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Alabama updates commercial learner’s permit procedures

Friday, July 14, 2017

Alabama is updating its commercial learner’s permit (CLP) to comply with recent Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulation. In the coming days, the state will start issuing a separate document for the CLP that is valid for 180 days, but applicants can renew it one time for an additional 180 days without retaking the knowledge tests. State law enforcement officials say they expect to go live with the updated system by Monday, July 17, 2017.

Alabama currently upgrades a person’s base license to a commercial learner’s permit. However, starting Monday the applicant will keep their base license and will receive a second document: a commercial learner’s license. Both documents will display the same driver’s license number, and therefore only require one record in the state database system.

According to Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) officials, CDL applicants keep their base license. They will be issued a separate CLP for the class/endorsement the person wishes to obtain. The CLP will have the same driver’s license number and will be in the same format as a base license. They must have their base license in their possession when driving the commercial motor vehicle that requires a CDL. They must also have a proper licensed CDL holder in the front seat (same as always).

Other changes include:

  • Applicants must hold the CLP for at least 14 days before they can be skills tested for a full CDL.
  • Only endorsement allowed on CLP is Passenger, School Bus and Tank
  • If an applicant has a Passenger and/or School Bus endorsement it will also have a P Restriction-No Passengers in a CMV bus. Exception: The trainer (full CDL holder) and if it is a training school they can have other passengers that are being trained as drivers by that school.
  • If they have a Tank Endorsement (N) they will have an X Restriction-No Cargo in CMV Tank.   

Updated CDL/CLP restriction list:

  • E-No Manual transmission CMV
  • K- Intrastate only
  • L- No air brake equipped CMV.
  • M-No Class A passenger vehicle
  • N-No Class B passenger vehicle
  • O-No Tractor Trailer CMV
  • P- No Passenger in CMV bus (only used on CLL)
  • V-Medical Variance
  • X-No Cargo in CMV tank (Only used on CLL)
  • Z-No full air brake equipped CMV