CDL Update on Licenses

AAI has been asked to help clarify questions the Iowa Department of Transportation has been receiving on regular and restricted CDL’s.

Regulations do not allow a driver to have both a regular CDL and a Restricted CDL.  So, if a driver has a CDL without a hazmat endorsement, he may not get the Restricted CDL to assist a co-op in transporting anhydrous ammonia to the farm fields and carry both licenses.  He would have to add the hazardous material endorsement to the regular CDL.

IADOT standard procedure is that if a driver drops a CDL, he/she must complete all the testing, knowledge and skills, to regain the CDL.  Early on during the onset of the haz mat security threat assessment program, IADOT had allowed drivers to drop the regular CDL and apply for the Restricted CDL and at the end of the season we allowed the driver to then regain the regular CDL without the knowledge and skills testing.  This was due to the delays in the completion of the security threat assessments.  However, now that the process has been significantly improved, IADOT has discontinued waiving the retesting requirement.  This was effective January 1, 2008.

Somehow, this has been incorrectly translated into meaning that Iowa no longer issues Restricted CDLs.

IADOT and AAI wants to confirm that Iowa does indeed continue to issue Restricted CDLs.  The only change is that if a driver wants to drop an existing CDL to obtain the Restricted CDL, he/she will have to take all testing to regain the original CDL.

General information related to the Restricted CDL:

Question:  What are the seasonal periods for use of the Restricted CDL?

Answer:  March 15 through June 30 & October 4 through December 14.

Question:  Is there a mileage restriction on the use of the Restricted CDL?

Answer:  Yes.  The driver may operate between the employer’s place of business and the farm currently being served, not to exceed 150 miles.

Question:  What may be transported?

Answer:  The rule allows the licensee to drive a commercial motor vehicle for agricultural input purposes.  “Agricultural inputs” means suppliers or applicators of agricultural chemicals, fertilizer, seed or animal feeds.

Question:  Is hazardous material included?

Answer:  A Restricted CDL is not valid for transporting hazardous materials requiring placarding, except as follows:

(1)  Liquid fertilizers such as anhydrous ammonia may be transported in vehicles or implements of husbandry with total capacities of 3,000 gallons or less.  A hazardous material endorsement is not required.

(2)  Solid fertilizers such as ammonium nitrate may be transported provided they are not mixed with any organic substance.  A hazardous material endorsement is not required.

Question:  Can tank vehicles and vehicles equipped with airbrakes be operated with the Restricted CDL?

Answer:  Yes.

Question:  When not driving a commercial motor vehicle for agricultural input purposes, is the license valid for non-commercial motor vehicles?

Answer:  Yes.

Question:  Must the Restricted CDL be re-validated for each season?

Answer:  Yes.  The driver must appear at a driver license station during the current season or not more than 30 days before the beginning of the season to validate the license.

Question:  Is testing required?

Answer:  No.

Question:  Must the driver have a good driving record?

Answer:  Yes.  The applicant must have two years of previous driving experience.  This means that he/she must have held a license that permits unaccompanied driving for at least two years.  The applicant must be at least 18 years of age.  The driver license examining staff will review the driving record for the previous two-year period.  There must be no suspensions, revocations, disqualifications, denials, bars or cancellations of any kind.  Traffic offenses that would prevent the issuance of a Restricted CDL are similar to the serious and major offenses that contribute to CDL disqualification.