Washington CDL License Requirements

To become a truck driver in Washington, you must first earn a Washington commercial driver's license (CDL). The State of Washington uses the following criteria to determine whether or not a CDL is required to drive a commercial vehicle.

  • Class A: Combination vehicles that have a gross combined weight rating of more than 26,001 pounds, if the vehicle(s) towed are over 10,000 pounds
  • Class B: A single vehicle weighing over 26,001 pounds
  • Class C: Vehicles able to transport 16 or more people, including the driver, or vehicles carrying hazardous materials that require special placards

According to Washington CDL requirements, applicants must be at least 18 years old, have a valid Washington 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 must then pass both a written knowledge exam and an on-road driving test. The driving test must be taken in a vehicle that matches the class of CDL license you are trying to obtain.

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 are needed to drive a truck with air brakes, a tanker truck, a school bus or a truck with double/triple trailers. Endorsements are also needed to transport passengers or to haul hazardous materials. To transport hazardous materials (also referred to as a Hazmat endorsement), a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) background check is required. A truck driving school will provide you with the knowledge and on-road driving skills needed to pass the Washington CDL exams.

Resources for Washington CDL Requirements

Visit the Washington State Department of Licensing website for more information.

Learn more about Washington trucking schools.

Truck Driver Salary in Washington

Location 25th Percentile 75th Percentile Annual Salary
United States $31,270 $48,330 $38,700
Washington $33,850 $49,200 $41,010
Bellingham, WA $36,960 $63,590 $46,600
Bremerton-Silverdale, WA $38,800 $54,300 $46,050
Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, WA $31,310 $51,740 $42,730
Longview, WA $30,160 $46,850 $37,170
Mount Vernon-Anacortes, WA $37,510 $47,810 $42,850
Olympia, WA $34,860 $47,810 $41,600
Seattle-Bellevue-Everett, WA Metropolitan Division $35,610 $53,450 $43,380
Spokane, WA $31,860 $48,610 $38,670
Tacoma, WA Metropolitan Division $34,420 $46,500 $40,170
Wenatchee-East Wenatchee, WA $31,640 $43,890 $37,260
Yakima, WA $27,890 $40,070 $33,560

Table data taken from 2015 BLS (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes533032.htm)