New Jersey CDL CDL
CDL Commercial Drivers License - Home Study Course
CDL License Test Prep
New Jersey CDL License Test

NEW JERSEY CDL LICENSE

Commercial Drivers License
CDL LICENSE Requirements
Home Study Course
For Tests Beginning September 1, 2017

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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
  • Tractor trailers
  • Any truck and trailer combination with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds - provided that the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is more than 10,000 pounds
  • Any vehicle in B, C or D categories, if you have qualified for the proper extra endorsements

Class B New Jersey CDL includes
  • Any vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds
  • A vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds towing a trailer with a GVWR of less than 10,000 pounds
  • A bus with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including driver)
  • Vehicles in Class C and D categories - provided you have qualified for the proper extra endorsements

Class C New Jersey CDL includes
  • Any vehicle with a GVWR of less than 26,001 pounds used to transport hazardous material (with mandatory placard)
  • Any bus designed to carry 16 or more passengers (including the driver) and with a GVWR of less than 26,001 pounds
  • School vehicles designed for 15 passengers or less (including the driver)
  • Any bus or vehicle used for hire and designed to transport eight to 15 passengers (including the driver)

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.

  • T - Double and Triple Trailer - Needed for operators of vehicles pulling two or three trailers - A Class A commercial license is required to operate this type of vehicle
  • P - Passenger - Needed for operators of buses or similar vehicles used to transport passengers - Requires a road test. Other special requirements are necessary.
  • S - School Bus - Needed for all school bus drivers - Requires a knowledge and road test; Drivers who hold an "S" endorsement will also have to test for a "P" endorsement - both are required to operate a school bus.
  • N - Tank Vehicle - Needed for operators of vehicles that transport liquids or gas in bulk
  • H - Hazardous Materials - Needed for operators of vehicles transporting hazardous materials - Must be trained and retested every two years.
  • Air Brakes - Needed for any vehicle equipped with air brakes - Special road test federally required; If test is not taken, an "L" restriction is added to the CDL license

Getting your New Jersey CDL To get your New Jersey 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 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
  • Study ahead; read the New Jersey CDL Manual
  • Visit your local New Jersey MVC Agency
  • Pass the 6 Point ID Verification; you must present a Social Security card for an initial commercial permit
  • Pay $125 CDL permit fee (non-refundable). For your convenience, MVC Agencies accept American Express card, MasterCard card, Visa card, checks, money orders and cash
  • Take the New Jersey CDL knowledge test and the New Jersey CDL road test as required

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:
  • 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

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
  • If you are a truck driver, you can take the knowledge test anytime after you get your commercial permit
  • If you are a bus driver, you must have the physical examination form completed before taking the knowledge test
  • If you are applying for a Class C passenger endorsement, you must have your physical examination forms and fingerprint cards completed before taking the 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:
  • Visit your local New Jersey MVC Agency
  • To make sure you get the correct tests you must indicate the type of commercial vehicle you will drive and the endorsement(s) you will use
  • The test fee is $125

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:
  • Pre-trip
  • Basic Skills
  • Road Skills

Make sure you bring the following things to the road test:
  • A vehicle with the current inspection sticker, registration and insurance card (unless covered by PUC or federal DOT regulations). MVC will not supply the vehicle
  • Valid examination permit

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.
  • Class A - 70 Questions (50 GK + 20 Combination Vehicles) - Skills test required.
  • Class B - 50 Questions - Skills test required.
  • Class C - 50 Questions - Skills test required for bus, school bus and air brakes vehicles..
  • Passenger Endorsement - 20 questions - Skills test required in bus.
  • School Bus Endorsement - 25 questions - Skills test required in school bus.
  • Doubles/Triples Endorsement - 20 questions - No additional skills tests.
  • Tank Vehicle Endorsement - 20 questions - No additional skills tests.
  • Hazardous Materials Endorsement - 30 questions - No additional skills tests.
  • Air Brake Restriction Removal - 25 questions - Additional skills test in vehicle with Air Brakes.

Classes of New Jersey CDL and Required Tests

CDL Class Tests Required Possible Endorsements and Required Tests
Class A
(Combination
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 "standards" that are the same for every state. It differs from your New Jersey "operator's" or "chauffeur's" licenses. It is required if you drive certain kinds of commercial vehicles either within New Jersey or outside of New Jersey.

WHAT IS THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY ACT OF 1986 (CMVSA/86)?

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 Commercial Driver's License (CDL) when driving applicable vehicles. 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 CDL INSTEAD OF MY REGULAR NEW JERSEY DRIVERS LICENSE?

A CDL is required if you operate any of the following CMV's . . .

  • A vehicle with a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of more than 26,000 lbs.
  • A vehicle towing a unit with a manufacturer's GVWR of more than 10,000 lbs. when the GCWR exceeds 26,000 lbs.
  • A vehicle designed to transport 16 or more persons (including the operator) or any vehicle carrying children to or from school and home regularly for compensation.
  • A vehicle of any size that carries hazardous materials in amounts requiring placarding.

ARE THERE ANY EXEMPTIONS TO BEING REQUIRED TO HAVE A CDL?

Yes, a few . . .

  • Active Duty Military . . . with military licenses operating military vehicles.
  • Firefighters . . . meeting approved training standards and operating authorized emergency vehicles.
  • Farmers . . . in certain cases.
  • Individuals ....operating motor homes or other vehicles used exclusively to transport personal possessions or family members, for non business purposes.

ARE THERE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS TO OBTAIN A NEW JERSEY CDL?

You must meet the following requirements to obtain a CDL . . .

  • 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).
  • Possess a valid medical certificate in accordance with MCSR 49 CFR 391.41.
  • You must otherwise qualify for the license based on your driving record. Any of the following will disqualify you from obtaining a CDL . . .
    • If you possess a license from any state other than your State of Residence.
    • If you are currently subject to any disqualification of your commercial driving privilege in New Jersey or any other state.
    • If your license is currently suspended, revoked, denied, or cancelled.
    • If you have a conviction for operating a CMV (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.
      THERE ARE CURRENTLY NO APPRENTICESHIP OR TRAINING REQUIREMENTS TO GET YOUR NEW JERSEY CDL. THIS MAY SOON CHANGE.

Access Official Federal CDL Medical Requirements Info

HOW DO I OBTAIN A CDL?

By completing the following items . . .

  • Show your driver's license from your State of Residence.
  • Take and pass all written examinations that apply to your license class and endorsement requirements.
  • Show proof of social security number.
  • Meet driver record eligibility requirements as determined by the State of New Jersey.
  • Fill out an application including certifications.
  • Show proof that you passed the required written tests, pass a vision screening, and show proof of a valid DOT medical certificate (BEFORE a CDL Temporary Instruction Permit will be issued and before you will be allowed to the the skills test).
  • Pay the New Jersey CDL fees.
  • Schedule, take, and pass your CDL skills test.

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

What do the terms Class A, Class B, and Class C mean on a 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 when the combined GVWR is over 26,000 pounds. A Class "A" license also allows you to operate Class B and C vehicles. Applicable endorsements are required.
  • 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. Applicable endorsements are required.
  • 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 CDL?

Endorsements are necessary for certain commercial driving requirements as follows . . .

  • AIR BRAKES endorsement for vehicles with air brakes.
  • (T) DOUBLE or TRIPLE TRAILERS. For tractors pulling two or three trailers.
  • (P) PASSENGER. For vehicles which are designed to carry 16 or more people (including the driver);
  • (S) SCHOOL BUS. Any vehicle 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).

Access Official Federal CDL Hazardous Materials Info

I'M OVER 18 YEARS OLDS, BUT NOT 21 YEARS OLD YET. CAN I GET A CDL?

Yes . . . with restrictions. Until your 21st birthday, you cannot drive a commercial vehicle outside the borders of New Jersey. You cannot drive a vehicle requiring HAZ MAT placarding and cannot drive double or triple trailer rigs.

CAN I USE MY NEW JERSEY CDL OUT OF STATE?

Yes! If you are 21 years or older it is good throughout the entire United States.

CAN MY CDL BE SUSPENDED OR REVOKED?

Yes, there are MANY reasons that your CDL can be suspended or revoked. Improper use of alcohol or drugs, traffic violations, and failure to notify top the list. The New Jersey CDL 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 CDL IS REVOKED. CAN'T I JUST GET A CDL IN ANOTHER STATE?

No!!! Those days are gone. One computer system keeps track of all licenses THROUGHOUT the United States. In a matter of seconds it can be determined if you possess more than one license.

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