Montana Department of Justice

Commercial driver license (CDL) written tests are given at all driver license exam stations. The driver license exam station schedule lists which stations provide commercial road tests for Class A, B and C licenses. All driver exam stations require appointments for CDL testing; you can schedule your CDL written test through appointment scheduling. Once you have your Commercial Learner Permit, use the online appointment scheduling to make your appointment for your skills tests, (pre-trip, basic control, and road test). You can also schedule by calling the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) Customer Care Center at 1-866-450-8034.
Please be prepared to pay for your license with cash or check (U.S. funds only) since credit cards are not accepted.

Information on standard driver licenses (Non-CDL), ID cards, learner permits, and motorcycle endorsements are available on the Driver Licensing & ID page.

Commercial drivers need to be familiar with the Montana Commercial Driver License Manual and with new medical certification requirements.

New and Out-of-State Applicants

CDL applicants who do not have a Montana standard driver license (Non-CDL) or who are converting an out-of-state CDL must provide:

  • the required documents
      • proof of identity.
      • proof of Montana residency.
      • proof of authorized presence.
      • proof of Social Security number.

  • valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC).

CDL applicants who do have a Montana standard driver license (Non-CDL) must provide:

  • proof of Social Security number.
  • proof of authorized presence.
  • valid MEC.

It is advised that new applicants use the CDL Manual and CDL Requirements Guide to prepare for testing.

Types and Classes of Commercial Licenses

Type 1 Interstate allows a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce, and costs $10 per year, plus the $0.50 renewal notification.

Type 2 Intrastate (Montana only) allows a driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle in intrastate (only within the state of Montana) commerce, and costs $8.50 per year, plus the $0.50 renewal notification.

Class A License allows the holder to operate any combination of vehicles, including:

  • a vehicle exceeding 26,000 Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) that is towing a trailer over 10,000 pounds.
  • any vehicle authorized to be driven under Class B, C, or D.

Note: Pre-trip, skills test, and road testing must be completed in the type of vehicle comparable to the vehicle that you intend to drive.  Drivers testing with non-fifth wheel connections (such as a pintle hook) will receive an NT restriction (the trailer must have a GVWR of 10,001 to qualify for Class A testing).  The NT restriction indicates that you are not valid to operate a semi-tractor trailer.

Class B License allows the holder to operate:

    • a vehicle exceeding 26,000 GVWR that is towing a trailer at/or under 10,000 pounds GVWR.
    • all vehicles under Class C or D.

Class C License allows the holder to operate:

  • a single vehicle under 26,001 pounds and transports one of the following:
    • a vehicle that hauls hazardous materials in an amount sufficient to require placarding under Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 49 CFR 391.
    • a school bus, or any vehicle that hauls 16 or more passengers, including the driver.

Commercial License Fees

Fees for Intrastate CDL*

Customer Age (years) Driver Licensing Fee Total Fee with a Motorcycle Endorsement Length of CDL (years)
18 $26.00 $27.50 3
19 $17.50 $18.50 2
20 $9.00 $9.50 1
21-70 $43.00 $45.50 5
71 $34.50 $36.50 4
72 $26.00 $27.50 3
73 $17.50 $18.50 2
74 $9.00 $9.50 1
75 & older $34.50 $36.50 4

Fees for Interstate CDL*

Customer Age (years) Driver Licensing Fee Total Fee with a Motorcycle Endorsement Length of CDL (years)
21-70 $50.50 $53.00 5
71 $40.50 $42.50 4
72 $30.50 $32.00 3
73 $20.50 $21.50 2
74 $10.50 $11.00 1
75 & older $40.50 $42.50 4

Commercial License Endorsements

Special endorsements are required before a person with a CDL may transport passengers and certain types of cargo in a commercial motor vehicle. The following endorsements are required under Montana law and federal motor carrier safety regulations:

  • Hazardous Materials – security background check required. See the Hazardous Materials chapter in the Commercial Driver License Manual.
  • School Bus – “S” endorsement.
  • Tank Endorsement.
  • Passenger.
  • Double/Triple Trailer.
Security Background Check Required

The Department of Justice (DOJ) may not renew, upgrade, or convert a CDL with a hazardous materials endorsement until it receives notice from the federal Transportation Security Administration (TSA) that the driver has passed a finger-print based security threat assessment (background check).  The TSA security threat assessment (background check) must be completed prior to applying for the renewal of a Montana CDL, transferring an out-of-state CDL, or adding a hazardous materials endorsement.

In Montana, the security check procedures are not performed at a driver exam station. Instead, the driver must first complete the TSA HAZPRINT security application online at the TSA Hazardous Materials Endorsement Threat Assessment Program or by telephone through the TSA agent’s Driver Service Center at 855-347-8371 toll free. After the TSA HAZPRINT application has been completed, a driver must have his or her fingerprints taken at the office of an agent hired by the TSA.

After the official result of the assessment is received, the applicant must also pass a hazardous materials written test at the driver license exam station.

School Bus “S” Endorsement

A school bus endorsement is required for vehicles that are designed or used to transport sixteen or more passengers, including the driver, that are pre-primary, primary, or secondary school students from home to school, from school to home, or to and from school sponsored events.  School bus drivers must also have a passenger endorsement.

To qualify for an S endorsement, school bus drivers must pass a written and road test. Drivers must first take the written test. Once you pass the written test, you can schedule your road test at a driver license exam station.


Renewal Options

You can renew your commercial driver license up to six months in advance of its expiration.
If your license expires, there is a three month grace period before you are required to reapply as a new applicant, and retake all the tests.  However, your license is no longer valid after it expires.

Starting January 2, 2015: When you renew, you must take your certified birth certificate (issued by a U.S. jurisdiction) or a U.S. passport to the driver license exam station to comply with state and federal authorized presence laws.

Type of Exam Station Renewal Options
Full-service driver license exam station You must renew in person.
Rural, limited-service driver license exam station You must renew in person by first paying your commercial driver license renewal fee at the county treasurer’s office and getting a pre-paid receipt.  Take this receipt with you to your renewal appointment.
If you are a Montana resident who is temporarily outside the state and will not return before the expiration of your Montana commercial driver license You may renew by mail. However, after renewing by mail, your next renewal must be completed in person at a driver license exam station.
If you live in a county that does not provide driver license services (Carter, Garfield, Golden Valley, Jefferson, Judith Basin, Madison, Petroleum, Prairie, Treasure, and Wibaux) You may:

  • renew by mail. However after renewing by mail, your next renewal must be completed in person at a driver license exam station.
Renewing in Person
  1. If you do not have your expiring license with you, you must provide proof of identity and, if your name has changed, documentation of name change.
  2. Be prepared to pay with cash or check (U.S. funds only).
    In rural locations with limited driver license services, you must bring your pre-paid receipt from the county treasurer’s office.
  3. You will be given a temporary license and receive your new hard copy license in the mail within approximately two to four weeks.
Renewing by Mail

To be eligible to renew your Montana commercial driver license by mail, you must either:

  • Be a Montana resident who is temporarily outside the state and will not return prior to the expiration of your Montana commercial driver license OR
  • Live in a county that does not provide driver license services—Carter, Garfield, Golden Valley, Jefferson, Judith Basin, Madison, Petroleum, Prairie, Treasure, and Wibaux.

You cannot renew by mail if you have a CDL with a hazardous materials endorsement without dropping the endorsement.  To keep this endorsement, you must renew in person.

Renewals completed by mail are valid up to five years. Your next renewal must be completed in person at a driver license exam station.

How to Renew a CDL by Mail
    1. Complete and enclose:
    2. Enclose a check or money order for the amount listed in the Commercial License Fee chart above.
    3. Mail the completed packet to:
      Motor Vehicle Division
      ATTN: Mail-In
      302 N. Roberts
      P.O. Box 201430
      Helena, MT 59620-1430


Military CDL Skills Test Waiver

This waiver allows a qualified military service member to apply for a CDL without skills testing. Qualification is determined by the commanding officer, who typically certifies the qualification before the service member is discharged.

The CDL written test cannot be waived. School bus, passenger, and hazardous materials endorsements cannot be transferred.

The Application for Military CDL Skills Test Waiver (form CDL-SK TST WV) may be used by service members who are currently licensed and who are or were employed within the last twelve months in a military position requiring the operation of a military motor vehicle equivalent to a commercial motor vehicle.

For more information on military waivers, visit the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA).

Montana Commercial Driver License Information System Motor Vehicle Record (CDLIS MVR)

What is a Montana CDLIS MVR?

CDLIS MVR is a complete Montana commercial driving record including all the medical demographic information that is found on a commercial driver MEC.

How is a Montana CDLIS MVR different from the standard Montana Commercial Driving Record?

The Montana CDLIS record contains all of the medical data from the MEC. The standard Montana commercial driving record has limited information about the MEC (ie: Medically certified or Not medically certified, and the MEC expiration date).  Both records have the complete driving history.

Who can obtain a Montana CDLIS MVR?

Only the driver themselves, or the motor carrier who employs (or will employ) the driver.

What is the purpose of a Montana CDLIS MVR?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (CFR) 49 CFR Part 391.51 require employers to maintain a file on all their commercial drivers that includes all the medical data from the driver’s MEC. The only way employers can obtain a Montana CDLIS MVR  is by contacting the Montana CDL helpdesk.

How does a driver or employer obtain a Montana CDLIS MVR?

Contact the MVD CDL Helpdesk:
(406) 444-3244

The helpdesk can provide the appropriate form and fee information.


Attorney General's Office & Legal Services Division

The Attorney General’s Office, headed by Attorney General Tim Fox, and the Legal Services Division function as the lawyers for the State of Montana. The attorneys in the Office have expertise in a wide range of legal topics and handle a broad range of legal cases involving the State of Montana and its people.


Children’s Justice Bureau

The Children’s Justice Bureau is an agency-wide initiative at the Montana Department of Justice dedicated to IMPROVING how we respond to child victims, DEVELOPING state-of-the-art approaches by keeping up with the newest research and, most importantly, HELPING child victims recover and move on with their lives.


Forensic Science Division & State Crime Lab

The mission of the Montana Forensic Science Division is to use operationally efficient and financially responsible practices as the laboratory provides accurate, objective, and timely forensic analyses to the criminal justice community in order to maximize value to the citizens of Montana.


Missing Persons Clearinghouse

The Missing Children Act of 1985 established a Montana Missing Persons Clearinghouse within the Department of Justice. In March 2008, the department implemented a searchable online database that, for the first time, is updated in real time and includes any photos provided by law enforcement.


Office of Victim Services

The goal of the Office of Victim Services is to provide tools and information to help crime victims recover from their experience and provide them with a range of services available. The criminal justice system can be confusing and intimidating for victims. To assist them as they go through the justice system, the Office of Victim Service is available to answer any questions they may have.


Central Services Division

The Montana Department of Justice’s Central Services Division provides financial and human resources support for the department. We make sure that everything works for the people Working for Justice. If you’re interested in a rewarding career helping protect the rights and safety of all Montanans, we invite you to join our team of over 800 dedicated employees working across the state.


Justice Information Technology Services Division

Our Justice Information Technology Services Division (JITSD) provides vital Information Technology (IT) infrastructure upon which Montanans and local and state law enforcement agencies rely for timely, accurate information. JITSD manages the IT systems, services, and interfaces to support nearly 800 DOJ employees, 325 statewide county motor vehicle system users, and over 3,000 Criminal Justice Information Network (CJIN) users across the state.


Division of Criminal Investigation

The Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) at the Montana Department of Justice is involved in many aspects of Montana law enforcement and is integral to the Department of Justice’s mission of promoting public safety.


Montana Highway Patrol

Montana is rich in natural beauty and history. From Glacier Park in the west to Makoshika Park in the east, the men and women of the Montana Highway Patrol are working hard to make your travels safe and enjoyable. The Highway Patrol’s core values are “Service, Integrity and Respect.” These values are reflected in our commitment to public safety through diligent and fair enforcement of our traffic codes.


Montana Law Enforcement Academy

The Montana Law Enforcement Academy is the premier law enforcement and public safety educational and training institution for state, county, city and tribal officers throughout the state. The Academy offers entry-level programs referred to as Basic Programs and advanced training through an array of Professional Development Programs.


Public Safety Officer Standards & Training

The Council was formed in 2007 under 2-15-2029, MCA as an independent Quasi-judicial board. And as allowed by statute the Council adopted Administrative Rules in order to implement the provisions of Title 44, chapter 4, part 4, MCA. Per 44-4-403, MCA the Council is required to set employment and training standards for all Public Safety Officers as defined in 44-4-401, MCA and in addition the Council shall provide for the certification or recertification of public safety officers and for the suspension or revocation of certification of public safety officers.


Motor Vehicle Division

The mission of the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) is to identify and promote efficient, cost-effective programs that benefit the interests, safety, and well-being of Montana citizens through licensing, registering, and regulating the motoring activities of the public. The MVD continuously strives for excellence in customer service. Streamlining the way we do business has allowed us to improve our efficiency and make our services more convenient for our customers.


Natural Resource Damage Program

The Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP) was created in 1990 to prepare the state’s lawsuit against the Atlantic Richfield Co. (ARCO) for injuries to the natural resources in the Upper Clark Fork River Basin (UCFRB). Decades of mining and mineral processing operations in and around Butte and Anaconda released substantial quantities of hazardous substances into the Upper Clark Fork River Basin between Butte and Milltown. These hazardous substances extensively degraded the area’s natural resources.


Office of Consumer Protection

Enforce consumer laws designed to protect the consumer from unfair or deceptive business practices. Enforce statutes relating to telephone solicitation and telemarketing. Provide information to consumers about the Consumer Protection Act. Assist consumers by distributing consumer education materials including scam and consumer alerts. Investigate false, misleading, or deceptive trade practices.


Gambling Control Division

Through the Gambling Control Division, the Department of Justice regulates all forms of gambling in Montana, except for the Montana Lottery and horse racing. The legislature has charged the division with maintaining a uniform regulatory climate that is fair and free of corrupt influences. The division is also responsible for collecting gambling revenue for state and local governments.


Human Trafficking

The Montana Department of Justice has a continued commitment to victims of human trafficking. In partnership with federal authorities, our agency plays a key role in the investigation, enforcement, and prosecution of crimes related to human trafficking in Montana. This form of modern day slavery does happen here in Big Sky Country.


Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Program

Montana’s deadliest drugs aren’t made in secret labs and they don’t always come from dealers on the corner. They’re in our own medicine cabinets. Each year, prescription drug abuse contributes to the deaths of more than 300 Montanans — making prescription drug abuse 15 times more deadly than meth, heroin and cocaine combined. Our kids report the third-highest rate of prescription drug abuse in the country and more than half of them say prescription drugs are easier to get than street drugs.


Safe in Your Space

When it comes to embracing new technology, kids have rapidly outpaced their parents and teachers. By their early school years, many children are already more comfortable on the Internet than their parents. But just because children are smart enough to know how to navigate the Internet, doesn’t mean they have the experience to make good decisions about some of the possibilities they may face online.


Montana Sexual or Violent Offender Registry

Created by the Montana Department of Justice in 1989, the Sexual or Violent Offender Registry is a valuable resource for Montanans to protect their families against sexual or violent offenders.


Montana 24/7 Sobriety Program

Drinking and driving has been a chronic – and deadly — problem on Montana’s roadways for decades. In 2008, Montana was ranked as the deadliest state in the nation when it came to per capita DUI-related traffic fatalities.


Work for Justice

Everyday at The Montana Department of Justice, our employees are dedicated to ensuring the well-being and rights of the people of our great state. We’re passionate about what we do because it’s more than a job or a career. It’s about who we are as people. If this sounds like you, your unique experiences, knowledge, and values may be just what the Montana Department of Justice is looking for and needs. In return we can offer a culture that promotes fairness and growth opportunities.