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Hawaii CDL FAQs
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2023 Hawaii CDL License and CDL Test INFO
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Hawaii CDL License Test HOME - commercial drivers license - cdl licence Hawaii CDL License TEST INFO - CDL EXAM - CDL TEST - CDL A Test Hawaii CDL License Test FAQs - cdl practice, cdl practise test Hawaii CDL License Test COURSE INFO - CDL - cdl training, cdl a training, training cdl Hawaii CDL Practice Test

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Hawaii CDL Class A, B, C plus Endorsments Selector
If you need help . . .
determining what Class of CDL you need based upon the type of vehicle you will drive (A, B or C) or are not sure which CDL Endorsements you need based upon the type of loads you will carry use the free CDL Selector Tool . . .
CDL Test Selector Tool
(Use only for a new CDL)
Not sure which CDL Tests you need to pass? Use this tool to determine what Class of CDL and which CDL Endorsements you require.

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HAWAII CDL Information
Specific Hawaii CDL Information

Hawaii CDL Office Locations & Hours of Operation:

Hilo Driver Licensing Office:
349 Kapiolani Street
Hilo, HI 96720
Ph: (808)961-2222
Fax: (808) 961-8861
Hours: Monday - Friday
8:00AM - 4:00PM

Kona Driver Licensing Office
West Hawaii Civic Center
74-5044 Ane Keohokalole
Hwy Kailua-Kona, HI 96740
Ph: (808) 323-4800
Fax: (808)323-4819
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00AM - 4:00PM

Hawaii CDL Commercial Driver License Fees

Documents Required to Apply for a Hawaii Commercial Learner's Permit Requirements to obtain a Hawaii Commercial Learner's Permit

Hawaii CDL Practical Test Location and Requirements

South Hilo Practical Tests are held Monday through Friday. Kona Practical Tests are held on Tuesdays and Wednesdays only. To schedule an appointment, the applicant must apply in person and pay a $50 Practical Test Fee.

Bring the following to the Hawaii CDL road test site:

Commercial vehicles that are exempt from DOT vehicle inspection must present DOT exemption form. Applicant must be accompanied by a licensed driver with a same class or higher license, representative to the testing vehicel or higher with proper endorsements and a valid DOT Medical Certificate. Proper attire and footwear must be worn for testing. Use of slippers is not allowed.

Hawaii CDL Practical Test Description

Applicant must pay a $50 fee for the Hawaii CDL Practical Test at the time of scheduling; Applicant must pass the three (3) part Practical Test on the same day. The Practical Test consists of a Vehicle Inspection, Basic Controls Skills Test, and a Road Test. Failure of the air brake test is an automatic failure of the Practical Test. The Practical Test will be terminated at that point. If the applicant fails to pass the Practical Test or fails to show up for the Practical Test, there is no refund. The $50 fee is for the complete three (3) part Practical Test. If any part of the test is failed, the applicant must reschedule a Practical Test by paying the $50 Practical Test fee.

Any vehicle that has components marked or labeled (placarded) cannot be used for the Practical Test.

Hawaii defines a Class A vehicle as it is defined in the FMCSR and 286-2, HRS, which is as follows: "Any combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more provided the GCWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds."

The maximum time for the Hawaii CDL Practical Test of a Class A vehicle is two (2) hours. The maximum time for a Class B or lower is one and one-half (1.5) hours.

No memory aids are allowed during the Hawaii CDL Practical Test.

Applicant must wear a seat belt while performing the Hawaii CDL Basic Controls Skills Test.

School bus doors must be closed when performing the Hawaii CDL Basic Controls Skills Test.

Hawaii uses the random (partial) method of conducting the Vehicle Inspection and the Basic Controls Skills Test maneuvers.

During the Hawaii CDL Basic Controls Skills Test, the applicant is allowed one time per exercise to exit the vehicle to check positioning. At the beginning of the Hawaii CDL Basic Control Skills Test, the applicant will be informed about exiting and entering the vehicle safely, which includes placing the vechicle into neutral/park and setting the parking brake(s). Exit and enter trucks while facing the vehicle, maintaining three (3) points of contact at all times. If the applicant exits in an unsafe manner, the applicant will be informed again of his/her responsibility to exit the vehicle safely. If the applicant exits the vehicle in an unsafe manner a second time (including not securing the vehicle), an additional ten (10) points will be deducted for that exercise for failure to follow instructions. Bus drivers do not need to exit backwards, but must hold onto the rails as they exit.

If the applicant fails to follow instructions, ten (10) additional points will be deducted from his/her score for that exercise. For example, if the applicant had two (2) points deducted prior to not following instructions, then the points deducted for that exercise will total 12.

If the applicant accumulates thirteen (13) or more points during the Hawaii CDL Basic Controls Skills Test, the Practical Test be will be terminated and marked as failed. The applicant will need to reschedule the Practical Test by paying the $50 Practical Test fee.

Hawaii allows simulated railroad crossing and student discharge during the Road Test.

Hawaii CDL Written Knowledge Tests
You will need to pass the Hawaii Knowledge Tests that are required for the class of license, restriction, and endorsements you wish to possess. A general knowledge test for the Class A or Class B and C license must be successfully completed by all CDL applicants. The information needed to pass these tests is contained in the FREE Hawaii CDL Handbook. Please read and study this manual carefully.

Classes of Hawaii CDL and Required Tests

CDL Class Tests Required Possible Endorsements and Required Tests
Class A
vehicle endorsement required)

General Knowledge Written Exam

Combination Endorsement Written Exam

Road Exam

H - Hazardous Materials Written Exam
N - Tank Vehicles Written Exam
P - Passenger Transport Written and Road Exam
T - Doubles/Triples Written Exam
X - HazMat and Tank Vehicles Written Exam
L - Air Brakes Written and Road Exam
S - School Bus Written and Road Exam
Class B

General Knowledge Written Exam

Road Exam

H - Hazardous Materials Written Exam
N - Tank Vehicles Written Exam
P - Passenger Transport Written and Road Exam
X - HazMat and Tank Vehicles Written Exam
L - Air Brakes Written and Road Exam
S - School Bus Written and Road Exam
Class C

General Knowledge Written Exam

Road Exam

Note: If upgrading to a Class C from a Class D, no road test is required UNLESS the endorsement requires one.
H - Hazardous Materials Written Exam
N - Tank Vehicles Written Exam
P - Passenger Transport Written and Road Exam
X - HazMat and Tank Vehicles Written Exam
L - Air Brakes Written and Road Exam
S - School Bus Written and Road Exam

Hawaii CDL Endorsements

Exam Time Allowed (Minutes) # of Questions on Exam # of Correct Answers Needed to Pass
General Knowledge 60 50 40
Air Brakes 25 25 20
HazMat 30 30 24
Tank 20 20 16
Passenger 20 20 16
Doubles/Triples 20 20 16
Combination Vehicles 20 20 16
School Bus 20 20 16

For the most complete and accurate official Hawaii state CDL information, go to the Official Hawaii CDL Website.

What is a CDL?
A "CDL" is a Commercial Drivers License. It meets certain minimum "standards" that are the same for every state. It differs from the Hawaii "operator's" or "chauffeur's" licenses. It is required if you drive certain kinds of commercial trucks or buses.

What is the COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY ACT OF 1986 (CMVSA/86) administered by the FMCSA?
It is a law passed by the United States Congress which requires ALL the individual states to comply with certain standards in regards to the licensing of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. Hawaii driver licensing standards comply with the law, requiring CMV drivers to obtain a Hawaii Commercial Driver's License (CDL) when driving applicable trucks and buses. A CDL license can ONLY be issued in the driver's STATE OF LEGAL RESIDENCE, and if you have a CDL, you can have NO OTHER DRIVER'S LICENSE in ANY other state.

When do I need a Hawaii CDL instead of my regular Hawaii Drivers License?
A Hawaii CDL is required if you operate any of the following CMV's . . .
1. A vehicle with a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 lbs.
2. A vehicle towing a unit with a manufacturer's GVWR of more than 10,000 lbs. when the GCWR exceeds 26,000 lbs.
3. A vehicle used to . . .(a.) carry 15 or more passengers (excluding the driver), or (b.) carry (15) or less people (including the driver) when carrying children to or from school and home regularly for compensation.
4. A vehicle carrying hazardous materials in amounts requiring placarding.

What are the eligibility requirements to obtain a Hawaii CDL?
1. You must be 21 years old. (18 years if all commercial driving is done within Hawaii and if no hazardous materials requiring placarding are transported and if you do not drive double or triple trailer rigs).
2. You must be physically capable (in accordance with the MCSR 49 CFR 391.41 Physical Qualifications for Drivers regulations) of obtaining a valid DOT medical examiner's card (before being issued a CDL permit or taking any CDL skills test).
3. You must otherwise qualify for the license based on your driving record. Any of the following will disqualify you from obtaining a Hawaii CDL . . .
* If you possess a license from any state other than Hawaii.
* If you are currently subject to any disqualification of your commercial driving privilege from Hawaii or any other state.
* If your license is currently suspended, revoked, denied, or cancelled.
* If you have a conviction for operating a commercial motor vehicle while impaired in the 24 months immediately preceding application.
* other technical rules, and further restrictions that pertain only to Hawaii are covered in detail within the Course.

How do I obtain a Hawaii CDL?
1. Show your Hawaii driver license.
2. You must take and pass all Hawaii examinations that apply to your license class and endorsement requirements.
3. Show proof of social security number.
4. Meet Hawaii driver record eligibility requirements as determined by the State.
5. Fill out an application including certifications.
6. Provide a DOT medical certificate and pass the required CDL knowledge and vision tests (BEFORE a CDL Temporary Instruction Permit will be issued).
7. Pay the Hawaii CDL fees.
8. Schedule, take, and pass your Hawaii CDL skills test.

A separate booklet is included in the Hawaii CDL Course package which covers information such as fees, locations, contacts, procedures and other items specific to Hawaii for the written and skills examinations for ALL classes of CDL and ALL available endorsements.

What is a CDL "Skills Test" and how do I take it?
A "skills" test is the practical portion of the exam and includes . . .
1. A vehicle inspection test to measure your ability to perform a vehicle safety check.
2. A basic control skills test.
3. A driving test.
The skills test is normally given at an approved third party testing site in your area. This can vary and the latest procedures are indicated in the Hawaii CDL Course.

So let's say I get a Hawaii CDL. Can I use it Out-of-State?
Yes! It is good throughout the entire United States.

Can my Hawaii CDL be suspended or revoked?
Yes, there are MANY reasons that your Hawaii CDL can be suspended or revoked. Improper use of alcohol or drugs, traffic violations, and failure to notify top the list. The Course details ALL of the rules regarding suspension or revocation. The point to remember is that alcohol or drug use is not tolerated and your record WILL FOLLOW YOU THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES FOREVER!!!

So let's say that my Hawaii CDL is revoked. Can't I just apply for a CDL in another State?
No!!! Those days are gone.

Are there any exemptions to being required to have Hawaii CDL?
Yes, a few . . .
1. Active Duty Military . . . with military licenses operating military vehicles.
2. Firefighters . . . meeting approved training standards and operating authorized emergency vehicles.
3. Farmers . . . in certain cases.
4. Individuals ....operating motor homes or other vehicles used exclusively to transport personal possessions or family members, for non business purposes.

What do the terms Class A, Class B, and Class C mean on my Hawaii CDL?
It refers to the type of vehicle that you may operate . . .
CLASS A . . . allows you to operate vehicles which tow trailers or other vehicles with a GVWR over 10,000 pounds. A Class "A" license also allows you to operate Class B and C vehicles.
CLASS B . . . allows you to operate single vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs or more OR a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 lbs. or more, towing trailers/vehicles rated at 10,000 pounds GVWR or less. A Class "B" license also allows you to operate Class C vehicles.
CLASS C . . .allows you to operate vehicles under 26,001 lbs. GVWR, that would normally not require a CDL; except when they are designed to transport 16 or more persons including the driver; or that carry 15 or less people (including the driver) transporting children to or from school and home regularly for compensation, or carry hazardous materials in amounts requiring placarding. Applicable endorsements are required.

What are Endorsement Codes and when do I need them on my Hawaii CDL?
Endorsements are necessary for certain commercial driving requirements as follows . . .
(P) PASSENGER. For vehicles which are designed to carry 16 or more people (including the driver); or those which carry 15 or less people (including the driver) transporting children to or from school and home regularly for compensation.
(N) TANK VEHICLES. For vehicles designed to haul liquids or liquefied gases in bulk in permanently mounted tanks or portable tanks rated at 1,000 gallons or more.
(H) HAZARDOUS MATERIALS. To carry hazardous materials in amounts requiring placards.
(X) Endorsement code designating a Tank (N) vehicle that carries Hazardous Materials (H).

I'm over 18 years old, but not 21 years old yet. Can I get a Hawaii CDL license?
Yes . . . with restrictions. You are limited to INTRAstate driving of commercial vehicles (you cannot drive a commercial truck or bus out of Hawaii). You cannot drive a vehicle requiring HAZ MAT placarding, cannot drive double or triple trailer rigs and cannot drive a School Bus with children on board until you turn 21 years of age.

We could go on and on with FAQs but I hope this covers most of your GENERAL questions. Please be assured that the Course answers EVERYTHING that you need to know to obtain ANY or ALL of the available CDL licenses and endorsements in an easy to understand manner. The material is presented in three different ways to reinforce your retention. GOOD LUCK !!

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