Indiana CDL Requirements
As its name suggests, the state of Indiana is "The Land of the Indians" reflecting its history as a contested area in the early years of the US. It came about as a result of Congress dividing the lands of the Northwest Territory in the early 1800s. It became a full state in 1816. Today, it's known for heavy industry - especially in steel and the automotive sector, and for the birth of IndyCar motor racing in North America, holding the Indy 500 every year. It's the single largest sporting event in the world. Indiana is the 38th largest state and one of eight states that make up the Great Lakes Region. It has only a small border with Lake Michigan and is surrounded by Michigan to its north, Ohio is to the east, Illinois to the west and Kentucky to the south. It's a glacial landscape consisting mostly of lowland plains from north to south.
Which CDL Licenses are Available in Indiana?
Indiana's CDL application process requires that prospective drivers pass applicable tests before permission to drive a CMV is granted. There are three types of CDL license, all listed below:
This class applies to CMVs weighing 26,001lbs or greater and where the accompanying trailer weight exceeds 10,000lbs
This class applies to CMVs weighing 26,001lbs or greater. Accompanying trailer weight must not exceed 10,000lbs
This class applies to CMVs weighing 26,001lbs or lighter. It's also for those wishing to drive passenger vehicles for 16+ occupants and hazmat vehicles
This is the standard state driving license which CDL applicants must hold good standing for 2+ years before being able to apply for a CDL
A medical exam, general knowledge and a practical driving test are required for all CDL license applicants in Indiana. Further test modules are additional for each endorsement.
CDL Eligibility in Indiana
Indiana adheres to Federal laws on CDL licensing procedures. However, they are permitted to set conditions and standards beyond what is Federally required in some areas and regularly review these standards in line with the evolving needs of industry and safety. Regardless fo class applied for, you must also submit to both medical tests and security checks. Some endorsements have mandatory TSA checks.
License and Permits
- For all CDL classes, you must have held a license in good standing for two years
- You are required to satisfactorily pass all requested health tests for CDL licensing in Indiana
- You will find many organizations offering CDL training and education courses. While not mandatory, it may be beneficial for prospective CMV drivers to do so prior to entering the CDL application process
- A written exam is required before you will be permitted to take the driving skills test
- Only people aged 18 and over are eligible to apply for a CDL
- 18-21-year-olds may only drive within Indiana
- 21-years and over are permitted to drive in other states and drive hazmat vehicles
Proof of Residence of Indiana
- You must provide proof of Indiana residence and keep their address up to date within 30 days of a change of address. All applicants are required to present ID to prove their eligibility
- Social Security Number card must also be presented at application
CDL Requirements for Indiana Residents
- It is a requirement that your Class D license is issued in Indiana
- Social Security Number Card is required
- You must present proof of insurance
- Some endorsements will require further security checks such as TSA screening
Indiana CDL Requirements for Out-of-State Residents and Transfers
States may set their own standards for out of state applicants. Indiana's are as follows:
- All transfers are required to surrender the license acquired from another state. You will be reissued with an Indiana license
- If it is out of date, no more than two years should have passed
- You must provide proof of your US citizenship or Permanent Resident status
- Proof of Indiana address is also required
- You are required to present a valid Social Security Number card
- All applicants are subject to medical exams including eye tests. Any current medical certificates should be presented at this time, as should any exemptions
Non-U.S. Citizen Requirements for Indiana CDL
Non-US citizens with a right to reside in the US are eligible upon the satisfactory presentation of eligible documents:
- Your valid Permanent Resident Card and/or other paperwork declaring your right to both reside and work in the USA
- Further documentation such as your foreign passport will also be required
- Proof of an address in Indiana must be presented also
- If you have a driver's license from the country of your birth, this too must be presented at the time of application. You may be required by Indiana to surrender it permanently
Do I Need a CDL?
Indiana, like most other states, operates a military waiver scheme. This is largely known as "Troops to Trucks". For eligible serving and recently retired military personnel, it allows applicants to bypass the driving part of the process. Military applicants must still complete the written test and required additional endorsements. A range of offences will render your application ineligible. These include DUI where tested positive for alcohol and drugs. Excess speed is another disqualifier, as is leaving the scene of an accident or revocation, cancelation or suspension of your license for any other reason. Any conviction for felonies involving motor vehicles will also render your eligibility void. Military personnel qualified to drive heavy military vehicles are usually exempt. Other exemptions apply to retiring/retired firefighters and police drivers. All applicants for such waivers require a two-year safe record.
Further waivers include:
- Authorized small volume hazmat vehicle drivers
- Where any peace officer has instructed an individual to drive a CMV during an emergency situation
- People with licenses authorizing them to drive RVs
- Farm vehicle drivers operating a 150-mile radius of the farm workplace
- Drivers operating any emergency clearing vehicle
- Firefighting equipment and military vehicles and other public service emergency vehicle
Medical and Physical CDL Requirements
- You will be subject to medical in Indiana for your CDL application. See the resources list at the end for the authorized medical professionals
- Once passed, the applicant will be presented with a Medical Examiner's Certificate and a Medical Examination Report Form
- You should provide these documents at the time of application by fax, in person or by postal mail
- Ensure you keep copies of these forms
- You may apply for intrastate (driving within state lines) or interstate (driving to and through other states)
- For interstate applications, the CDL license holder must have a valid Federal Medical Card. This will only be issued when all documents are processed
- Applicants who fail the medical test are able to apply for restrictions. These are listed in the Indiana CDL handbook in the resource list below
- In most cases, the employer will pay costs for CDL medical testing. Queries should be directed to employers in the first instance
Background Check for CDL Applicants
All CDL applicants, regardless of class, are required TSA screening. Fingerprint checking will be required of all applicants for hazmat endorsements. As part of these security checks, you must demonstrate your right to live in the US, either as a citizen, or an authorized permanent resident.
CDL Testing in Indiana
Only when medical testing and TSA checks are complete will the applicant have permission to study the knowledge and driving tests.
CDL Knowledge Test
The knowledge Test in Indiana consists of a general knowledge test for all applicants with additional sections for each endorsement. The main test is 50 general knowledge questions. Each endorsement is 20 additional questions.
CDL Road Skills Tests
You may only enter the road skills test once completed all sections of the Knowledge Test.
- The examiner will ensure that the vehicle is both suitable and safe prior to the test
- The examiner will then ask the applicant to demonstrate control of the vehicle - adjusting seats and mirrors
- Once complete, the driving section takes place in which the applicant must demonstrate proficiency in genuine road conditions
Indiana CDL Office Locations
Indiana licenses CDLs through the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Third-party licensed organizations conduct the testing on behalf of the state. However, you must apply at any of the following offices to begin the process:
- Anderson BMV License Agency
4330 S. Scatterfield Road
Anderson, IN 46013
- Pendleton BMV License Agency
129 S. Pendleton Ave.
Pendleton, IN 46064
- Noblesville BMV License Agency
405 Noble Creek Drive
Noblesville, IN 46060
- McCordsville BMV License Agency
5949 W. Broadway
MC Cordsville, IN 46055
- Bloomington BMV License Agency
1612 S. Liberty Drive Suite A
Bloomington, IN 47403
- Ellettsville BMV License Agency
4629 W. Richland Plaza
Ellettsville, IN 47429
- Spencer BMV License Agency
168 E. Morgan St.
Spencer, IN 47460
- Nashville BMV License Agency
106 Hawthorne Drive
Nashville, IN 47448
- Martinsville BMV License Agency
160 N. Marion St.
Martinsville, IN 46151
- Evansville North: BMV License Agency #3
4209 US Route 41
Evansville, IN 47711
- Evansville BMV License Agency #1
6240 E. Virginia St.
Evansville, IN 47715
- Evansville BMV License Agency #2
2421 Allens Lane
Evansville, IN 47720
- Boonville BMV License Agency
713 North Third Street
Boonville, IN 47601
- Poseyville BMV License Agency
231 North St. Francis Ave.
Poseyville, IN 47633
- Mount Vernon BMV License Agency
402 Main St.
Mount Vernon, IN 47620
In Fort Wayne
- BMV License Agency #1
10204 Coldwater Road
Fort Wayne, IN 46825
- New Haven BMV License Agency
701 Lincoln Highway W,
New Haven, IN 46774
- BMV License Branch #2
6721 Old Trail Road Ste. 300
Fort Wayne, IN 46809
- Auburn BMV License Agency
500 North Grandstaff Road
Auburn, IN 46706
- Columbia City BMV License Agency
662 Country Side Drive #101
Columbia City, IN 46725
View Office Details
- Albion BMV License Branch
113 W. Jefferson
Albion, IN 46701
- BMV License Agency #7
1400 Madison Ave.
Indianapolis, IN 46225
- Midtown License Branch
4050 Meadows Parkway
Indianapolis, IN 46205
- BMV License Agency #4
5155 S. Meridian St.
Indianapolis, IN 46217
View Office Details
- BMV License Agency #6
10 South Mickley Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46241
- Beech Grove
3841 S Emerson Ave Ste B
Beech Grove, IN 46107
- BMV License Agency #2
7857 E. 42nd St.
Indianapolis, IN 46226
- Jeffersonville BMV License Agency
2944 East 10th Street
Jeffersonville, IN 47130
- English BMV License Agency
104 Deerwood St.
English, IN 47118
- New Albany BMV License Agency
821 Mt. Tabor Road
New Albany, IN 47150
- Sellersburg BMV License Agency
304 Hunter Station Road
Sellersburg, IN 47172
- Corydon BMV License Agency
439 Old Capitol Plaza
Corydon, IN 47112
- Scottsburg BMV License Agency
591 South Lake Road South
Scottsburg, IN 47170
- Lafayette BMV License Agency
2200 Elmwood Ave., Suite C1
Lafayette, IN 47904
- West Lafayette BMV License Agency
720 W. Navajo St.
West Lafayette, IN 47906
- Delphi BMV License Agency
1291 N. Bradford Drive
Delphi, IN 46923
- Wabash BMV License Agency
1951 E. Wabash St.
Frankfort, IN 46041
- Williamsport BMV License Agency
14 W. Second St.
Williamsport, IN 47993
- Monticello BMV License Agency
820 West Fisher St.
Monticello, IN 47960
- Muncie BMV License Agency
2904 E. McGalliard Meadowview Farm
Muncie, IN 47303
- Alexandria BMV License Agency
2211 S. Park Ave. #1
Alexandria, IN 46001
- Hartford City BMV License Agency
116 N. Jefferson St.
Hartford City, IN 47348
In South Bend
- South Bend BMV License Agency
623 S. Saint Joseph St.
South Bend, IN 46601
- Mishawaka BMV License Agency
2544 Miracle Lane
Mishawaka, IN 46545
- Elkhart BMV License Agency
222 Harrison St.
Elkhart, IN 46516
- Walkerton BMV License Agency
302 Roosevelt Blvd.
Walkerton, IN 46574
- Nappanee BMV License Agency
219 W. Market St.
Nappanee, IN 46550
In Terre Haute
- Terre Haute BMV License Agency
2920 Professional Lane
Terre Haute, IN 47802
- Clinton BMV License Agency
123 N. Main St.
Clinton, IN 47842
- Brazil BMV License Agency
7 National Ave.
Brazil, IN 47834
- Rockville BMV License Agency
102 S. Market St.
Rockville, IN 47872
- Sullivan BMV License Agency
273 S. Section St.
Sullivan, IN 47882
- Linton BMV License Agency
1600 A St. NE
Linton, IN 47441
Indiana CDL Endorsements
Indiana's endorsements are as follows:
- H: applies to vehicles carrying Hazardous Material (HazMat)
- N: applies to tank vehicles
- P: applies to passenger vehicles
- S: applies to school buses
- T: applies to double and triple trailer transport vehicles
- X: applies to combination tank vehicles for carrying fluid or gas
Higher expectations are required of CDL license holders. Should you be convicted of any relevant more severe penalties may apply.
Indiana CDL Disqualifications
Indiana law and Federal law offences for CMV drivers are as follows:
- Recording blood alcohol level at 0.04% or above while driving a CMV
- Recording blood alcohol level at 0.08% when driving a vehicle other than a CMV
- Registering positive for any other controlled substance
- Even when not above the legal limit, refusing any alcohol or controlled substance test when instructed by a law officer
- The failure to report an accident in which you are involved
- Leaving an accident scene of which you are a part
- Using your licensed CMV for other non-traffic related felonies
- Neglectful or reckless driving that leads to a fatal accident while in charge of a CMV
- Driving a CMV in full knowledge that your license is suspended or revoked
The above list incurs a 12-month disqualification for a first offence. Offenders will incur a life suspension of CDL privileges for any second offence. State courts may apply additional penalties in addition to these. Hazmat vehicles incur greater penalties with a three-year disqualification for a first offence. Using CMVs in relation to any offence with controlled substances is a life suspension. If your blood alcohol level registers below .04%, you will receive a suspension of 24 hours.
The following list is of lesser offences which incur smaller penalties. Any second within three years will result in a suspension of no less than 60-day. Third offences in the same period results in suspensions of not less than 120 days:
- When speeding at 15mph over the designated speed limit
- Instance of reckless driving
- Putting other road users at risk through such as improper lane changes and erratic driving
- Driving dangerously close to vehicles in front of you
- Ignoring Indiana state laws and regulations on the proper procedure for fatal accidents
- Driving a CMV when you do not have CDL privileges
- Driving a CMV without adequate CDL privileges
- Driving a CMV without adequate CDL endorsements
- Driving a CMV while not in possession of your CDL
Out of service (OOS) violations result in 90-day disqualification for any first offences. A subsequent second offence in ten years results in a one-year disqualifications. Penalties for hazmat vehicles are higher with a two-year disqualification for a first offence. A second offence in a hazmat vehicle carries a minimum 3-year disqualification and a maximum of 10 years.
The following railroad violations apply in Indiana:
- Where CMVs are not required to stop at a crossing, failing to stop when the tracks ahead are not clear
- Where CMVs are not required to stop at a crossing, failing to slow adequately through the crossing when tracks are clear
- Where CMVs are required to stop, failing to do so before entering a crossing
- Failing to leave sufficient space to drive through the crossing
- In situations where traffic control devices or enforcement personnel are present, failing to observe given instructions
- Where the vehicle has insufficient undercarriage clearance and the driver fails to negotiate the crossing
First railroad offences incur a minimum 60-day disqualification; second railroad offences in three years incur a 120-day disqualification and third railroad offences in three years incur a minimum 12-month suspension.
Indiana CDL Salary, Employment, and Prospects
Analyzed BLS data collected in 2016 and published in 2017 projected commercial driving job demand to grow 5% between 2014 and 2024. Average job growth for all industries in the US is 7%, meaning driving jobs are just below the average. This industry is still in a recovery period from 2008; further, GPS and other planning technologies have improved efficiency in route planning.
According to BLS 2017 report, the national salary average for heavy trucking is presently $41,340. Equivalent hourly paid workers earn $19.87ph. The salary range is less than $26,920 for the lowest 10% earners and $63,140 for the highest 10% earners. Data for Indiana shows slightly higher averages than this with a median salary of $45,870. Hourly paid employees also reflect this higher average with $20.91 (median) and $22.05 (mean).
According to BLS 2017 report, the national salary average for light truck jobs is presently $34,790. Equivalent hourly paid workers earn $16.73. Data for Indiana shows slightly higher averages than this with a median salary of $33,010. Hourly paid employees also reflect this higher average with $13.94 (median) and $15.87 (mean). The predicted growth for this element of the industry is 4% between 2014-2024. This is approximately half the national average. The rise of independent and self-employed carriers and couriers could account for this.
Passenger vehicle jobs such as bus driving are one of the most stable areas of the industry with near constant demand across the country averaging 6% job increase - the national average of all jobs. Average salary nationwide is $31,920. Hourly paid employees recorded an average of $14.96. Indiana's equivalent pay records a significantly lower pay $27,300 with hourly rates of $11.21 (median) and $13.13 (the mean).
BLS Source: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_in.htm
Resources for Indiana CDL Requirements
- Indiana Commercial Driver's License Handbook
- Indiana CDL Endorsements & Restrictions - Complete List
Learn more about Indiana trucking schools.
Truck Driver Salary in Indiana
|Location||25th Percentile||75th Percentile||Annual Salary|
|Fort Wayne, IN||$34,030||$47,500||$40,610|
|Gary, IN Metropolitan Division||$32,100||$56,940||$43,240|
|Michigan City-La Porte, IN||$38,980||$47,670||$43,330|
|South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI||$39,930||$56,740||$46,920|
|Terre Haute, IN||$24,900||$44,650||$31,060|
Table data taken from 2015 BLS (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes533032.htm)