Idaho CDL Requirements

The state of Idaho is part of the Pacific Northwest and one of thirteen states that uses different time zones within its borders. The north - part of which borders on British Columbia in Canada - uses Pacific Time. The central area and south uses Mountain Time. It's one of the most mountainous states and a record 38% of its land is held by US Forestry Service. Idaho could become an unlikely center of renewable energy in the form of geothermal volcanic activity. It possesses the only public building powered entirely by this method. The capital (Boise) sits at the foothills of the Rockies. This is a wild state with a lot of uplands but with plenty of industry centering on heavy manufacturing, agriculture, mining and of course - tourism. It was, for many years, a much-contested area. Idaho was the center of a power struggle between the British Empire's interest in North America and between the young US over its status as part of the Oregon Country. It finally became a state in 1890.

Which CDL Licenses are Available in Idaho?

Idaho state government, in line with Federal law, requires that all applicants for the CDL pass several tests and take medical examinations before issue. There are three types of CDL. Which you require depends on the type of vehicle you intend to drive.

Class A

The Class A CDL is for the heaviest types of vehicle and trailer. The CMVs is 26,001lbs or greater with trailer weight exceeding 10,000lbs

Class B

The Class B CDL is for driving the heaviest types of vehicle at 26,001lbs and over. The difference between Class A and Class B is that this type permits trailers not exceeding 10,000lbs

Class C

The Class C CDL is for vehicles lighter than 26,001lbs. It's also for drivers of both hazmat and passenger vehicles licensed for 16 or more people

Class D

The Class D is the standard state driver's license. Before being permitted to apply for a CDL, applicants require a standard license in good standing for 2+ years

All CDL license applicants in Idaho must pass tests and a medical exam before issue. Endorsements may be required for other specialist vehicle types.

CDL Eligibility in Idaho

Federal laws apply to Idaho and all other states relating to the procedures for CDL licensing. Each state is also permitted further requirements in some cases. State government officials make these state procedures subject to regular review. All CDL license types, regardless of class, must submit to medical and security checks. Some will require TSA depending on required endorsements.

License and Permits

  • All CDL applicants (any class) must hold a license for two years in good standing for eligibility
  • All CDL applicants must pass all required relevant health checks for Idaho licensing
  • Education courses are offered around the country. The state of Idaho does not require you to take one of these, but it may be beneficial to do so
  • All CDL applicants in Idaho must successfully complete a written exam before going on to a driving skills test


  • Full CDL licensing is available only for those applicants 18+
  • Those in the age range 18-21 can drive only within the state of Idaho
  • Only those 21-years and over are permitted to apply to drive hazmat vehicles
  • 16-year-olds in the state of Idaho may apply for seasonal licensing permitting them to drive agricultural vehicles. They must have a Class D license in good standing for a minimum of one year

Proof of Residence of Idaho

  • Idaho residents must keep their address up to date within 30 days of moving. CDL applicants must present relevant and up to date ID proving eligibility for CDL application
  • Applicants are also required to present their Social Security Number card at application

CDL Requirements for Idaho Residents

  • For CDL eligibility, your standard driver's license must have been issued in Idaho
  • Social Security Number Card is required at the time of application
  • You must also provide proof of insurance to drive
  • Some special endorsements require extra steps such as TSA screening

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

Each state is permitted to enhance expectations for applicants from out of state. Transfers must surrender their old license and have it reissued in Idaho.

  • If you already have a CDL license from another state, you are required to surrender this. If it is out of date, no more than two years should have passed
  • You must provide proof of your US citizenship
  • You must provide proof of your Idaho residency
  • Your SSN card
  • Applicants are required to pass medical exams. This will include a vision test to ensure eyesight is of a standard high enough to warrant the license. Any pre-existing medical certificates and waivers must be presented at application

Non-U.S. Citizen Requirements for Idaho CDL

Only those non-US citizens who have a right to reside in the country are eligible. Non-US citizens must present documents and information:

  • Permanent Resident Card (originals only) and any further relevant paperwork asserting your right to live and work in the US
  • You will require further identification with your immigration documents. We strongly recommend your foreign passport and your I-94 if you have one
  • You will need to provide proof of your address in Idaho including right to reside
  • Any outstanding driver's license from your country of your birth should be presented. Idaho may require that you surrender it permanently even if still in date

Do I Need a CDL?

Many states operate the FMSCA administered military waiver scheme informally known as "Troops to Trucks". If you have been recently honorably discharged or are facing discharge soon, you may be permitted to bypass the driving skills test section. You will, however, be expected to complete the written test and any endorsement section. Motoring offences for DUI of alcohol and drugs, speeding or leaving an accident scene may render you ineligible. Any other conviction of felonies involving any vehicle will also mean you are not eligible. Personnel permitted to drive heavy military vehicles may be exempt, as are retiring firefighters and police drivers under some circumstances. All applicants for such waivers require a two-year safe record.

Further waivers include:

  • Those with the authorization to drive hazmat vehicles of small volume only
  • Those with authorization from a peace officer to drive a CMV in an emergency
  • Those licensed to drive recreational vehicles
  • Any driver of a farm vehicle within a 150-mile radius of the farm or ranch
  • Those individuals able to drive emergency clearing vehicles used for removing fallen trees and snow cover
  • Any other emergency vehicle operator such as firefighting equipment and military vehicles

Medical and Physical CDL Requirements

  • You must pass all and any medical tests required of the CDL application process set down in the state of Idaho. See the resources list for the authorized medical file
  • Upon completion, you will receive two documents: a Medical Examiner's Certificate and a Medical Examination Report Form
  • Both forms are required in application and you are advised to apply in person, email or fax
  • Always keep copies of any forms submitted to Idaho in application of your CDL
  • There are options for intrastate licenses where the cargo remains in the state or interstate where the driver may transport cargo to other states
  • If you intend to drive in other states, you will require a Federal Medical Card. This is not issued until all documents have been processed
  • Those who fail the medical test may apply for restrictions
  • The employer will usually be responsible for medical costs. Therefore, any queries should first go through your employer's relevant contact

Background Check for CDL Applicants

TSA screening is required of all CDL applicants in Idaho. Further checks will be required of hazmat driving applicants to include fingerprint checking. You will be required once again to provide proof of your right to live in the US. This means citizens and permanent residents only.

CDL Testing in Idaho

Once the medical testing and backgrounds checks are complete, you will then be permitted to advance to the knowledge test and the driving test.

CDL Knowledge Test

You must pass a knowledge test before you are permitted the driving test. These are 50 general knowledge questions with more questions added for each requested endorsement. Each endorsement section has (typically) 20 extra questions.

CDL Road Skills Tests

The road skills test follows only once you have passed the knowledge test.

  • Before being permitted onto the road, the examiner will check the vehicle's suitability and safety
  • The second part of the test is that you are required to demonstrate knowledge and control of the vehicle by adjusting mirrors, seat setting and other interior controls
  • Once completed to the examiner's satisfaction you will be permitted to drive on Idaho roads

Idaho CDL Office Locations

Idaho licenses are issued at county sheriff offices. Tests are taken at licensed third-party examiners. Before you are referred to an examiner, you are required to apply at any of the following office locations:

In Boise

  • Ada Assessor Courthouse Office
    190 E. Front St,
    Boise, ID 83702
    (208) 287-7213
  • Driver's License Office
    400 N Benjamin Lane, Ste 102
    Boise, ID 83704
    (208) 577-3100
  • Ada County Assessor's Office
    9115 Chinden Blvd, Ste 103
    Garden City, ID 83714
    (208) 577-3135
  • Ada County Assessor's Office
    1769 N. Lakes Ave., Suite 100
    Meridian, ID 83646
    (208) 577-3135

In Caldwell

  • Grandview Driver License Office
    425 Boise Avenue
    Grand View, ID 83624
    (208) 834-3333
  • Caldwell Driver's License Office
    6107 Graye Lane
    Caldwell, ID 83607
    (208) 454-7487
  • Marsing Driver's License Office
    15 Reich St.
    Marsing, ID 83639
    (208) 896-4210
  • Ada County Vehicle Registration & Title - Star
    10769 W State St
    Star, ID 83669
    (208) 908-5477

In Coeur D Alene

  • Coeur D' Alene License Office
    451 Government Way
    Coeur D Alene, ID 83816
    (208) 446-1340
  • Kootenai County Assessor's Office
    120 E. Railroad Ave.
    Post Falls, ID 83854
    (208) 446-1590
  • Benewah County Assessor's Office
    701 College Ave.
    Saint Maries, ID 83861
    (208) 245-3910
  • Priest River Drivers License Office
    73 Eastside Road
    Priest River, ID 83856
    (208) 448-2816
  • Wallace Driver's License Office
    717 Bank St.
    Wallace, ID 83873
    (208) 556-0654

In Idaho Falls

  • Idaho Falls License Office
    254 E Street
    Idaho Falls, ID 83402
    (208) 529-1374
  • Bingham County Assessor's Office
    101 S. Emerson Ave.
    Shelley, ID 83274
    (208) 357-3390
  • Blackfoot Driver's License Office
    501 N. Maple St.
    Blackfoot, ID 83221
    (208) 782-3041

In Mountain Home

  • Mountain Home License Office
    125 S. 5th E. St.
    Mountain Home, ID 83647
    (208) 587-1888
  • Elmore County Assessor's Office
    150 S 4th East, Ste. 2
    Mountain Home, ID 83647
    (208) 587-2126
  • Glenns Ferry Vehicle Registration Office
    201 N Commercial
    Glenns Ferry, ID 83623
    (208) 366-2136
  • Murphy Driver's License Office
    20381 State Highway 78 Courthouse
    Murphy, ID 83650
    (208) 495-1154 x.104

In Pocatello

  • Bannock County Assessor
    130 North 6th Ave Court House Annex
    Pocatello, ID 83205
    (208) 236-7200
  • Pocatello Driver's License Office
    5800 South 5th
    Pocatello, ID 83204
    (208) 236-7258
  • American Falls License Office
    550 Gifford Ave.
    American Falls, ID 83211
    (208) 226-2311
  • Power County Assessor's Office
    543 Bannock Ave.
    American Falls, ID 83211
    (208) 226-7616
  • Bingham County Assessor's Office
    501 N Maple, #305
    Blackfoot, ID 83221
    (208) 782-3031

In Rexburg

  • Madison County Assessor
    134 E. Main St.
    Rexburg, ID 83440
    (208) 359-6257
  • Rexburg Driver's License Office
    145 E. Main St.
    Rexburg, ID 83440
    (208) 359-3281
  • Fremont County Assessor's Office
    151 W 1st North, Ste. 2
    Saint Anthony, ID 83445
    (208) 624-4449
  • St. Anthony License Office
    146 N. Second W.
    Saint Anthony, ID 83445
    (208) 624-4482
  • Rigby Driver's License Office
    200 Courthouse Way
    Rigby, ID 83442
    (208) 745-9229
  • Jefferson County Assessor's Office
    210 Courthouse Way Suite 150
    Rigby, ID 83442
    (208) 745-9228

In Twin Falls

  • Twin Falls Drivers & Assessor's Office
    630 Addison Ave. W.
    Twin Falls, ID 83301
    (208) 735-4850
  • Jerome County Assessor's Office
    300 N. Lincoln Ave. Room 208
    Jerome, ID 83338
    (208) 644-2730
  • Jerome Driver's License Office
    2151 South Tiger Drive
    Jerome, ID 83338
    (208) 595-3305

List of ID CDL Testing Spots (COMPLETE) - April 2017

Idaho CDL Endorsements

Idaho's endorsements are as follows:

  • H: for Hazardous Material
  • N: for Tank Vehicles
  • P: for Passenger Vehicle
  • S: for School Buses
  • T: for Double and Triple Trailer
  • X: for Combination Tank Vehicles

Higher driving expectations apply to holders of CDL licenses. You will find that any offence - road or otherwise -results in more severe penalties than to holders of standard driver's licenses. You may lose losing your license in some circumstances.

Idaho CDL Disqualifications

Idaho's list of disqualifications in line with Federal law and state law are as follows:

  • Registering a blood alcohol level above 0.04% while driving a CMV
  • Registering a blood alcohol level above 0.08% while driving any other vehicle
  • Operating any vehicle under the influence of controlled substances other than alcohol
  • Refusing an alcohol test when directed by an authorized Even if you have not been drinking, it is an offence to refuse a test
  • Failure to report an accident
  • Leaving an accident scene
  • Using a CMV for non-traffic felonies
  • When using a CMV, causing a fatal accident where your actions are adjudged negligent
  • Knowingly driving any vehicle when your license has been suspended or revoked

Any first offence from the list above will lead to a 12-month disqualification with a 90-day revocation of your Class D privileges. Second offences incur a life suspension for your CDL with a one-year suspension of Class D rights. Additional penalties may be applied by the court. If any offence above occurs while the driver is in charge of a hazmat vehicle, he or she will incur a three-year disqualification. Use of any CMV for controlled substances will result in a life suspension. Positive alcohol tests where the level is below .04% will result in a 24-hour suspension.

The following traffic violations are lesser offences meaning smaller penalties. Any second offence in a three-year period will result in a suspension not less than 60 days. Any third offence in three years will result in a suspension not less than 120 days:

  • Speeding where you are recorded at more than 15mph over the legal limit
  • Instances of reckless driving
  • Erratic maneuvering that put other road users at risk such as improper lane changes
  • Tailgating or driving too close to traffic in front of you
  • When ignoring the state of Idaho's laws on procedure for a fatal accident
  • Operating a CMV with no CDL
  • Operating a CMV with inadequate CDL privileges
  • Not having the correct or right number of CDL endorsements
  • Operating your CMV without carrying your CDL

Out of service violations will lead to a 90-day disqualification for first offences and up to two years for a first offence involving a hazmat vehicle. Second offences over ten years incur a one-year disqualification; a third offence results in a three-year disqualification. Second hazmat offences are anything between 3 and 10 years. Railway violations in Idaho are:

  • Failing to stop at a crossing where tracks are not clear while driving a vehicle not required to stop
  • Failing to slow at a crossing where the tracks are clear while driving a vehicle not required to stop
  • Failing to stop before entering a crossing when driving a vehicle required to stop
  • Not leaving sufficient space to drive all the way through the crossing without stopping
  • Ignoring any present traffic control devices or instructions of enforcement personnel
  • Having insufficient clearance of the undercarriage and failing to successfully negotiate the crossing

Any above first offence will lead to a minimum 60-day disqualification period. Any second offence from the above list results in a 120-day disqualification period. Third offences incur a minimum 12-month suspension in a three-year period.

Idaho has a PDF of the full list of DMV violations here:

Idaho CDL Salary, Employment, and Prospects

A BLS report released in 2017 based on collated 2016 data reported that availability of freight driving jobs should grow around 5% in the 2014-2024 decade. This is slightly lower than US average job growth at present. Haulage companies are still in a recovery phase following the economic downturn in 2008. Uptake has been slow due to other factors too such as technology that makes the industry more efficient. GPS is one such technology, allowing the creation of route efficiency.

Heavy Trucks

BLS reports that the national salary average for heavy trucking and tractor trailers is $41,340. Those paid on hourly contracts have an average rate of $19.87. The average rates for heavy truck jobs in Idaho are around the average with a salary median of $42,260. Equivalent hourly paid employees report $18.33 (median) and $20.32 (mean). Nationally, the salary range for tractor and heavy truck driving is $26,920 at the lowest 10% end and above $63,140 for the highest paid 10%.

Light Trucks

Light trucking jobs are lower paid than heavy truck roles. National average salary is $34,790 and the national average hourly pay is $16.73. In Idaho, the pay is slightly lower than this national average at $32,810. BLS discovered that the hourly pay grades are lower than the national average at $13.32 (median) and $15.57 (mean). There is a predicted 4% growth 2014-2024, around half the national average job growth. The reason for this is the rise of independent self-employed carriers.

Passenger Vehicles

Bus and other passenger vehicle driving is an area with constant demand in all states. The national salary average pay is $31,920 with an equivalent hourly pay of $14.96. The state of Idaho records a lower than average pay of $26,440 and $13.01 (hourly median) and $12.71 (hourly mean). Demand for drivers of passenger vehicles can expect a 6% increase until 2024. This is the national average of all jobs.

BLS Source:

Resources for Idaho CDL Requirements

Learn more about Idaho trucking schools.

Truck Driver Salary in Idaho

Location 25th Percentile 75th Percentile Annual Salary
United States $31,270 $48,330 $38,700
Idaho $28,450 $43,870 $35,260
Boise City-Nampa, ID $29,070 $45,660 $36,200
Coeur d'Alene, ID $33,740 $50,040 $41,190
Idaho Falls, ID $27,970 $47,740 $36,270
Lewiston, ID-WA $28,790 $44,140 $35,620
Pocatello, ID $27,690 $38,300 $33,320

Table data taken from 2015 BLS (