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Are you thinking about driving a passenger vehicle as a career?

Then you need to get a P endorsement on your commercial driver’s license. 

The great news is that you can add the P endorsement right away. 

But what does that mean?

What is a P – Passenger Vehicle endorsement?

How do you get one?

We’re going to answer all these questions and more. 

With this, you’ll know everything you need to know about the P endorsement. 

So let’s dive right in!

What is a P Endorsement?

“P” stands for Passenger. 

An endorsement is a certificate to prove that you got the proper training and have the skills to do a certain thing.

So if you have a P endorsement on your commercial driver’s license, that means you are equipped and allowed to drive passengers around.

It’s as simple as that. 

When is a P Endorsement Required?

Not every for-hire vehicle requires a P endorsement. 

Instead, a P endorsement is needed to drive big transportation vehicles — and it should always be accompanied by a commercial driver’s license. 

What classifies as a big transportation vehicle?

Any vehicle that can seat 16 or more passengers (including the driver) and is used to transport them – such as a city bus, shuttle, or a general public paratransit vehicle.

What are the Requirements for a P Endorsement?

The requirements for a P endorsement will differ per state — so it’s best to research the details in your area. 

But generally, you will need to:

  • Be at least 18 years old (if driving intrastate) or 21 years old (if driving interstate).
  • Hold a valid driver’s license (driver experience requirements will vary from state to state).
  • Have a clean driving record. 
  • Clear a background check.
  • Satisfy the medical and physical requirements. 
  • Take Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT).
  • Take and pass a P endorsement knowledge and skills test.
  • Pay the endorsement fee (usually $5).

How to Get a P Endorsement?

You can apply for a P endorsement when you’re still working on your commercial driver’s license. 

Check here for the CDL requirements per state.

This is great because you can work on it together. 

When you apply for a CDL permit, you can choose to add a P endorsement to it. 

So when you take the general CDL knowledge test — you can take the P endorsement knowledge test at the same time. 

And when you get your CDL permit, you can start practicing driving the vehicle you plan to operate. 

IMPORTANT! When practicing with a CDL permit, you are NOT allowed to carry passengers, except for the driver supervising you. 

From there, you’ll have to complete a P endorsement Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) from an FMCSA-approved provider

Finally, when you do your CDL skills test, it can be focused on passenger vehicles. 

What if you already have a commercial driver’s license?

Then you’ll have to take the knowledge test, ELDT program, and skills test separately. 

But again, the complete process is different for each state —- so make sure you research how to apply for the P endorsement and what documents to bring. 

FAQs About the P Endorsement Test

How Many Questions Are on the P Endorsement Test?

The Passenger Vehicle knowledge-based endorsement test contains 20 questions.

Areas that you’ll be questioned on include:

  • Commercial passenger vehicle inspection
  • Loading passengers
  • Operating safely on the road
  • Brake-door interlock systems
  • Post-trip vehicle inspections and processes
  • Prohibited operating practices

The skill-based test, on the other hand, will test you on areas such as:

  • Correct loading and unloading techniques involving passengers
  • Your ability to respond to emergencies in a safe and quick manner
  • Your ability to respond and deal with an unruly passenger

How Long Does the P Endorsement Test Take?

Since the test times differ per state and facility, it’s best to inquire about this before taking it. 

But for your knowledge test, you may be given one hour to answer all the questions. 

As for the skills test, this will take around 2 hours to complete. 

What Score Do I Need to Pass the P Endorsement Test?

Passing the test requires a score of 80%, which means you’ll need to answer at least 16 questions correctly.

How Much Does the P Endorsement Test Cost?

The cost of a P endorsement test will vary based on the state you’re appearing in.

However, on average, the cost will range around the $20 mark for both the knowledge and skills test. 

FAQs About the Passenger Vehicle Endorsement

Do I Need to Go Through a Background Check to Get a P Endorsement?


You will need to submit a background check to get a P endorsement. 

What’s more, your fingerprints will be collected for processing by the relevant agency.

For this, expect to pay up to $100. 

What Happens if I’m Caught Without Passenger Vehicle Endorsement?

Failing to get a P endorsement before driving passenger transportation vehicles will have dire consequences.

You’ll be fined a big amount, which can easily exceed $1,000. 

You could also get your license revoked. 

You may even face jail time if any damage has been caused as a result of a lack of endorsement.

How Long Does a Passenger Vehicle Endorsement Last?

The duration of a P endorsement will vary based on the state that you’re in.

In most states, the endorsement is valid for a good 3 to 5 years. 

Can I Drive a School Bus with a P Endorsement?


Since school buses transport minors, you will need even more training and skills. 

For one, you will have to have a P endorsement — then, you’ll need to accompany that with an S – School Bus endorsement. 

You can learn about the S endorsement here. 


What is a P – Passenger Vehicle endorsement?

It’s a special certification to prove that you have the skills to transport 16 or more passengers. 

Here are the other important facts about the P endorsement:

  • You can get it with your CDL permit.
  • You need to undergo a P endorsement knowledge and skills test. 
  • You are required to take Entry-Level Driver Training to acquire this endorsement.
  • You will need to submit a background check. 
  • It usually costs $5 to add this endorsement. 

If you’re interested in getting a P endorsement in the state you reside in, then it’s a good idea to go to the DMV and look for the full process. 

Good luck!

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