How to Get a CDL License in New Jersey

People who drive specialized vehicles on streets and highways in America must carry a commercial driver license (CDL). To obtain a CDL, applicants must meet certain basic requirements and then pass physical, knowledge and road tests. If you want to know how to get a CDL license in New Jersey, follow these steps.


  1. Image titled Get a CDL License in New Jersey Step 1
    Make sure you meet the minimum requirements to pursue a CDL in New Jersey. Before you can get a CDL, you will have to be able to meet the following standards:
    • Be at least 18 years old.
    • Have at least 20/40 vision in each eye, with or without corrective lenses.
    • Hold a current Class D New Jersey driver's license. You cannot have a driver's license from another state when you first apply for a New Jersey CDL.
    • Be able to distinguish red, amber and green.
    • Be deemed physically capable by a physician.
    • Cannot have had your current license revoked, denied or suspended, or cannot have had a conviction for driving a commercial vehicle while impaired over the past 2 years.
    • Pay the required fees for a New Jersey CDL.
  2. Image titled Get a CDL License in New Jersey Step 2
    Produce the required identification materials. New Jersey's 6-Point ID Verification program ensures the identity of all CDL applicants. Applicants must show primary and secondary government-issued documents that, according to the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission, add up to 6 points.
    • Primary documents: Civil birth certificates and U.S. passports are worth 4 points toward achieving the ID requirement. Civil marriage certificates are 3 points.
    • Secondary documents: Most other documents are worth 1 point. They include a current New Jersey Class D driver's license, a bank statement or signed AM card, and a utility bill that is less than90 days old.
    • Payment: After supplying the necessary documents to the MVC, you will be required to pay a non-refundable permit fee. The fee covers background checks, processing and testing.
  3. Image titled Get a CDL License in New Jersey Step 3
    Apply for the required endorsements for the type of commercial vehicle you plan to drive. Endorsements are special qualifications that carry single-letter designations.
    • H: Hazardous materials. This requires specialized training and a placard stating that the vehicle is carrying dangerous cargo.
    • L: For truck equipped with air brakes.
    • N: Tank vehicles that transport large quantities of gas or liquids.
    • P: Buses carrying passengers. This type requires a special road test and fingerprinting.
    • S: For school bus drivers.
    • T: Double- and triple-trailer vehicles.
  4. Image titled Get a CDL License in New Jersey Step 4
    Prepare for the CDL tests you will have to pass before getting your license. The New Jersey CMV requires applicants to pass knowledge (written) and road tests before being licensed.
    • Knowledge test: These tests cover rules and regulations commercial-vehicle drivers must understand. Tests are administered at any Regional Service Center or Driver Testing Center, and often include a vision exam. No appointment is necessary. Brochures covering all test materials are available at the sites. A minimum score of 80 percent is required to pass the knowledge test.
    • Road test: Applicants must pass the knowledge and vision tests before making an appointment to take a road test. Road tests cover vehicle-inspection basics, driving under normal traffic conditions, and performing maneuvers that are required with the type of vehicle you plan to drive. Applicants must supply their own vehicle for the road test.
  5. Image titled Get a CDL License in New Jersey Step 5
    Determine the classification of the commercial vehicle you're planning to drive. CDLs come in 3 classes: A, B and C. Each class is for distinctly different types of vehicles.
    • Class A: A Class A license is for all tractor trailers whose combined gross weight rating (CGWR) exceeds 26,001 pounds, provided that the gross weight rating (GWR) of the vehicle being towed exceeds 10,000 pounds. Holders of a Class A license may drive a vehicle of any another class, provided they have the required endorsements for that type.
    • Class B: The major difference between Class A and Class B licenses is trailer weight. Class B licenses limit the weight of trailers to less than 10,000 pounds, while the CGWR may exceed 26,001. Class B license holders can drive Class C vehicles if they hold the necessary endorsements.
    • Class C: This type allows drivers to haul hazardous materials in vehicles with a GWR of less than 26,001 pounds; buses carrying 16 or more people; school buses carrying 15 or fewer people, including the driver; vehicles for hire that carry e8 to 15 passengers.
    • Payment.


  • CDL licenses obtained in a state other than New Jersey are transferable. You will have to meet physical and vision requirements, pass a background check, and pay a transfer fee.
  • You must be at least 21 to be permitted to drive a commercial vehicle across New Jersey state lines. Drivers under the age of 21 also are prohibited from driving HAZMAT or passenger vehicles.
  • Lost or stolen CDLs can be replaced for a nominal fee. You will have to supply 6-Point ID Verification before getting your replacement license.
  • Drivers of certain vehicle types are exempt from CDL requirements. These include emergency personnel driving firetrucks or ambulances, taxi drivers, armed forces personnel driving military vehicles, construction workers using equipment not designed for standard road use, drivers of recreational vehicles, and farmers transporting goods within 150 miles (240 km) of their home.

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