Every truck driver is familiar with the Department of Transportation (DOT). This is the federal agency that sets the rules and regulations for commercial vehicles. However, each individual state has a DOT that not only enforces the federal regulations but has authority to enact regulations specific to their state. For example, California has strict laws in place for the protection of the environment, limiting emissions for commercial vehicles. Idaho has its own rules beyond those of the federal regulations. These regulations are in place to help keep the roadways safer and minimize the number of truck accidents.


CDL Requirements

Anyone over the age of 18 may apply for a CDL in Idaho. Between the ages of 18 – 21, however, you may drive only in the state of Idaho. To apply, you must currently hold a regular drivers license and have a clean record. Before a CDL is issued, you must take and pass a physical exam. Be sure to bring this document when applying. Basic CDL cost is $40.00 and is good for four years. Any additional endorsement (haz-mat, etc.) is an additional $15.00 per endorsement.


DOT Numbers


Rule 19 of the Idaho Motor Carrier Rules states that if you operate only within state boundaries and have a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 26,001 pounds, you must have Intrastate DOT numbers. Exceptions are made for trucks that carry ONLY certain agricultural commodities. For further information, contact the Idaho State Police Commercial Vehicle Safety Section.


Tires, Studs, Chains

Tires must have minimal tread wear showing and contain no permanent studs that may cause damage to roadways. Between 01 May – 30 September annually, no studs or chains are allowed. During winter months, chains are required on certain mountain passes. These areas will be clearly marked and areas designated for pull-outs to enable the installation of chains.
Legal Gross Loads

There are specific designated routes for extra-length combos that may carry a maximum load of 105,500 pounds. Maps are available through the State Police or Idaho DOT that show these routes.
An excess weight permit is required on all highways if the load exceeds 80,000 pounds.


Highway Restrictions

During spring thaw periods, some highways have restrictions on allowable weights and speeds. These restrictions may be lower than normal for safety purposes. These areas will be marked, so stay alert. Please know and follow the rules, and have a safe trip!







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