Getting your Commercial Driver License (CDL)

CDL Skills Test Modernization

Over the last decade, vehicle technologies and components to include braking, steering, and suspension systems have continued to evolve at a fast pace. 

In 2018, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and AAMVA jointly decided to evaluate the existing vehicle inspection (VI) and basic control skills (BCS) tests. The Modernized tests were evaluated using experienced drivers, new drivers, student drivers, and CDL examiners. Testing vehicles included a broad range of Class A and Class B commercial vehicles.

CDL Modernization was approved by FMCSA and the new AAMVA CDL Testing Model was released in August of 2022. The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (NJMVC) is in the process of completing site upgrades and training, as we prepare for CDL skills test modernization.

NJMVC will adopt the CDL Skills Test Modernization in July 10, 2023

What’s New

Chapters 11 and 12 in the CDL Driver Manual were rewritten to reflect the changes discussed in the test development. The new VI and BCS Chapters will be:

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.


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.


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.

CDL Renewal

A CDL must be renewed in person.

  • Schedule your renewal appointment online
  • Bring your 6 Points of ID, including your social security card, proof of address, and proof of legal presence in the US.
  • A $42 fee for a CDL to be paid at the agency by credit/debit card, cash, check, or money order (payable to NJMVC).
  • Additional fee is required for added endorsements or classes.
  • When applicable:
    • Completed CDL Holder Self-Certification form
    • Medical Examiner’s Certificate

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.