A bus picking up a family

How to Obtain Your Commercial Learner's Permit

checkicon bookicon(1) examicon(3) Obtain your permit

To be eligible for the Bus Mechanic and Bus Operator positions, you should first obtain your Illinois Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP). Upon hire and successful completion of CTA's Bus Operator training, you will qualify for your Commercial Driver's License (CDL). Here’s how to get started: 

Elk Grove Village
650 Roppolo Dr.
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

Open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Closed Saturday and Sunday.

South Holland
41 W. 162nd St.
South Holland, IL 60473

Open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Closed Saturday and Sunday.

  1. Check eligibility. You must be at least 21 years old to apply with the CTA (please review Bus Operator or Bus Mechanic qualifications). To apply for a CLP you must possess a valid IL driver's license and provide proof of legal presence documentation.
  2. Study the book. Prepare early for the exam by carefully reviewing the study guide prepared by the IL Secretary of State's Offic. This guide is available online or at your local IL Secretary of State facility.
  3. Pass the exam. Take the written exam for a Class “B” CLP with three endorsements: knowledge, air brakes and passenger. Exam fee is $60 (subject to change). The following IL Secretary of State locations administer the CLP exam:

  4. Obtain your permit. Check that your CLP is printed correctly before leaving the testing facility. Your CLP must have the passenger endorsement (the letter “P” next to “End”) and the airbrakes endorsement (no letter “L” next to “Rest”). CTA requires an IL CLP and is not authorized to accept out-of-state permits (out-of-state CDLs are acceptable).


For more information, including requirements for transfering a CDL from another state, visit Cyber Drive Illinois

Already have a valid CDL? Start your CTA employment application today.

Note: Applicants are allowed to sit for the CTA written test without a CDL or CLP. However, applicants are required to possess a valid CDL or CLP to proceed to the interview stage.