Getting your Commercial Driver License (CDL)


To get your CDL, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be a US Citizen or a non-US Citizen with lawful permanent resident status.
  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Have a basic; New Jersey driver's license(Class D).
  • Have at least 20/40 vision in each eye with or without glasses.
  • Be able to recognize red, green, and amber colors.
  • Be physically fit.*

* All CLP/CDL drivers must complete the CDL Holder Self-Certification document, and if applicable, submit a valid medical examiner certificate

Important note: The medical or background check results can lead to a commercial driver license disqualification. If disqualified, there is no refund of the CLP fee.

School Bus Driver Requirements 70 years of Age and Older

Application Process

  • Study in advance by reading the CDL Manual.
  • Get your examination test receipt.
    • Make an appointment for a CDL Permit.
    • Complete the Application for Commercial Driver License 
    • Bring your 6 Points of ID, including your social security card, proof of address, and proof of legal presence in the US.
    • Be prepared to pay the $125 commercial examination test receipt fee (non-refundable) by credit card, check, money order, or cash.
  • Take your CDL knowledge test.
    • If you are not prepared to take your test at the time you get your Examination Test Receipt, you must make an appointment for the test.
    • EFFECTIVE  2/7/22: If you are applying for a HAZMAT endorsement, you must complete the required Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) from a provider listed on FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry prior to taking your knowledge test.
    • After passing your CDL knowledge test(s), you will be issued your Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP). At this time, you may schedule your skills test.*
  • Take your CDL skills test.
    •  EFFECTIVE  2/7/22: Prior to taking your skills test for your CDL or any endorsements, you must complete Entry Level Driver Training (ELDT) from a provider listed on FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry
    • You must have an appointment to take your skills test.
    • Unless waived, CLP holders must wait a minimum of 14 days before taking the skills test.
  • After passing your skills test, you will be issued your CDL.
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 New Jersey driver's license.

Restrictions

CDL applicants under 21 years old:

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

Commercial Learners Permit (CLP) restrictions are as follows:

K – Restriction for Intrastate only.
L – Restriction for vehicles with no 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 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration).
X – No Cargo in Tank restriction, if CLP has an N endorsement.

Commercial Driver License (CDL) restrictions are as follows:

E – No manual transmission equipped CMV (If you take the test in a CMV with an automatic transmission, you will receive the E restriction and are prohibited from operating a CMV with a manual transmission).
K – Intrastate only.
O – No tractor trailer CMV.
Q – 15 Passengers or less
T – Probationary driver: supervising driver required; night and passenger restrictions if under 21. 
V – Medical variance.
Z – No full air brake equipped CMV.

Exemptions

The following do not need a CDL for their purposes:

  • Taxi drivers (carrying less than seven 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

A lost CDL may be replaced by ordering a duplicate online.
If you have lost a CLP/CDL permit, you must visit a Licensing Center (no appointment necessary) to get a replacement. Make sure to bring:

  • 6 Points of ID verification.
  • $3 fee for a duplicate examination test receipt, or $11 fee for a duplicate CLP.

If your CLP was stolen, remember that it must be reported to the police.