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Getting your CDL

To get your CDL you must meet the following qualifications:
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a basic New Jersey driver license (Class D)
  • Have 20/40 vision in each eye (with or without glasses)
  • Be able to recognize red, green and amber colors
  • Be physically fit*

*Federal law and New Jersey regulations requires commercial drivers to carry submit a self-certification form and valid medical examiner's certificate, completed by a certified medical examiner, to the MVC  and renew it every two years.

Commercial license and endorsement fee
The cost of the four-year CDL is $42 and $2 for each endorsement. An applicant’s first CDL will be prorated to expire with any current basic license. Applicants without a basic New Jersey passenger driver license (Class D) should factor in the $24 fee for the Class D license.

Commercial examination test receipt and commercial learner permit (CLP) fee              
The cost of a CLP examination test receipt is $125. This test receipt must be purchased before you can take your knowledge, endorsement and road tests. After you have passed your knowledge tests, there will be no additional charge for your initial CLP. The cost of the CLP is included in your test receipt fee, along with the payment for medical form review and data exchange with Federal driver monitoring systems.

Important note: Medical or background check results can lead to commercial  license disqualification. Disqualification does not make an applicant eligible for  CLP fee refund.

Application process

  • Study ahead; read the CDL Manual
  • Visit your local MVC Agency
  • Pass the 6 Point ID Verification; you must present a Social Security card for an initial commercial learner permit (CLP)
  • Pay $125 commercial examination test receipt fee (non-refundable). For your convenience, MVC Agencies accept American Express® card, MasterCard® card, Visa® card, checks, money orders and cash
  • Take the CDL knowledge test
  • After passing your CDL knowledge test, return to any MVC Agency and obtain your CLP
  • Practice driving in a CMV of the type you want to be licensed for
  • Schedule skills/road test
  • Return to any MVC Agency and obtain your CDL

 “NEW” CLP restrictions

  • K - Restriction for Intrastate only
  • L – Restriction for no vehicles with air brakes
  • P – No passenger restriction on CLP, if CLP has a P endorsement
  • V – Restriction for medical variance (the driver must also have the hard copy variance issued by FMCSA)
  • X – No Cargo in Tank restriction, if CLP has an N endorsement

CDL applicants under 21 years old:

  • Can only operate in intrastate commerce (within New Jersey) and
  • Must select commerce category “3” or “4” on the CDL Holder Self-Certification form and
  • May not receive a hazmat endorsement and
  • May not receive a passenger endorsement

Effective November 9, 2015, the “Z” restriction code that had been used to capture a Graduated Driver License (GDL) restriction is now captured using a “T” restriction. All GDLs issued up until that time continue to be valid with their “Z” identifier until their expiration date.

The following do not need a CDL for their purposes:

  • Taxi drivers (carrying less than eight passengers) and ride-sharing van drivers
  • Firefighters
  • Operators of rescue or first-aid squad vehicles
  • Farmers hauling their own products and equipment within 150 miles of their farms
  • Non-civilian operators of military equipment
  • Operators of construction equipment not designed for operation on public roads
  • Operators of recreational vehicles, provided the vehicle is being operated only for personal use

Lost or stolen CLP documents
Visit an MVC Agency to replace a CDL permit:
  • Pass 6 Point ID Verification
  • Pay $3 fee for duplicate examination test receipt
  • Pay $11 fee for duplicate CLP
  • If your CLP was stolen, remember to report it to the police