In the United States, a CDL or Commercial Driver’s License is required for those who drive a vehicle for commercial purposes. Specifically, if the purpose is to transport public passengers, then there is a need to add the so-called “p endorsement” or public passenger endorsement to the driver’s CDL. The CDL Passenger endorsement is important to make sure that professional drivers of large vehicles operate with safety and can assist and care for the needs and demands of the passengers.
To be able to obtain this CDL Passenger endorsement, one must pass the Passenger Transport Test. Topics on safety and emergency procedures, vehicle inspection, driver behavior, how to operate a vehicle with multiple passengers, and general protocols should be learned before taking the said test. Thus, this article will serve as a P endorsement study guide to pass on necessary knowledge on these topics to help you pass the test. This guide, however, does not cover additional topics required for school bus drivers.
Now, you might still be confused whether you would need a CDL Passenger endorsement and pass the test or not, so to help you with that, let us briefly discuss who exactly needs a Passenger endorsement and what are the other minimum requirements to obtain it aside from passing the passenger transport test before proceeding with the CDL Passenger endorsement study guide.
Depending on the state, laws regarding p endorsement may vary. To confirm this, you may check at your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or with your bus company. But in general, in most states, a vehicle with approximately 10 to 15 passengers requires a CDL with p endorsement. Some states count only the seat of the driver and some only count the passengers and not the seats. In California, for example, a driver operating a vehicle that carries 10 persons either for profit, for hire, or for nonprofit, a CDL with p endorsement is needed.
Aside from the count of passengers and seats, restrictions of the insurance companies should be taken into account. Most insurance companies do not allow drivers under 25 years old to operate a 15-passenger capacity bus despite having all the proper licenses with endorsements. Furthermore, if a driver doesn’t have the CDL yet and only has the Commercial Learner’s Permit, he cannot drive a van or a bus with passengers on-board except if the passenger is the trainer, fellow students, federal auditor, test examiner, or inspector.
Now, if you are sure you need this CDL Passenger endorsement study guide for your Passenger endorsement, make sure you satisfy also the following list of the CDL Passenger endorsement requirements for application.
- A VALID CDL
- Minimum age requirement of 18 or 21 years old
- An acceptable driving record
- Good moral character
- No criminal record
- A clinical review of medical records
- P Endorsement application form
- Medical examination form
- Fingerprint forms
- Printed proof of no sex offense record
- If applicable, a CERTIFIED criminal and driving history from states you have been resident of for the last 5 years.
- DCF-3031 / Authorization for Release form for applicants who need S, V, or A endorsement
- Payment of $88.25 through check or money order
Here are the components of the CDL Passenger endorsement study guide that will surely be useful for the Passenger endorsement test you need to pass for obtaining your Passenger endorsement.
Before every morning drive, it is important to always inspect your vehicle’s interior and exterior.
For the exterior: brakes, steering, horn, lights, tires, windshield, wipers, mirrors, cameras if there are any, luggage compartments which should be shut and locked, emergency equipment, closed emergency exits, and secured equipment hatches.
For the interior: seats (attached securely), seatbelts, emergency exits, windows, floor (shouldn’t be prone to tripping), PA system, handholds, and signaling system for passengers such as intercom, buzzer, etc.
It is also important to take note that the vehicle must be provided with air brakes or hydraulic, and this one will require a separate endorsement. Regrooved tires are not a must for commercial passenger vehicle’s steering axles, but these may be uncommonly found in some trucks.
For emergency exits, there are several points to remember. The emergency exits should have clear labels, should have easy access by the passengers, should be maintained closed while driving, and their red light, if there’s any, should be functioning on all occasions.
Tools and emergency equipment should also be maintained and properly stored in the vehicle at all times. Sharp tools should be placed in an enclosed container and emergency equipment such as reflective triangles, spare fuses, and fire extinguishers should be properly stored and easily accessible.
Lastly, to ensure further safety, seatbelts must be worn by the driver at all times and he should be able to move freely while driving. If there are any installed passenger seatbelts, they should be likewise be worn by the passengers. If passengers have luggage, make sure they are in the proper deposit area and not messing the aisle or the doorway to avoid passengers tripping over. The same also applies to other tripping hazards.
Passengers may sometimes bring hazardous materials (car batteries and gasoline the most common examples) on board with or without knowing that they are not allowed to be transported. The rules for hazardous materials allowed and not allowed in the van or bus is complicated so make sure you understand them. The list below only applies to passenger buses and vans, so if your vehicle is in another category, make sure to check with your bus company if they have additional requirements or rules for hazardous materials.
- Bus or van CAN NEVER transport these hazardous materials:
- poison gas (division 2.3)
- liquid poison (class 6)
- irritating materials
- radioactive materials
- tear gas
- Hazardous materials should be labeled with the chemical’s common name and ID number, and the diamond-shaped label (4 inches in size) shows the hazard material class.
- Ammunition for small arms is allowed. Just make sure it is labeled with ORM-D.
- Hospital emergency drugs and supplies are allowed
- If a shipper can’t ship hazardous material, it is possible to have the material transported through the bus or van.
- For medical oxygen, one for personal use by the passenger and medically prescribed is allowed. It should be in a personal-use-designed container.
- Other materials that can be transported sometimes by van or bus:
- >100 lbs solid poisons (class 6)
- >500 lbs of total hazardous materials allowed
- >100 lbs of hazardous materials (class 1)
For reference, here is the table for hazard class definitions.
Aside from the materials mentioned previously, passengers may also carry other items that should be as well regulated. Wheelchairs, for example, must be equipped with brakes or other methods to keep them still when lowered or raised through the lift platform. Also, the batteries used should be spill-free, securely attached, and fuel uses should not be flammable. These rules do not apply to school buses, so check with the school bus company if you want to know more.
In the case of animals, only service dogs are allowed to be transported. Nowadays, service dogs are not anymore limited to dogs but also other animals that help individuals with disabilities such as those with visual impairment, those who are deaf, and those who need assistance in pulling or pushing a wheelchair. Sick people who need alert during a seizure, with PTSD, or need to be alerted for medicine prescription might also need a service dog with them and it is allowed. Furthermore, individuals who are training service dogs are also allowed to have these animals transported.
In all these cases where animals are allowed to be transported, the owner needs to take care of any damage that the dog may incur inside the vehicle. Lastly, the dogs should also be attached to a leash and must wear the official tag for service dogs.
All the specific points above for this CDL Passenger endorsement may be different from your state so it is always better to check first from your local DMV to get more precise information.
Let’s take the CDL practice test now! And let’s take the Passenger endorsement practice tests! Those CDL passenger endorsement practice tests would definitely help you a lot.
Last but not least, never mind contacting us here!