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 Nebraska “operator’s” or “chauffeur’s” licenses. It is required if you drive certain kinds of commercial trucks or buses.

What are the eligibility requirements to obtain a Nebraska CDL?
  1. You must be 21 years old. (18 years if all commercial driving is done within Nebraska 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 Nebraska CDL:
    1. If you possess a license from any state other than Nebraska.
    2. If you are currently subject to any disqualification of your commercial driving privilege from Nebraska or any other state.
    3. If your license is currently suspended, revoked, denied, or cancelled.
    4. If you have a conviction for operating a commercial motor vehicle while impaired in the 24 months immediately preceding application.
  4. other technical rules, and further restrictions that pertain only to Nebraska are covered in detail within the Course.
How do I obtain a Nebraska CDL?
  1. Show your Nebraska driver license.
  2. You must take and pass all Nebraska examinations that apply to your license class and endorsement requirements.
  3. Show proof of social security number.
  4. Meet Nebraska 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 Nebraska CDL fees.
  8. Schedule, take, and pass your Nebraska CDL skills test.
When do I need a Nebraska CDL instead of my regular Nebraska Drivers License?

A Nebraska CDL is required if you operate any of the following Commercial Motor Vehicle’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:
  4. Carry (15) or more passengers (excluding the driver), or
  5. Carry (15) or less people (including the driver) when carrying children to or from school and home regularly for compensation.
  6. A vehicle carrying hazardous materials in amounts requiring placarding.
Can i still test at central states safety if i live out of state, and want to join the training class at css?


Effective July 8, 2015, out-of-state holders of a Commercial Learners Permit (CLP) can now have the skill tests administered by a Nebraska DMV approved CDL Training School. The results will be electronically transmitted by the Nebraska’s State DMV office to the State’s DMV office where the driver obtained the CLP from. Their CDL will be issued by that state.

Example: A person from Ohio who has a valid ohio9 CLP can come to Central States Safety & Driver Training’s School for Training. They can train and legally drive on public roads with their out-of-state CLP. Once their training is finished. Central States Safety will administer the required Nebraska skills tests to the driver. If the driver passes the skills tests, the results will be sent to Ohio’s DMV by the State of Nebraska’s DMV office. The driver must return to Ohio to apply for their CDL. No further testing is required.

What is all included in the ELDT Program?

All of our ELDT programs teach prospective students the basic knowledge and skills needed to obtain a class A, B, or C commercial driver’s license. A student will receive training in the following:

Classroom Instruction

  • Learning the rules of the road.
  • Vehicle Inspection (Pre-Trip/Post-Trip)
  • Logbooks
    – Explanation of ELDs
    – Paper Logging
  • Distracted Driving, Human Trafficking Videos

Online Theory Training

  • Training Topics include: Basic Operation, Safe Operating Procedures, Vehicle Systems and Reporting Malfunctions, Hours of Service, etc.

Behind the Wheel Training/Hands-On Training

  • Will teach you the safe operation of the vehicle for the class of CDL you will be testing for.
  • Training will include:
    – Various Backing Maneuvers
    – Parking
    – Turning and Controlling the CMV
    – Hooking/Unhooking a trailer
    – Road Driving
    — Hills, Gravel Roads, In-town driving, Interstate Driving, Highway Driving, etc.

CDL Skills Test

  • Upon completion of the Training Program, and the passing the Driver’s Evaluation, we will schedule you for the CDL Skills Test.
    – The Skills Test will be conducted on-site with one of our State approved Examiners (No need to schedule with the DMV).  
    – Once all three segments have been successfully passed (Vehicle Inspection, Basic Control Skills, and Road Test), an applicant will just go to the DMV to obtain the CDL.
What Equipment is Used for Training?

For a Class A CDL, Central States Safety uses the industry standard equipment to train and test in, as we feel that is the best practice/most representative to what a person will be using.

Class A (Semi-Truck) – (Automatic or Manual Transmissions)

  • 10-speed Transmissions
  • Full Sized Sleeper-Cab Tractor
  • 53’ Dry Van Trailers

Class A (O & L Restriction) – (Pickup/Trailer) 

  • 1 ton Pickup with 
  • 30’ Flatbed/Gooseneck Trailer

We also do training and testing for Class B CDLs, which include School Buses, Coach Buses, and Straight-Trucks. We also offer discounts if a company/person provides their own CMV for training and testing.

Class B (Straight-Truck) – (Automatic or Manual Transmissions)

  • 10-speed Transmissions

Class B (School Bus) – (Automatic) (Must have Passenger & School Bus Endorsements)

  • Full Sized School Bus, with Air Brakes, over 26,001 lbs.

Class B (Coach Bus) – (Automatic) (Must have Passenger Endorsement)

  • Full Sized Bus, with Air Brakes, over 26,001 lbs.
What are the steps to getting my CDL?

CDL Checklist

Study for CLP (Commercial Learner’s Permit)

Obtain a DOT Physical

Take Written Tests at DMV for the CLP

  • General Knowledge (Required for Class A, B, or C)
  • Air Brakes (Required for Air Brake Equipped Vehicle for Class A, or B)
  • Combination Vehicle (Required for Class A)

Take Endorsement Written Test (s)

  • If wanted/needed

Sign up with Central States to take Online Theory Class

  • Required under the new FMCSA ruling
  • Can Assist in studying for the Written Tests
  • Required if wanting the HazMat (H) Endorsement
    – Theory Class must be taken prior to testing at the DMV for the HazMat Endorsement.
    Please note that a Background Check and Fingerprinting must be completed prior to testing as well.

Call Central States Safety to Register/Book an Appointment for CDL Training

Complete CDL Training/Driver’s Evaluation and Take the CDL Skills Test

Go to DMV to get CDL

What are the payment options?

We accept cash, money orders, and credit cards. Financing options include grants from WIOA or Vocational Rehab. Coming soon! Financing through CDL Advantage

What if I had a CDL previously, do I need ELDT?

If you have had a CDL previously, talk to your local DMV office to see if you will be “Grandfathered” in. If you can be Grandfathered in, they you do not need to take ELDT. You just need to obtain a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP), and you can be scheduled for the CDL Skills test after the 14-day waiting period.