Tom Corbett, Governor Barry J. Schoch, P.E., Secretary, Department of Transportation

Frequently Asked Questions:
Commercial Learner’s Permit

How do I apply for a Commercial Learner's Permit?

What is a Knowledge Test Authorization?

Do I have to take the knowledge test first?

What if I have lost my Knowledge Test Authorization?

What if the information on my Knowledge Test Authorization is incorrect?

When I receive my Knowledge Test Authorization, how long must I wait to take the knowledge test?

How long is the Knowledge Test Authorization valid?

What happens if I pass my knowledge test but fail my skills test and my learner's permit expires? Do I need to retake the knowledge test?

How do I schedule an appointment to take the skill's test?

Can I schedule the skills portion of my driver's test if I have not yet completed the 15-day wait requirement?

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How do I apply for a Commercial Learner's Permit?

Applicants must first complete a Commercial Learner's Permit Application (Form DL-31CD), a Self Certification Form(DL-11CD) and pay the required fees. When the learner's permit application is processed, PennDOT will issue a Knowledge Test Authorization (KTA) for each CDL class, endorsement and restriction removal requested. The KTA is the applicant's authorization to appear at a Driver License Exam Site for knowledge testing. As each knowledge test is passed, the applicant is issued a learner's permit, which allows the driver to begin practicing the driving skills. The applicant must hold the commercial learner's permit for at least 15 days for the class of vehicle they intend to drive before the skills test can be taken.

What is a Knowledge Test Authorization?

A Knowledge Test Authorization (KTA) is a document similar in appearance to a learner's permit. However, the KTA itself cannot be used like a learner's permit to operate a vehicle. The sole purpose of the KTA is to indicate the CDL classes, endorsements and restriction removals requested by an applicant, and provide the applicant the opportunity to take their knowledge test(s) at a driver license center. This document must be presented when taking the knowledge test(s). It is only after knowledge testing is successfully completed, that an actual Commercial Learner's Permit is issued. A Knowledge Test Authorization is not a driving permit and cannot be used to practice driving skills.

Do I have to take the knowledge test first?

Yes. You must pass all required knowledge testing before practicing your driving skills or attempting the skills test after a 15-day practice period.

What if I have lost my Knowledge Test Authorization?

A replacement Knowledge Test Authorization can be issued. You will need to complete and submit a Commercial Learner's Permit application to add/extend/remove (Form DL-31CD) with the required fee. Once this information is received, a duplicate KTA will be issued.

What if the information on my Knowledge Test Authorization is incorrect?

To correct information on your KTA you will need to complete and submit a Commercial Learner's Permit application to add/extend/remove (Form DL-31CD). Once this information is received, a new KTA will be issued.

When I receive my Knowledge Test Authorization, how long must I wait to take the knowledge test?

The knowledge test(s) can be taken on the same day a KTA is issued.

How long is the Knowledge Test Authorization valid?

The KTA is valid for one year from the date of issuance. The applicant has one year to pass all knowledge and skills tests in order to obtain their CDL Driver's License.

What happens if I pass my knowledge test but fail my skills test and my learner's permit expires? Do I need to retake the knowledge test?

Yes. If the one-year time period has passed and your CDL learner's permit has expired, you will need to reapply for a learner's permit by again completing the Commercial Learner's Permit Application (Form DL-31CD). Another KTA will be issued by PennDOT, requiring knowledge testing when results are more than a year old.

How do I schedule an appointment to take the skill's test?

You can schedule your exam online.

Can I schedule the skills portion of my driver's test if I have not yet completed the 15-day wait requirement?

Yes. You can schedule your appointment in advance, although you will not be allowed to schedule an appointment date that falls before the 15-day required practice period.

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