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NEW JERSEY CDL Information
Specific New Jersey CDL Information

New Jersey Commercial driver license (CDL)

If you want to be a truck driver or a bus driver, you will need to get a Commercial Driver License (CDL). But first, you must get a Basic New Jersey Driver License. Due to Federal regulations, holders of commercial driver licenses must visit an agency at renewal time. Renewal by mail is not an option at this time.

There are different CDL classes depending on the commercial vehicle that you will be driving. Each CDL class has its own regulations.

Class A New Jersey CDL includes

Class B New Jersey CDL includes

Class C New Jersey CDL includes

New Jersey CDL Endorsements

Once you have received your New Jersey CDL, you can add endorsements and upgrade your license class. You can also downgrade your New Jersey CDL at any time if you would like to drop to a lower class or remove an endorsement. Most commercial drivers will need to obtain at least one endorsement.

Getting your New Jersey CDL To get your New Jersey CDL you must meet the following qualifications: * Federal law requires commercial drivers to carry a medical examiner's fitness statement at all times and renew it every two years. Download the Medical Examiner's Certificate [pdf] before your appointment.

New Jersey Commercial License and Endorsement Fee

The cost of a New Jersey CDL permit is $125 for knowledge, endorsement, and road tests. The permit fee includes payment for medical form review, background check results 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 permit fee refund.

New Jersey CDL Application Process

Restrictions New Jersey CDL applicants under 21 years old may only travel within New Jersey and may not receive HAZMAT or passenger endorsements.

Exemptions The following do not need a New Jersey CDL for their purpose:

New Jersey CDL Tests

To get your New Jersey CDL, you need to pass the knowledge test and in some cases a road test.

New Jersey CDL Knowledge Test

For help preparing for the knowledge test, see the New Jersey CDL manual.

To take the New Jersey CDL knowledge test, follow these steps:

The knowledge test is a 50-question general test with additional separate tests for each endorsement. To pass the test you must answer at least 80% of the questions correctly.

If you fail the knowledge test you must wait seven days before taking it again. You may re-take the test as many times as you like, but if you have not passed it after 180 days, you will need to renew your permit.

Once you pass the test, MVC will validate your permit for practice driving. You will need to practice for 10 days accompanied by another person before you can take the road test.

New Jersey CDL Road Test All applicants for Class A and B licenses are required to take the CDL road test. You can schedule an appointment for a CDL road test 20 days after you successfully complete the knowledge test. School bus road tests may be scheduled 10 days after successfully passing the knowledge test. A safety specialist will ride with you and judge you on three 20-minute parts:

Make sure you bring the following things to the road test:

Once you pass the New Jersey CDL road test, you may take your permit and authorization slip to your local MVC Agency to obtain your license.

If you fail the New Jersey CDL road test, you must wait at least two weeks before re-taking the test. If you fail the test several times, MVC may require that you wait six months before taking the road test again.

New Jersey CDL Written Knowledge Tests
You will need to pass the New Jersey Knowledge Tests that are required for the class of license, restriction, and endorsements you wish to possess. A general knowledge test for the Class A or Class B and C license must be successfully completed by all CDL applicants. The information needed to pass these tests is contained in the FREE New Jersey CDL Handbook. Please read and study this manual carefully.

Classes of New Jersey CDL and Required Tests

CDL Class Tests Required Possible Endorsements and Required Tests
Class A
vehicle endorsement required)

General Knowledge Written Exam

Combination Endorsement Written Exam

Road Exam

H - Hazardous Materials Written Exam
N - Tank Vehicles Written Exam
P - Passenger Transport Written and Road Exam
T - Doubles/Triples Written Exam
X - HazMat and Tank Vehicles Written Exam
L - Air Brakes Written and Road Exam
S - School Bus Written and Road Exam
Class B

General Knowledge Written Exam

Road Exam

H - Hazardous Materials Written Exam
N - Tank Vehicles Written Exam
P - Passenger Transport Written and Road Exam
X - HazMat and Tank Vehicles Written Exam
L - Air Brakes Written and Road Exam
S - School Bus Written and Road Exam
Class C

General Knowledge Written Exam

Road Exam

Note: If upgrading to a Class C from a Class D, no road test is required UNLESS the endorsement requires one.
H - Hazardous Materials Written Exam
N - Tank Vehicles Written Exam
P - Passenger Transport Written and Road Exam
X - HazMat and Tank Vehicles Written Exam
L - Air Brakes Written and Road Exam
S - School Bus Written and Road Exam

New Jersey CDL Endorsements

Exam Time Allowed (Minutes) # of Questions on Exam # of Correct Answers Needed to Pass
General Knowledge 60 50 40
Air Brakes 25 25 20
HazMat 30 30 24
Tank 20 20 16
Passenger 20 20 16
Doubles/Triples 20 20 16
Combination Vehicles 20 20 16
School Bus 20 20 16

For the most complete and accurate official New Jersey state CDL information, go to the Official New Jersey CDL Website.

What is a CDL?
A "CDL" is a Commercial Drivers License. It meets certain minimum "standards" that are the same for every state. It differs from the New Jersey "operator's" or "chauffeur's" licenses. It is required if you drive certain kinds of commercial trucks or buses.

What is the COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY ACT OF 1986 (CMVSA/86) administered by the FMCSA?
It is a law passed by the United States Congress which requires ALL the individual states to comply with certain standards in regards to the licensing of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. New Jersey driver licensing standards comply with the law, requiring CMV drivers to obtain a New Jersey Commercial Driver's License (CDL) when driving applicable trucks and buses. A CDL license can ONLY be issued in the driver's STATE OF LEGAL RESIDENCE, and if you have a CDL, you can have NO OTHER DRIVER'S LICENSE in ANY other state.

When do I need a New Jersey CDL instead of my regular New Jersey Drivers License?
A New Jersey CDL is required if you operate any of the following CMV's . . .
1. A vehicle with a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 lbs.
2. A vehicle towing a unit with a manufacturer's GVWR of more than 10,000 lbs. when the GCWR exceeds 26,000 lbs.
3. A vehicle used to . . .(a.) carry 15 or more passengers (excluding the driver), or (b.) carry (15) or less people (including the driver) when carrying children to or from school and home regularly for compensation.
4. A vehicle carrying hazardous materials in amounts requiring placarding.

What are the eligibility requirements to obtain a New Jersey CDL?
1. You must be 21 years old. (18 years if all commercial driving is done within New Jersey and if no hazardous materials requiring placarding are transported and if you do not drive double or triple trailer rigs).
2. You must be physically capable (in accordance with the MCSR 49 CFR 391.41 Physical Qualifications for Drivers regulations) of obtaining a valid DOT medical examiner's card (before being issued a CDL permit or taking any CDL skills test).
3. You must otherwise qualify for the license based on your driving record. Any of the following will disqualify you from obtaining a New Jersey CDL . . .
* If you possess a license from any state other than New Jersey.
* If you are currently subject to any disqualification of your commercial driving privilege from New Jersey or any other state.
* If your license is currently suspended, revoked, denied, or cancelled.
* If you have a conviction for operating a commercial motor vehicle while impaired in the 24 months immediately preceding application.
* other technical rules, and further restrictions that pertain only to New Jersey are covered in detail within the Course.

How do I obtain a New Jersey CDL?
1. Show your New Jersey driver license.
2. You must take and pass all New Jersey examinations that apply to your license class and endorsement requirements.
3. Show proof of social security number.
4. Meet New Jersey driver record eligibility requirements as determined by the State.
5. Fill out an application including certifications.
6. Provide a DOT medical certificate and pass the required CDL knowledge and vision tests (BEFORE a CDL Temporary Instruction Permit will be issued).
7. Pay the New Jersey CDL fees.
8. Schedule, take, and pass your New Jersey CDL skills test.

A separate booklet is included in the New Jersey CDL Course package which covers information such as fees, locations, contacts, procedures and other items specific to New Jersey for the written and skills examinations for ALL classes of CDL and ALL available endorsements.

What is a CDL "Skills Test" and how do I take it?
A "skills" test is the practical portion of the exam and includes . . .
1. A vehicle inspection test to measure your ability to perform a vehicle safety check.
2. A basic control skills test.
3. A driving test.
The skills test is normally given at an approved third party testing site in your area. This can vary and the latest procedures are indicated in the New Jersey CDL Course.

So let's say I get a New Jersey CDL. Can I use it Out-of-State?
Yes! It is good throughout the entire United States.

Can my New Jersey CDL be suspended or revoked?
Yes, there are MANY reasons that your New Jersey CDL can be suspended or revoked. Improper use of alcohol or drugs, traffic violations, and failure to notify top the list. The Course details ALL of the rules regarding suspension or revocation. The point to remember is that alcohol or drug use is not tolerated and your record WILL FOLLOW YOU THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES FOREVER!!!

So let's say that my New Jersey CDL is revoked. Can't I just apply for a CDL in another State?
No!!! Those days are gone.

Are there any exemptions to being required to have New Jersey CDL?
Yes, a few . . .
1. Active Duty Military . . . with military licenses operating military vehicles.
2. Firefighters . . . meeting approved training standards and operating authorized emergency vehicles.
3. Farmers . . . in certain cases.
4. Individuals ....operating motor homes or other vehicles used exclusively to transport personal possessions or family members, for non business purposes.

What do the terms Class A, Class B, and Class C mean on my New Jersey CDL?
It refers to the type of vehicle that you may operate . . .
CLASS A . . . allows you to operate vehicles which tow trailers or other vehicles with a GVWR over 10,000 pounds. A Class "A" license also allows you to operate Class B and C vehicles.
CLASS B . . . allows you to operate single vehicles with a GVWR of 26,001 lbs or more OR a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 lbs. or more, towing trailers/vehicles rated at 10,000 pounds GVWR or less. A Class "B" license also allows you to operate Class C vehicles.
CLASS C . . .allows you to operate vehicles under 26,001 lbs. GVWR, that would normally not require a CDL; except when they are designed to transport 16 or more persons including the driver; or that carry 15 or less people (including the driver) transporting children to or from school and home regularly for compensation, or carry hazardous materials in amounts requiring placarding. Applicable endorsements are required.

What are Endorsement Codes and when do I need them on my New Jersey CDL?
Endorsements are necessary for certain commercial driving requirements as follows . . .
(P) PASSENGER. For vehicles which are designed to carry 16 or more people (including the driver); or those which carry 15 or less people (including the driver) transporting children to or from school and home regularly for compensation.
(N) TANK VEHICLES. For vehicles designed to haul liquids or liquefied gases in bulk in permanently mounted tanks or portable tanks rated at 1,000 gallons or more.
(H) HAZARDOUS MATERIALS. To carry hazardous materials in amounts requiring placards.
(X) Endorsement code designating a Tank (N) vehicle that carries Hazardous Materials (H).

I'm over 18 years old, but not 21 years old yet. Can I get a New Jersey CDL license?
Yes . . . with restrictions. You are limited to INTRAstate driving of commercial vehicles (you cannot drive a commercial truck or bus out of New Jersey). You cannot drive a vehicle requiring HAZ MAT placarding, cannot drive double or triple trailer rigs and cannot drive a School Bus with children on board until you turn 21 years of age.

We could go on and on with FAQs but I hope this covers most of your GENERAL questions. Please be assured that the Course answers EVERYTHING that you need to know to obtain ANY or ALL of the available CDL licenses and endorsements in an easy to understand manner. The material is presented in three different ways to reinforce your retention. GOOD LUCK !!

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