S. Citizen Requirements for Delaware CDL

Non-US citizens will require further documentation in the application of their Delaware CDL. Only permanent residents are permitted to apply for a CDL. You will also need all of the following:

  • Presentation of your valid Permanent Resident Card. In lieu of this, any other official paperwork legitimizing your right to US residence
  • You will require valid legal identification. Please refer to the list in the resources section for what does and does not qualify as valid identification
  • Proof of your legal right to reside in Delaware
  • An international driver's license if you hold one
  • Any other documentation in support of your application such as EAC

Do I Need a CDL?

Many states, Delaware included, offer a pass under some circumstances for military personnel. Referred to as the ‘Troops to Trucks' scheme, it permits retired military or those nearing retirement to waive the driving test section. If you have been discharged in the last 90 days or are close to discharge, you may be eligible for the program. The state of Delaware still requires that you complete the written portion of the test. Applicants through this route should have no motor offences on their license. This includes infringements including DUI and drugs, and for speeding, leaving the scene of an accident. Any felony involving a motor vehicle will render you ineligible. Personnel capable of driving heavy military vehicles with a safe record of two years or more will also be considered for a waiver.

The following groups may also be subject to waiver or exemption under certain circumstances:

  • Those drivers certified to drive hazmat vehicles of small volume
  • Those instructed by a peace officer to drive any vehicle during an emergency situation
  • People who drive motorhomes
  • Farm vehicle drivers using the vehicle up to 150-miles from their farm workplace
  • During an emergency clearing of snow, anybody operating a plow
  • Individuals experienced in operating relevant firefighter and military vehicles

Medical and Physical CDL Requirements

  • CDL applicants in Delaware need to be physically fit and are required to take and pass a medical examination
  • Upon clearance, the candidate will receive a Medical Examiner's Certificate and Medical Examination Report Form which they will need to forward to the DMV
  • You may submit by postal mail or fax
  • Applicant receives their Federal Medical Card once these are received and processed
  • Where the applicant has not passed the medical tests, you may apply for a restriction. Further details are below
  • In most cases, the employer pays the medical costs. Direct preliminary enquiries through your employer

Background Check for CDL Applicants

Applicants will be expected to submit to a TSA screening. For people wishing to apply for hazardous material endorsements on their license, you may experience deeper checks. This may include fingerprint checking and eligibility for US residence. This means only US citizens and permanent residents are eligible for hazardous material transportation.

CDL Testing in Delaware

Most CDL applicants (except the military personnel discussed above) must complete a knowledge test and a skills exam; this is federally regulated.

CDL Knowledge Test

Before being permitted to take the road skills portion of the test, each applicant will be required to pass a road knowledge test. The test consists of 50 general knowledge questions and 20 additional Endorsement questions. Depending on the class you are applying for, there may be additional questions such as air brake knowledge and passenger section tests for drivers of public use vehicles (Class C certification).

CDL Road Skills Tests

Only when you have passed the knowledge test will you be permitted to take the road test. States vary on how they expect applicants to take the test. They run a state testing center or license to third party organizations.

  • The examiner will check the vehicle for a pre-trip inspection
  • The examiner will grade you on your ability to control the vehicle, making adjustments to simple controls such as seats and mirrors
  • Once this is satisfactorily completed, the examiner will commence the road test. The applicant will be tested on their adaptability in real traffic and road conditions

Delaware CDL Office Locations

As a small state, Delaware has a small number of offices. All of the following offices offer CDL testing facilities.

  • Delaware City
    2101 Mid County Dr,
    New Castle, DE 19720
  • State of Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles (Headquarters)
    P.O. Box 698
    Dover, Delaware 19903
  • DMV Wilmington
    2230 Hessler Blvd,
    New Castle, DE 19720
  • 23737 Dupont Blvd,
    Georgetown, DE 19947

The government DMV website has further information:

Delaware CDL Endorsements

The state of Delaware's DMV offices offer the following endorsements for CDL licensing:

  • Hazardous materials (H)
  • Liquid Bulk/Tanker cargo (N)
  • Passenger/Transport (P)
  • Doubles and Triples (T)
  • and Hazmat & Tank combo (X)
  • School Buses (S) and taxi cabs (Z)

CDL license holders are often subject to driving standards more stringent than other drivers and could experience firmer penalties for equivalent infractions. Suspension or revocation of your license could result from serious infractions.

Delaware CDL Disqualifications

As with most states, Delaware regularly examines its list of regulations and penalties related to CDL driver and licensing. Below is a list of infractions applicable in the state of Delaware:

  • DUI of any CMV where the blood alcohol concentration is greater than 0.04%
  • DUI of any other vehicle where the blood alcohol concentration is greater than 0.08%
  • Operating a vehicle while under the influence of controlled substances
  • Refusing an alcohol test, regardless of whether or not the driver has been drinking, when instructed
  • Leaving an accident scene without reporting it
  • Involving the vehicle for felonies unrelated to vehicle crime (for example production and distribution of controlled substance set down in Delaware law)
  • Causing a fatality during operation of the CMV
  • Driving a licensed vehicle under full knowing that you license has been revoked or suspended

For the first violation of those listed above, you will be subject to a 12-month disqualification. This is extended to three years when operating a vehicle used for transportation of hazmat. A disqualification of life applies to any second violation from the list above. This also applies where the vehicle is used for felonies relating to controlled substances.

The following list is of serious traffic violations that will lead to 60-day disqualifications after a second offense. Third offences within a period of 36 months lead to a 120-day suspension of license:

  • Speed in excess of 15mph of the speed limit
  • Reckless driving
  • Erratic or other improper lane changing during operation
  • Driving too close to a vehicle in front (known as tailgating)
  • Violations of Delaware traffic law that either leads to a fatal accident or ignoring the laws relating to a fatal accident
  • Driving a CMV when you've not passed a CDL test
  • Driving a CMV when you are not in possession of your CDL license
  • Driving a CMV with insufficient and improper endorsements, or driving with the wrong class of license

Violation of out of services orders results in a 180-day to 1-year disqualification on a first offence. For hazardous material, that can be anything up to 2 years. A disqualification up to ten years applies to any second offence within ten years. A second hazmat offence is between 3 and 10 years of disqualification. Delaware has specific laws relating to violations of railroad regulation. A first violation carries a minimum 60-day disqualification. A second offence within a three-year period merits a minimum 120-day disqualification. A third offence results in a minimum of one-year disqualification.

  • Failing to stop when in vehicles always required to do so approaching a crossing when the tracks are not clear
  • Failing to stop before entering a crossing when the tracks are clear
  • Failing to slow when in vehicles not required to stop when approaching a crossing
  • Failing to ensure there is sufficient space to cross before entering the crossing
  • Failing to obey any traffic control device at the crossing
  • Failing to negotiate a crossing safely due to insufficient clearance of the undercarriage

The Delaware state DMV page has a full list here:

Delaware CDL Salary, Employment, and Prospects

A BLS survey conducted over the course of 2016 concluded that demand for driving jobs will grow 5% to 2024. This growth is low to moderate and lower than the mean average job growth in the USA. The industry has not recovered fully from the 2008 financial crisis; this is part of the slowdown but improvements in technology (such as GPS) and other forms of transport are contributing factors. Small scale, local haulage is now replacing traditional haulage.

Heavy Trucks

The average salary for heavy truck haulage at 2017 is $41,340 with the average hourly pay recorded at $19.87. Looking specifically at Delaware's details, the average pay rates were roughly equivalent to the national rate at $41,460. Hourly wage reflected this at $18.96 (median) and $19.93 (the mean). Employees in this sector on the lowest 10% pay grade had a salary of around $26,920. The highest 10% pay grade earned $63,140 approx.

Light Trucks

According to the same 2017 data from the BLS, the mean salary for light truck transportation roles was $34,790. The equivalent hourly pay rate was $16.73. As with heavy trucks, average Delaware pay was roughly equivalent to the national average. Delaware residents can expect an average salary of $33.910 and hourly pay of $14.13 (median) and $16.30 (mean average). BLS projects a 4% growth to 2024. This is almost half the national average.

Passenger Vehicles

The average salary for bus drivers in the USA at present is $31,920. BLS records the average hourly pay at $14.96. Prospective bus drivers in Delaware experience higher than national average salary at $39,670. The equivalent hourly pay averages are $17.77 median and $19.07 mean average. It's expected that job demand for all passenger types of vehicle will grow around 6% between now and 2024. This is roughly equivalent to the growth for all jobs.

BLS Source:

Resources for Delaware CDL Requirements

Learn more about Delaware trucking schools.

Truck Driver Salary in Delaware

Location 25th Percentile 75th Percentile Annual Salary
United States $31,270 $48,330 $38,700
Delaware $34,230 $51,590 $41,510
Dover, DE $34,230 $45,560 $38,310
Wilmington, DE-MD-NJ Metropolitan Division $37,310 $57,080 $45,820

Table data taken from 2015 BLS (