Department of Vehicle Regulation
I. Division of Drivers Licensing
What is the Commercial Driver's License Law?
New federal standards for testing and licensing heavy truck and bus operators are now law in Kentucky. These minimum standards will guarantee the fitness of commercial motor vehicle operators by requiring demonstrated ability to drive heavy vehicles before a license is issued. A new license, called the Commercial Driver License (CDL), has replaced what was known as a chauffeur license for many Kentucky drivers. The CDL laws and standards cover drivers in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Mexico and Canada. Motor Carriers will be held responsible if their drivers operate a commercial motor vehicle without a valid CDL.
Who Needs a License?
Class A CDL - For any combination of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more, provided the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is more than 10,000 pounds.
Class B CDL
1) Any straight truck with two or more axles and a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more;
2) Any vehicle with two or more axles and a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more, pulling a vehicle with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less.
3) A single vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) if the GVWR is 26,001 pounds or more.
Class C CDL
1) Any vehicle with a GVWR of less than 26,001 pounds transporting hazardous materials for which placarding is required.
2) A single vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) if the GVWR is less than 26,001 pounds.
How to apply
To make application for a CDL, you must provide a valid D.O.T. medical certificate and complete an application at your local Circuit Court Clerk's office. All applicants will be required to successfully pass a knowledge test either in written or oral form, and a vision test. A CDL instruction permit will then be issued that is valid for six (6) months. You may schedule a road skills test with Kentucky State Police 10 days after the permit has been issued. A permit may only be renewed once in the two (2) year period. If you do not successfully pass the road skills test by the expiration of your CDL instruction permit renewal, you will need to reapply. All fees and written tests will be required prior to a new permit being issued.
II. Division of Motor Carriers
The Division of Motor Carriers consist of the following Branches and sections
1) The Commercial Motor Vehicle Credentialing Section- It is the responsibility of commercial vehicle owners/operators to file taxes and have the appropriate operating authorities. The following definitions were compiled to assist you in determining which taxes and operating authorities you are responsible for:
PRIVATE CARRIER: Transports goods or property and is not for-hire.
FOR-HIRE CARRIER: Transports goods or passengers for payment.
INTRASTATE CARRIER: Transports goods or passengers within the state of Kentucky.
INTERSTATE CARRIER: Transports goods or passengers across state lines
2) Tax and Financial Processing Branch- The Tax and Financial Processing Branch administers the following taxes for the Division, KYU, KIT and IFTA including U-Drive-It tax. U-Drive-It tax is the tax on leased and rented vehicles.
Tax is due the end of the following month and if filed late is subject to penalty and interest, late fees, plus a bond may be required to be on file. Failure to receive tax forms or notice does not exempt the customer from penalty and interest or other fees.
KIT and KYU Section: Handles all fuel tax for intrastate carriers and weight distance tax. 502-564-4150.
IFTA Section: Handles all International Fuel Tax Agreement matters. 502-564-4150.
3) Overweight/Overdimensional Section- On interstate and major highway systems there are no overall length restrictions, however, on these highways the trailer is limited to 53 feet in length by 102 inches in width.
On all other state highways the legal dimensions for truck and trailer are 65 feet in length and 8 feet in width. Overall height is limited to 13 feet 6 inches on all highways. Legal gross weight for 5 or more axles is up to 80,000 lbs.
Carriers with nondivisible loads exceeding these dimensions are required to purchase an overweight/overdimensional permit. If you have questions regarding these dimensions or want to purchase this permit, please call 502-564-7150. You may also inquire about an Industrial Haul Permit at this number or contact the district in which you anticipate hauling.
4) IRP/Apportioned Regristration- IRP stands for the INTERNATIONAL REGISTRATION PLAN. Kentucky was one of the initial members to join the plan in 1973. The IRP was adopted for the registration of commercial motor vehicles engaged in interstate operations and to promote and encourage the fullest possible use of the highway system, by authorizing the apportioned registration of fleets of motor vehicles and the recognition of apportioned registered vehicles in other jurisdictions, thus contributing to the economic and social development and growth of the jurisdictions.
The term APPORTIONED means basically what it says. Under the IRP, the registration fee paid by the registrant is determined by the percentage of miles traveled in each state. The registrant reports the mileage for each state to the base state on the required application, and the base state calculates the fees due and collects the fees for each state. The base state then distributes the monies to the appropriate states.
Under the IRP, the interstate operator is required to file an application with the state in which the operator is based. The base state issues a base IRP Apportioned Registration license plate and IRP cab card. The IRP plate and cab card are the only REGISTRATION identification or credentials required to qualify the operator to operate interstate &/or intrastate in member jurisdictions the operator has applied for, providing the operator has the proper Operating Authority and Fuel Permits. IRP Apportioned Registration DOES NOT exempt the registrant from other requirements such as fuel licenses, fuel permits or operating authority.
WHO MUST IRP APPORTION REGISTER?
Any operator operating or intending to operate one (1) or more APPORTIONABLE VEHICLE(S) into or through two (2) or more of the member jurisdictions must be IRP registered or purchase Trip Permits for each jurisdiction.